Reflections from 2016 NAGT Intern

About the Project

For my project as a NAGT intern, I performed numerical analysis using Python to quantify strain rates in the Coso Volcanic Field. I used GPS data from the last couple of decades to determine the velocity field of the area and was able to identify a strain anomaly where the local geothermal facility is located. My mentor, Ole Kaven, spent a lot of time teaching me how to write the code and perform the numerical analysis required for this project. I will be presenting my results as an abstract and poster at the AGU Fall Meeting and probably the Stanford Geothermal Workshop as well. In addition, I was able to participate in a gravity and magnetic survey for a potential fields project in southern Idaho. I learned a lot about field geophysics and was glad that I was able to help out and broaden the scope of my internship.

Most Memorable Experience

The most memorable part of this internship was getting to travel to Idaho, since I had never been there before. However I found the time I spent in the office working with Python to be most rewarding. Having had no experience with writing code or numerical analysis before this internship, I'm really glad I was able to develop such useful skills.

Career Goals

My career goals during the internship were to get as much experience with research as possible and to make connections for graduate school. I wanted to refine my interests a bit so that I would have a better idea of what to pursue in graduate school, and also learn about and meet researchers who were studying topics I would find interesting.

How the program contributed

Being able to work through all stages of a research project, developing skills with coding and numerical analysis, and participating in a geophysical survey all helped me to better understand the research process. I also found that I have a strong interest in geophysics in addition to deformation. I met great people here who gave me a lot of advice with graduate school and academia, as well as other interns who are going through the same things as me. I feel that this internship strongly increased my chances for getting into graduate school and it definitely increased my confidence in my abilities.