Former NRL College Intern Selected as Rhodes Scholar


2/7/2011 - 2-11r
Contact: Dom Panciarelli, (202) 767-2541


U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman 1st Class Caroline P. Barlow has been selected as a 2011 Rhodes Scholar. During a summer internship, Midshipman Barlow served at the Naval Research Laboratory's Marine Meteorology Division, Monterey, Calif. The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) reports Midshipman Barlow is the first Rhodes Scholar selectee from the academy since the 2007-2008 academic year, and the only 2011 selectee from a service academy.

Midshipman Barlow of Jacksonville, Florida, an honor's oceanography major, is currently ranked third in her class academically with a 3.94 grade point average. She was the fall semester brigade commander in charge of the approximately 4,400 member Brigade of Midshipmen. Barlow was a member of the Academy's 2009 National Collegiate Champion Coed Triathlon team. She is expected to graduate in May 2011, with a bachelor's degree in oceanography and will be commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.

According to CDR Ken Wos, military deputy at NRL Monterey, "Midshipman Barlow is an impressive individual. She has a rare gift, the unlimited potential to excel as both a naval officer and a scientist."

Barlow spent a two-week internship, jointly funded by USNA and NRL Monterey, at NRL Monterey during the summer of 2010. She worked with Dr. James Doyle, Head of the Mesoscale Modeling Section, studying tropical cyclones; and was assigned as research team member of an active NRL Monterey Advanced Research (6.4) project, the Coupled Oceanographic and Atmospheric Mesoscale Prediction System-Tropical Cyclone (COAMPS-TC). COAMPS-TC is a Mesoscale Numerical Weather Model designed to predict hurricane and typhoon strength and movement. Barlow compared the analyzed tracks of actual tropical cyclones from the Atlantic and western Pacific with the predicted intensities and speeds generated from COAMPS-TC. Her results will be included in the ongoing work to improve the model before it becomes operational at the Navy's Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) in Monterey, Calif. Predicting the track and speed of tropical cyclones is critical to safety of ships and aircraft operating in the maritime environment, as well as people living on the coastlines around the world.

Over just a short time period, Barlow made important contributions to the research team's hurricane prediction research. She quickly learned key aspects of the hurricane numerical prediction problem, and applied her diverse background and knowledge to the research.

Doyle added, "Midshipman Barlow is the brightest and hardest working undergraduate student we have had working with our group over the twelve years that I have served as the head of the Mesoscale Modeling Section."

The Rhodes Scholarship is named after Cecil Rhodes, a British businessman, philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. The scholarship is an international postgraduate award for study at the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. It was the first large-scale program of international scholarships and is recognized by many as the "world's most prestigious scholarship." The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees, and provides each student a stipend to cover necessary expenses. The first American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904.



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The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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