Observing the Ocean

December 1, 2015

Kasey Cheydleur

Eint Kyi ’15 on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii
Eint Kyi ’15 on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Photo credit: Eint Kyi

Eint Kyi ’15 enjoys spending her days surrounded by the subject of her study as she pursues a master’s degree in oceanography at the University of Hawaii. “I chose to study in Hawaii because it was the ideal place to study oceanography,” Kyi says. “University of Hawaii has its own research cruises that go out monthly to sample specific sites in the Pacific Ocean, and there’s nothing more satisfying than living in a place surrounded by the field you love.”

Within the field of oceanography, Kyi is particularly interested in marine biogeochemistry, and her current project concerns both climate change and the biodiversity within oceans. The project looks at the rates of remineralization in surface waters, with a specific focus on the nitrogen cycle and quantifying specific bacterial and archaeal species in order to accurately measure biodiversity throughout the world’s oceans. This will help determine to what extent the oceans can continue to support the nitrogen cycle as climate change leads to increased sources of nitrogen in the atmosphere.

A native of Yangron, Myanmar, Kyi studied biochemistry and geology at Oberlin. She says she chose Oberlin because she wanted a “stimulating and challenging environment with students who genuinely care for and accept each other’s opinions.” Kyi says she also appreciated Oberlin’s curricular flexibility, which allowed her the chance explore many different disciplines, eventually leading her to discover a passion for oceanography.

Kyi credits her geology advisor, Professor Karla Hubbard, for helping prepare her for graduate school and a career in the sciences by teaching an appreciation for the small moments. “She taught me every little step I take in research matters, even if it never gets recognized or published,” Kyi says. “And that lesson was hugely helpful because everybody in science is so driven to have their works be published it can easily overshadow the love and interest that got us started in research in the first place.”

You may also like…

Jane Sedlak ’19 Studies the Chemistry of Wildfire Smoke

April 20, 2022

Jane Sedlak graduated from Oberlin College in 2019 with a degree in chemistry and was named the winner of Oberlin’s Nexial Prize. Given to a student who demonstrates academic excellence and an interest in cultural study, the Nexial Prize comes with a $50,000 award, which afforded Sedlak the opportunity following graduation to study art conservation at the Louvre in Paris. She is currently a graduate student at University of California San Diego.
Head shot of Jane Sedlak

The Pursuit of Research and Understanding How the Brain Works

March 15, 2022

David Shostak’20, a native of San Francisco, played four years on the varsity soccer team and graduated with a major in biology, a concentration in cognitive science, and a minor in environmental science. For the past two years, he has worked at a neurobiology lab at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. In fall 2022, Shostak will begin working toward a PhD in neuroscience at the University of California San Francisco. Read more about Shostak in this After Oberlin Q&A.
Head shot of David Shostak

Director Ry Russo-Young ’03 on Filmmaking, Storytelling, and Nuclear Family

January 6, 2022

On September 26, director Ry Russo-Young ’03 released her three-part documentary film Nuclear Family on HBO Max, which follows her landmark custody case that unfolded in the late 1980s. The film is an intimate look into Russo-Young’s childhood growing up as the younger daughter of two lesbian mothers and a parternity suit that threatned to upend their "nulear family."
Ry Russo-Young takes a self-portrait in the a mirror