Scripps Student Honored with Two Awards: Luc Rainville wins Link Fellowship, AGU Outstanding Paper honors


Scripps Institution of Oceanography graduate student Luc Rainville has been honored with two awards.

Rainville, a student working under the direction of Scripps oceanography professor Rob Pinkel, has been awarded a $20,000 fellowship from the Link Foundation Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Fellowship Program.

The program was developed to "foster ocean engineering and ocean instrumentation research; to enhance both the theoretical and practical knowledge and applications of ocean engineering and instrumentation research; and to disseminate the results of that research through lectures, seminars and publications."


Through the fellowship, Rainville is developing the "wirewalker," a new vertically profiling instrument package that uses the energy of ocean surface waves to power profile readings in the water column. The motion of the waves drives the positively buoyant profiler downward, and then the instrument floats freely upward. The wirewalker design focuses on simplicity and low cost, while at the same time acting as a generalized platform capable of supporting a variety of self-contained instruments.

Rainville also has been distinguished with an Outstanding Student Paper Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

At the AGU Fall Meeting in December 2000, Rainville presented a poster on his research on internal waves in the East China Sea conducted as part of ASIAEX (Asian Seas Acoustics Experiment). While studying the interactions of the strong western boundary current called Kuroshio, the North Pacific analog of the Gulf Stream, Rainville found evidence of strong, energetic internal waves. These waves are generated at the shelf break and propagate under the Kuroshio, Rainville found, and presented in the poster "Vertical shear Structure of the Kuroshio near the Shelf Break."

A third year graduate student working towards a Ph.D. in oceanography, Rainville, a native of Quebec, Canada, received a B.Sc. in physics from McGill University in Montreal in 1998.

His research interests include internal waves, including their relation to mixing in the ocean, and instrumentation.

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