Kyla Drushka, a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, has joined alumni such as Walter Munk and John Orcutt as a recipient of a Fulbright scholarship.
The scholarship, which fosters international cooperation through student exchange, will support Drushka’s ongoing study of ocean dynamics at a key intersection of ocean circulation at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Drushka will work there with CSIRO oceanographer Susan Wijffels.
“I was blown away when I got the news,” said Drushka, a fifth-year student advised by Sarah Gille and Janet Sprintall in Scripps’ Climate, Atmospheric Science, and Physical Oceanography (CASPO) division. “I feel completely honored by this."
Beginning this month, Drushka will study large-scale patterns in the Indian Ocean circulation that are related to currents in the Indonesian Throughflow, a passage of major ocean currents through narrow channels between Indonesian islands. The ocean-atmosphere interaction strongly influences weather patterns in the region.
“What I’m looking at has a pretty considerable impact on Australian climate, so I think people there will be happy to see energy focused on this,” said Drushka.
"The Fulbright Fellowship is a well-deserved and wonderful opportunity for Kyla,” said Scripps physical oceanographer Janet Sprintall, whose earlier research in the region will serve as a basis for Drushka’s work. “Kyla is a very enthusiastic and motivated graduate student, and gets on well with both students and faculty in CASPO. I am certain that she will make an extremely favorable representative of Scripps and the U.S. during her stay in Australia.”
The U.S. Department of State sponsors Fulbright scholars. Including Drushka, five Scripps alumni have won the scholarship, which was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. In addition, several foreign students have studied at Scripps with support from Fulbright scholarships.