After driving about 20 hours from Bellingham, WA with a stop in Missoula, MT, I have finally made it to Fort Collins, CO for my summer internship! Numerous rest area stops, a couple nervous, fully leaned forward in my seat coastings off exit ramps to gas stations, about a dozen Snap Judgement and ClimbingBeta podcasts, and just about endless singing. I must say that the independent road trip may be a struggle, but it definitely is fun to see how you make it through.
I am officially on day 2 of the internship, and though maybe less nervous than I was initially, I am still very excited. The general explanation of my internship is that I am working with Dr. Rick Aster at Colorado State University and his PhD student Nicole McMahon assessing the seismicity of Antartica. I will also be working down in Golden, CO at the NEIC (National Earthquake Information Center) for this project. Though I haven't seen any of my actual data, I have already been thrown into immense amounts of learning with Nicole using Java, SAC, GMT, Bash, etc etc, practicing the sort of tasks I will be doing with data of West Antarctica. I have a lot to learn, but I'm very thankful that Nicole is eager to help me, will answer any of my silly questions, and is essentially learning along with me on many fronts. It makes the transition to a completely new place, where I know no one, and have no idea where anything is much less intimidating. We started my first day about with a quick chat, tour, and a little computer time before lunch at the Rainbow Cafe across campus. I can already tell that Fort Collins is presenting me with the wonderful challenge of trying a lot of amazing food and perhaps a beer or two - I accept. I'm excited to get to know my advisor and student mentor a bit more. They are both incredibly smart, but I can also tell they will be a lot of fun. We've already discussed climbing together (getting Nicole on the ropes for her second time, and I'm eager to check out Poudre Canyon and Lumpy Ridge), Nicole teaching me a thing or two about basketball (let it be known I'm 5' and very uncoordinated, think I'll learn to dunk?), and we've even discussed getting Rick to try Zumba sometime with us. Let's just say it's going to be a fun summer and we'll all have plenty to learn and enjoy! I will definitely keep you updated, hopefully with documentation of our joys and struggles.
Want to know more?! I will post more about my project, my goals, and my general thoughts about the academic side of this internship in my next blog entry at the end of this first week, and of course the nonacademic experiences that arise as I settle into the sunny "Fort Fun" - looking forward to maybe exploring some mountain biking trails this afternoon!
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