IEDA-CCNY 2016 Interns

June 2016. The second year of the joint IEDA – CCNY (City College of New York) Internship program is well underway this summer. Six undergraduate students from City College are participating in the program, completing data intensive tasks in geochemistry and geophysics that are directly relevant to the Lamont community and the broader scientific community as a whole.

Under the mentorship of Merry Cai and Megan Carter, interns Asra Ismail, Robert Palumbo, and Cody Randel are working on three separate projects. With the help of Sidney Hemming, the interns have started rescuing Pierre Biscaye's global clay mineralogy dataset, which laid important groundwork for modern sediment provenance studies. Under the guidance of Karin Block at CCNY, the interns will also help catalogue samples acquired during the construction of NYC City Tunnel #3. This rare collection of high-grade granulites will be accessioned to the American Museum of Natural History after sample metadata and analytical data, currently only available in analogue form, are compiled. Interns may also help to rescue paleomagnetic data from ocean sediment cores under the guidance of Dennis Kent. Datasets mentioned above will be published and long-term archived in the EarthChem Library. Sample Metadata will be preserved in the System for Earth Sample Registration and the samples, themselves, will be assigned International Geo Sample Numbers, where appropriate.

Under the mentorship of Andrew Goodwillie, interns Tola Alabi, Rafael Uribe and Thomas Van Wert are spending part of their IEDA summer internship helping to improve land elevation coverage of the IEDA Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) synthesis. Working as a team, the interns are cataloguing and processing 1-meter and 3-meter horizontal resolution consolidated LiDAR terrestrial survey data from the USGS repository for inclusion in the GMRT base map. Additionally, seismologically-derived tomographic models from the IRIS Earth Model repository will be processed in readiness for inclusion in GeoMapApp. The interns are improving their computer and digital data management skills, including the use of Excel®, Linux, and other scripting languages to process the data. They are becoming familiar with GeoMapApp for data assessment, and improving their analytical skills when confronted with data issues.

The summer interns also attend campus-wide summer lectures to broaden their knowledge of earth sciences, and will further be exposed to potential graduate school and geoscience career options with an opportunity to attend the Fall AGU meeting in San Francisco in December 2016.

Pictured above (from left): Asra, Thomas, Cody, Robert, Tola, Rafael.