Undergraduate Summer Projects
The SCO is proud to have 6 undergraduate students working for the office this summer. Below you will find brief descriptions regarding the work each student has focused on over the past couple of months.
Colin's tasks this summer include writing Python scripts that extract data from vector and raster layers, which are then used to update station metadata in CRONOS. Such updated metadata includes hydrology, soil texture, closest city, county, and climate divisions. Additionally he has worked on a turf grass disease risk assessment tool along with Corey Davis. This tool utilizes a combination of past climate data obtained from the CRONOS database, forecasted variables obtained from the NOAA National Digital Forecast Database, and the NC SCO in-house 4km WRF model. The tool then assesses the risk for various turf cultivars based on predetermined thresholds.
Geneva has created a flexible moderation system to be used for internal purposes at the State Climate Office and on other webpages the SCO manages. Currently, Geneva is working to integrate her system into the new data verification system in development by the staff here at the SCO. This system will be used to improve speed and accuracy of our quality control protocol, and will verify QC flags before permanent implementation.
Torrey is currently working on a web tool for updating the existing tornadoes maps on the SCO website. This tool will enable users to set a radius from their location of interest to view all tornadoes that have touched down within that given distance, as well as their path lengths during select months and years. The user will also be able to view the number of tornadoes that have touched down in any of North Carolina's 100 counties.
James is currently developing a web interface that will allow users to view mapped estimates of monthly average temperatures and total precipitation across the state of North Carolina. When released, this product will also allow users to view mapped estimates for the departure from normal for temperatures and precipitation across the state.
Charles began his summer reviewing the climate education modules to ensure they would be better understood by their target audiences. In early June, he started work on a tool to benefit the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation and Adaption Project (PINEMAP). For this project, Charles is working to expand the Climate Division Data tool from North Carolina to encompass the entire Southeast and beyond, which will include an option to compare data from different climate divisions on the same graph. He continues to review the climate education modules, which are currently being adapted for the forestry sector.
Joseph is currently writing a manuscript for his research on predicting observed soil moisture using statistical modeling. The model will be used as a soil moisture quality control method at all the ECONet stations that measure soil moisture. He presented his research at the undergraduate research symposium on August 1st. He is also working on improving a Freeze Risk tool currently in development by incorporating a Growing Degree Day tool which outputs the growing degree day accumulation percentiles.