Senior plans to spend the next 5 years researching life at sea

Sam Shawver.jpg
Senior Samantha Shawver's May 2018 graduation isn't the only one she's looking forward to. In 5 years, Shawver said she'll be known as Dr. Shawver when she graduates with a Ph.D. in ocean science.
Photo Courtesy: Samantha Shawver

Although she is balancing two demanding majors and is involved in a variety of activities, Samantha Shawver has been able to succeed without too much angst during her four years majoring in marine science and meteorology at the University of Miami.

“There were definitely semesters with harder course loads, but I feel like I learned to manage my time better in college, so I wasn’t as overloaded,” said Shawver, who has a 3.65 GPA and is on dean’s list. “Since you don’t have class every day, you end up having a lot more free time to do your work.”

As a peer counselor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Shawver also found time to help other students with their work and augment her studies by participating in several RSMAS clubs and activities.

She is in the Marine Mammal Rescue Team, Rho Rho Rho and the Scuba Club. She is the president of both the American Meteorological Society chapter at UM and the Meteorological Honor Society Chi Epsilon Pi.

Keen on conducting research, Shawver said she got an early start.

“It makes it a lot easier down the road if you start learning things before your junior or senior year,” Shawver said. “You get to do more with it.”

Her approach paid off.

Last summer, she worked with professor William Drennan at the Air-Sea Interaction Saltwater Tank. She helped collect data and took pictures of sea spray. Shawver is using this research for her senior thesis on sea spray and how concentration varies with wave phase and height above the surface. This research is important for tropical cyclones and air-sea forces because not a lot of research is done in high wind conditions like there are in ASIST, Shawver said.

Shawver has been accepted into RSMAS’s graduate program in ocean sciences and will be working with professor Hans Graber, working on a project based out of the Arctic.

In five years, she said, she will be known as Dr. Sam Shawver with a Ph.D. in ocean science.