Although I have been home for about a week now, I have been so busy with family obligations and jury duty that I am just writing this blog post now. Who knew I would be just as busy being back at home as I was during the internship. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a full house and you have to help your little sister, who will be a freshman in college, shop for school and dorm room supplies.
I can’t believe my internship is over; it went by a lot quicker than I thought it would. There was so much I learned this summer from meeting so many people throughout the summer. Not only did I learn so much about seismology and data managing and processing, but I also learned how to be more independent and also to be more confident in myself and my work. Being away from home, from family, and friends, and living in a completely different environment has really showed me how independent I could be. So, now as I think about graduate school, I am not as scared about living away from home and on my own.
Going into this internship, I felt like I was in way over my head, I knew very little about geophysics, seismology, and computer programming. I chose to apply to this internship because my university does not offer any courses related to seismology and I wanted to explore my interests that I have in this field. To be honest, I felt intimidated the first few weeks of my internship. I was learning so much information all at once and I didn’t know if I could keep up with all of it. But as I started to settle down and talk to my mentor, I felt better about what I would be doing this summer. This summer I was able to learn GMT (I made 3 figures for my poster using GMT), which I thought I would not be able to do because GMT seemed so daunting when it was first introduced to me. Now that m summery internship experience with IRIS is coming to an end, I was able to submit my abstract to AGU and complete my poster for AGU. During the last week of my internship I presented my poster to the group of graduate students and undergraduate students that my mentor advises. They gave me some feedback and it was also good practice for me before AGU. I can definitely say that I have learned and gained so much experience this summer, from meeting new people and networking at the IRIS workshop in Oregon to completing seismological research to learning how to cook healthy and balanced meals for my housemates and myself.
Now that I am approaching the midpoint of my internship, I am finally getting into the swing of things. Right now I am processing my data for earthquakes greater than magnitude 5.5 in my study area along the Mexican subduction zone in order to compute the source time functions. I will later analyze these source time functions to figure out the duration of each earthquake. From that said analysis, I hope to find some slow slip earthquake events, which have longer than average rupture durations.
I have been using Unix and SAC to edit already existing scripts so that I can process the waveform data I downloaded from WILBER off the IRIS website. I have been using vi editor to edit the specific event time, location and focal mechanism information for each earthquake. I have around 52 events from 1990 to the beginning of June for my analysis. The commands and scripts that I have been using are used to extract the waveforms from the .seed file I downloaded from WILBER, perform initial corrections on the waveforms, and source deconvolution using theoretical Green’s functions.
I am happy to say that I am now more comfortable and confident using Unix commands and SAC. I have come to realize this when an undergrad student started working for my mentor last week. She was in the same boat I was in when I started my internship; she knew nothing about computers or seismology. So, as she was going through some tutorials that my mentor gave her to do, I was able to help her with any questions that she had and also pass along some helpful hints that a few graduate students gave me.
Sorry about posting this blog entry late I was away most of last week to attend the IRIS workshop in central Oregon. The workshop was a great opportunity for me to meet many graduate students and learn more about IRIS and current seismological research.
So far, what I have been using for my internship is GMT. I have already made one map of magnitude <5.5 for the area that I will be studying along the Mexican subduction zone. Also included in the same map are the focal mechanisms for these earthquakes.
My mentor is also having me learn how to use vi editor in Unix. Some of the upcoming work that I will be doing includes using vi editor to edit the earthquake events that I have recently requested and received data for from IRIS/WILBER.
I’m not much of a blogger, but here goes nothing. I am winding down after my first week of my internship at New Mexico Tech. It’s going well so far, except for the heat. Right now Socorro is experiencing a heat wave, just the other day it was 104 degrees. I am definitely not used to this kind of heat! The place I am staying at is really nice and only a short walk from campus, which is very convenient (plus they just turned on the AC!).
My goals for the first third of this internship is to learn more about my research site (the Mexican subduction zone) and the earthquake events that occur there. I also want to learn how to use data catalogs and to develop a list of earthquake events. With that said list, I need to use GMT to map the events. Then I will download and organize my data. For the second third of my internship, I will learn and begin data processing for the Oaxaca events from the data I would have downloaded during the first third of my internship.
During the last third of my internship, I will hopefully begin making plots and interpret the results. I will also be working on my abstract for AGU as well during this time and start my initial draft of my poster.
A couple overall goals that I hope to get out of this internship experience are becoming more comfortable and confident with computer programming and learn how to use GMT. I also want to get to know the graduate students better and to not be too nervous to ask questions about what I have to do for my project or about graduate school.
Hopefully I stay on track with this schedule and the master schedule my advisor wrote up for me. It’ll be a very busy summer, but I will learn so much and meet a lot of great people in the meantime.
I have already learned so much during the first half of orienation week. Although at times it is a little overwhelming, everyone is very willing to help you out.