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Becoming a Modeler (Week Two)

The center has been really busy with finishing the annual report and getting ready for the NSF site visit here in two weeks. It is amazing to see how all of the scientists come together with all the different ideas to develop one concrete solution. 

I began the week by doing a little reading, just trying to strengthen the knowledge that I already had. Grant again gave me some very helpful matlab tutorials, and we actually sat down and started to look at some data. Once we began to do this, I was instantly intrigued. I got to meet with Dr. Baptista this week. He is a very extraordinary man. Through the rest of the week I continued to familiarize myself with the modeling and data analysis processes. 

I was also told that I would be analyzing the data and the model for PHO using ARC GIS instead of matlab. I had used ARC GIS a little bit freshman year in college, but I was excited and nervous to be using it again. The main struggle was wrapped around the process in converting the matlab grid into a readable file for ARC. This took awhile, but I new that with patients and an open mind a victory was on the horizon. With the help of Paul and Grant, everything worked out and getting a correct grid made me feel great. Below are a few images of what the developed grid looks like in ARC Map.  I then began to explore the GIS program and learned a bunch of new tricks. I learned how to change the lighting, color, and even the elevation classifications. It was coming along. 

Throughout the week I have been gaining access to the Cunningham Slough data, as this is one of the regions that I will be focusing on. I am trying to get a good idea of how the model is projecting temperature and elevation data in shallow regions of the river. That is why Cunningham Slough was chosen. The last immage is a model generated image of the slough. The three yellow tacks are the locations of the three observation stations that we have. The green diamonds outline the slough.

I was given some data to practice with from Gray's Point in the estuary, and I decided to write a script that would plot the observation vs. model data and do a concrete error analysis. The results were stunning. The model seems to predict the elevation very well, but the temperature seems to be a little more iffy. I am curious as to why that is?

On Friday I attended Dr. Baptista's modeling meeting and got to meet the rest of the "crew." Everyone is so interesting and has their own little niche that they are working on. It was a very interesting meeting, even though I just sat back and listened. Dr. Baptista also mentioned that one of the reviewers for NSF that was coming was from Duke, Dr. Cindy Dover, and that she was the head of the marine science conservation programs at the Duke Marine Lab. I was so excited to hear this and I can not wait to meet her. 

Grant and I finally received a complete set of the Cunningham data and I plan to work on it over the weekend. I can't wait to see what is going to come with this are in the next week. I also can't wait to begin working with Sasha, my partner next week as well.