Jordan Winter

Undergraduate student

University of Washington

Whenever people ask about my work in the Armbrust lab, I tell them I shoot lasers at phytoplankton. And while that may sound much more intense than the reality of prepping samples and making sure the flow cytometer (the laser) is running properly, I am still excited every time I see the thousands of phytoplankton dots appear on a graph. There’s something about seeing how small yet important these animals are that will always fascinate me.

My love for the ocean started at a young age, when I practically devoured a Hawaiian Reef Fishes book. Ever since, I’ve found every opportunity to work near or in the ocean, from participating in beach cleanups to becoming Scuba certified at the age of 12.

However, when the time came around to decide on a college, I decided to be an engineer like countless others in my school. For my freshman year, I attended Johns Hopkins University for Mechanical Engineering and quickly realized that was not the major or school for me. I made the big decision to transfer in order to study oceanography and am now happily immersed in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. I immediately got to work, taking classes during Summer Quarter and finding two part-time jobs that suit my interests.

My job as a research assistant has shown me that what I have been curious about since the age of 5 is important and viable as a career. My work as an intern at COASST has taught me the power of citizen science and data collection. I am excited to continue learning about our oceans and the wonderful creatures in it.

Relevant coursework: Fluid Mechanics and Waves, Integrative Oceans, Introduction to Field Oceanography, Coastal Oceanography, Introduction to Ocean Sensors