Alumni: Britt Raubenheimer, Assistant Scientist

For a lot of Middkids, their semester at sea begins in Woods Hole, Massachuttes (on Cape Cod). Britt Raubenheimer told what it was like to work there!

What did you study at Middlebury and what have you done since you left?
I studied physics (and architectural history) at Middlebury. But I couldn’t imagine sitting in a lab or at a computer screen all day. So I looked for jobs that focused on field studies, and ended up working for the USGS studying over-wash of barrier islands. Loved the work and eventually went back to school to get a PhD in oceanography.

What did you learn at Middlebury that impacted your professional experience the most?
I use the physics that I learned at Middlebury. But, more importantly, Middlebury taught me to work together with others in my classes. And teamwork is important when doing field experiments. To collect observations of surf zone processes, I have spent up to 6 months at the beach, sharing a house and office with 10 coworkers. We need divers, engineers, scientists, and experiment organizers to get the job done.

If you were to offer a few words of wisdom to a Middlebury student aspiring to enter field science, what would they be?
Earth science graduate programs are impressed by candidates with some scientific work experience.

Field scientists, in oceanography and other disciplines, are often looking for young, enthusiastic and energetic people to help collect data. A background in physical science and math is useful, but not always necessary. It is necessary to get along well with people and work hard.