|Xiaoqian "Michael" Zhang|
With B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, Zhang applied to Ph.D. programs at eight universities in the U.S. He chose Texas A&M because the Oceanography Department was highly regarded and many students from his program had come here.
Three years later, Zhang has no regrets. “I really like it here,” he said. “The thing I enjoy most is the diversity in the department, both in terms of having students from diverse backgrounds and having faculty working in a broad range of areas in oceanography.”
The focus of Zhang’s studies is the air/sea interactions in the Gulf of Mexico. He is a research assistant for his faculty advisor Steve DiMarco. “I get a lot of support from Dr. DiMarco and from others on my graduate committee which is really great,” he said.
While at A&M, Zhang has participated in a research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico and has attended several national meetings and workshops. Last summer he was selected to attend the prestigious Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Each year, this program introduces eight to ten graduate students in the physical sciences to geophysical fluid dynamics and the special rewards of interdisciplinary research. He also won the Outstanding Student Paper Award for his poster presentation at the 2008 Ocean Sciences meeting in Orlando last March.
Zhang plans to finish his dissertation next summer (2009), and hopes to complete a postdoctoral fellowship after that. “I really want to stay in academia, and I feel that my experiences here, the work I will have completed, and the relationships I have made at Texas A&M will help me accomplish my goals.”