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.
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.