Geology & Geophysics Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
As Chief Scientist, Dr. Rob Reves-Sohn coordinates all of the science activities aboard the Oden. He is also the lead geophysicist.
Role in the expedition?
In the context of this expedition, my day-to-day role is more of a coordinator. A big part of the role I have is to assemble the science team and find funding. However, I also have my own research interests. I’ve been using geophysical methods to study hydrothermal circulation for 15-16 years now, so I’m very interested in the physics of the hydrothermal circulation and how the fluids flow along the fault surfaces on the Gakkel Ridge and other ridge systems.
Why I do what I do?
The really appealing part of the job to me is the unconstrained nature of daily activities. If we can write a proposal that NSF, or some other agency, will fund—we can do it. And we’re really allowed to think about anything we want. That kind of intellectual freedom is a big thing for me, and to have a job that really encourages that is far and away the best part of the job.
Where I grew up?
I was born in Indianapolis, in 1965, and lived there for the first 13 years of my life. One day my dad came home from work, and I could tell he was going to say something important, and he told us we were all going to move to Puerto Rico. So we did that, and I lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for six years or so.
What was my favorite class in high school?
When I was in ninth grade, taking a science class, we had a section on oceanography. One night, I was reading the section on oceanography, and they had a picture of the Alvin. And I remember thinking, “That’s way too complicated. I’m never going to do that!” I actually wanted to be a guitarist when I was in high school, and I guess I am a guitarist. I just don’t get paid to play the guitar. Now I get paid to do oceanography, so maybe it wasn’t too complicated, after all.