Caitlyn McAllister joined the Unidata Program Center as a software development summer intern on May 18, 2020. She is a rising senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, majoring in Meteorology and with minor concentration in Computer Science.
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. Because UCAR facilities are still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Unidata's summer 2020 internships are taking place remotely, with interns and mentors meeting frequently via Slack and Google Hangouts.
“I came to discover Unidata after being shown netCDF files by a professor. I was developing contour plots for a school project and was shocked that all the data and toolkits were so easily accessible,” says Caitlyn. “Since then, I have become interested in all things Python (like many others) and especially all the tools MetPy has to offer.”
Caitlyn offers up this meteorology fun fact about herself: “I used to be terrified of severe weather, but gained a passion for it through educating myself,” she says. “You really can face your fear when you know how something works.”
Over the course of the summer, Caitlyn will be digging deeper into the MetPy package, expanding her Python skills, and looking to contribute to the open source community. “I cannot wait to be able to help my peers and show them all I have learned over the summer next semester,” she says.
Although Caitlyn says she spends most of her time at school or doing school work, she also works as a Quality Technician for a company called WeatherFlow and tends bar at a local tavern. “I definitely keep myself busy,” she says.
Please join us in welcoming Caitlyn to the Program Center for the summer!