The Unidata Program Center's three summer student interns — Russell Manser from Texas Tech University, Caitlyn McAllister from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, and Lauren Prox from George Mason University — have come to the end of their summer appointments. After a summer of dedicated work they presented the results of their projects to the UPC staff on July 28, 2020. You can find videos of their presentations to the UPC staff on the Unidata Seminar Series page.
This was an odd year for the Unidata Summer Internship program. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our interns did not travel to Boulder to work on their projects in person. Instead, they interacted with Unidata developers through e-mail, online chat, and video conferencing. While the remote setup was less than ideal, Lauren, Caitlyn, and Russell all made excellent progress on their summer goals.
Russell Manser came to Unidata this summer with the goal of integrating support for Dask Arrays into Unidata's MetPy package. (Dask is a Python library that distributes operations across datasets that are too large to load into memory.) To make progress toward this goal, Russell ended up contributing code to some of the other Open Source projects that MetPy relies upon. He also spent time extending MetPy's code-testing suite, making improvements that will be especially beneficial as the effort to support Dask Arrays proceeds.
You can read Russell's take on his summer's work in Building Support for Efficient MetPy Calculations Across Large Datasets with Dask over on the Unidata Developers' blog. You can also watch the video recording of his presentation to Unidata staff over on the Seminar Series page.
Caitlyn McAllister made excellent use of her internship time by building her Python coding skills and getting familiar with the tools and processes used by developers in the Open Source community. Having honed her skills a bit, she began to lay the groundwork for adding a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) calculation to add to Unidata’s MetPy package. She'll be continuing work on this subject over the course of the next year, as she begins work with one of her professors at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University researching heat waves in Florida.
You can read about Caitlyn's summer's work in Investigating a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Calculation for MetPy over on the Unidata Developers' blog. The video recording of her presentation to Unidata staff is available on the Seminar Series page.
Lauren Prox focused her time as an intern on improving user documentation for several of Unidata's Open Source projects. After building skills with the Git and GitHub tools used to manage most of Unidata's software projects, Lauren set about updating topics in the netCDF, MetPy, and Siphon user assistance materials. Lauren also availed herself of a UCAR course in Structured Query Language coding, and participated in several virtual conferences to network with users of Unidata software and to learn of new developments within the fields of scientific data storage and sharing.
You can read Lauren's description of her summer's work in Highlights From My Summer Internship With Unidata over on the Unidata Developers' blog. You can see the video recording of her presentation to Unidata staff on the Seminar Series page.
The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences. If you're a student thinking about internships for the summer of 2021, keep Unidata in mind. Unidata's summer internships are generally advertised in late December to early January, so be sure to check back at the end of the year. For reference, you can take a look at the Internship page.
We at the Program Center certainly enjoyed having Lauren, Caitlyn, and Russell working beside us this summer, and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.