Spotlight - Pam Barrett

University of Washington Graduate Student

As a graduate student in the UW School of Oceanography, Pam works under JISAO scientist Dr. Joseph Resing studying the trace element geochemistry of the surface ocean. She focuses on the role of small particles in the water column in controlling the supply and removal of trace metals, such as iron. The chemistry of these particles can be used to investigate the source of metals in the ocean, track the path of pollution productions in the marine environment, and assess the impact of changing ocean chemistry on trace element biogeochemical cycles.

In fall 2013, Pam will begin a fellowship with UW’s IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) Program on Ocean Change. The IGERT program is designed to promote interdisciplinary and cooperative research in graduate education, train students in science communication, and help student researchers more fully understand and engage with the societal and policy implications of their work.

Prior to starting graduate school at UW, Pam graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in chemistry and B.A. in political science.  After graduating, she stayed in New York and worked as a research chemist in the pharmaceutical sector before moving to Pam on ice sheet in front of a shipCalifornia where she earned a teaching credential from San Francisco State University and taught high school chemistry, physics, and biology. Pam continues to be involved in K-12 education by volunteering with the Orca Bowl and as an instructor for the Ocean Inquiry Project.

Pam’s ideal career path is to work in science policy, with the goal of helping to create public policy to best protect marine ecosystems and the people and livelihoods they support. Towards this goal she has interned with legislative offices in the European Union, at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, DC, and now she is excited to become part of the IGERT cohort.