Fascinated by water

“The water there is just this beautiful, glacially blue mass rushing out of the mountains to the south.” said UNC researcher Tamlin Pavelsky. “I remember watching the patterns in the water as the two rivers merged, one clear and the other turbid, wondering why they looked the way they do.”

Growing up in Alaska’s backcountry, far removed from the distractions of technology, Tamlin Pavelsky cultivated a deep love and appreciation for the wilderness, enjoying summers near Denali National Park and hiking to the area where the Sanctuary and Teklanika rivers converge.

Today, the hydrologist and associate professor in the UNC Department of Geological Sciences is still fascinated by water—so much so that he wants to measure all the lakes and rivers in the world. And since his time as a graduate student, he has been realizing that dream through the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission.

Read the complete Carolina Story from Endeavors…

This is story number 115 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.

Tamlin Pavelsky was the first recipient of Elijah White Jr. Faculty Excellence Fund in Geological Sciences—created by alumnus Elijah White (M.S. ’84) to provide faculty support for research materials, equipment purchases, research leaves and participation in professional conferences. The fund enabled Pavelsky to purchase equipment to survey the depths of large rivers in Alaska.

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