Unidata AWIPS Summer Internship 2022: Rhoen Fiutak


Welcome back to AWIPS Tips! Today we would like to highlight the very first Unidata AWIPS summer intern. This summer, the AWIPS team was lucky enough to have Rhoen Fiutak join us for her Unidata internship. Rhoen’s education includes a Bachelor’s in Physics, a Master’s in Education, and she is currently working on another Master’s in Applied Math at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO. This summer, Rhoen Fiutak chose to work with the AWIPS team on several different projects. Her projects centered around AWIPS and had a focus on instructional design. She was able to make contributions to different aspects of python-awips, CAVE, and our very own AWIPS Tips series.

Python-AWIPS Example Notebooks

Rhoen’s first project was related to python-awips. Throughout the past year, the AWIPS team has made significant efforts to transition our pre-existing Jupyter Notebook examples from their original format, into a consistent, useful format with a table of contents and detailed sections and subsections. Rhoen helped us transition our example notebook on METAR station plots. The resulting output is an organized, useful notebook that is consistent with our template format.

Swipe to see the before and after

CAVE Demonstration Video

Rhoen’s next project switched focus from python-awips to CAVE, where she was tasked with creating our latest demonstration video (to be published soon in another AWIPS Tips entry). In order to create the video, Rhoen had to familiarize herself with CAVE and specific functionality the Unidata team had implemented based on user suggestions. During this process, Rhoen also gave significant feedback and helped the development team produce new revisions to the Watches, Warnings, and Advisories (WWA) resources in CAVE. These improvements were included in the latest AWIPS release, 18.2.1-6.

Sample from CAVE Demonstration Video

Learn Python-AWIPS

Finally, Rhoen’s third and largest project centered on producing new learning material for python-awips. In order to address this task, she first needed to learn more about how Unidata implements instructional design strategies for our educational resources. She started by studying Learn AWIPS CAVE. During this experience she was able to participate in an evaluation of the course with some of our academic users who have been using Learn AWIPS CAVE in the classroom. Rhoen was also able to assess the need for a second web course covering python-awips. She then spent a significant portion of the summer designing, developing, and revising a brand new online learning module for our users. We will be announcing this new online course, called Learn Python-AWIPS, in the following weeks, and are grateful for all the hard work Rhoen put into this project over this summer.

Sample from Learn Python-AWIPS

To summarize the experience, Rhoen has this to say about her internship:

"This internship has given me the opportunity to explore how to bridge the gap between my interest in STEM and my interest in education through instructional design. I am grateful for the experience of creating these resources and contributing to ongoing development of these tools and services. My mentors, Shay Carter, Nicole Corbin, and Tiffany Meyer guided and supported me through every step. They made me feel more than a summer intern, but a team member contributing to work that would continue beyond my internship. It was a wonderful summer of learning, designing and developing with Unidata AWIPS. I would highly recommend this internship. I look forward to applying the skills learned here in my future career."

We would like to thank Rhoen for all her contributions during the internship, and we are excited for the possibilities of future Unidata AWIPS interns in the coming years.

Check back in two weeks for the next blog post, written by Rhoen, about WWA drawing features in CAVE.

To view archived blogs, visit the AWIPS Tips blog tag, and get notified of the latest updates from the AWIPS team by signing up for the AWIPS mailing list. Questions or suggestions for the team on future topics? Let us know at support-awips@unidata.ucar.edu


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