Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Final Week...

On Monday and Tuesday, even though it didn't seem like much was happening, it has been getting more busy and more pressured. Summer work, friends, chess, tennis, and other things have helped add to this.

In our lab, more things have been and are arriving, including the new refrigerator and the sticky mats. I have been helping move these and set them up. One of the undergraduate students and one of the graduate students are not around this week, and our advisor is on vacation this week. Our lab also set up a Met Station, which is basically a weather station, on the roof and it is collecting many things, including wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, sunlight, and precipitation. All of this will be used with the TAFKAA software to perform atmospheric correction on the data collected. The next data collection is this Thursday, but I cannot go, for I have to go to the morning meeting where we will have a peer review of the presentations that will be given this friday. The presentations are comprehensive summaries of what we have done during our 6-week internship. They start at 9am in the Carlson (Building 76) auditorium this Friday.

There's not much I'm doing today, I am continuing my work on the presentation and the summary of things that I would like to be included in my letter of recommendation. I'm also helping research a table to put our oven on top of. Soon I will help move stuff again into a truck for the data collection tomorrow, and then probably go home early.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Busy busy busy...

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we spent all day getting organized and ready for our data collection on Thursday and today, Friday. We finalized the checklists, inventory, and organization. We, on wednesday, went outside RIT and did a practice experiment to further familiarize ourselves with the GRIT and other instruments. We made a checklist about the steps to follow for every instrument, and then walked through them to make sure that they were correct and sufficient. We researched for more things to buy as we went along, as some things came up and we thought they would help usnfurther . We took into factors that could ensure the quality of our measurements as well as make them more feasible.

On Thursday, I met my coworkers in the lab at 7:30, and we put away the things that were charging overnight, We loaded all the things into one of the graduate students' truck and the rest of the things into our advisor's personal minivan. We went on a road trip to Chimney Bluffs, and then looked for a place to set up. It was tough because all of the places we wanted to set up at were at the bottom of a steep hill, and we can't transport our equipment down those. As a consequence, there was only one place we could set up at, so we did. We got everything out of the vehicles, assembled the GRIT, and then brought it all down. We took a sample of the sand and double bagged it, and then set up the GRIT. we then set up another spectrometer that constantly took measurements from a white plague for reference while simultaneously having the GRIT running. I helped set up both of these, and then I helped monitor the second spectrometer to make sure it was still running, and I watched mg coworkers operate the GRIT.

A lot of times, they asked what exactly it was that we were doing there, and so I had to explain it repeatedly. All I really said was that "we are taking spectral measurements of the sand, and we hope to be able to use these measurements to predict the potentional for erosion on this coastline." Sometimes they asked for more information, but this was usually enough for them, thankfully.

After we finished the experiments, we packed everything up, and then put it all away again, and then went back to RIT. When we got back, we unloaded some of the things, and left some things in the minivan because we planned to go out to Hamlin park on Friday. I went home after this 13.5 hour work day and passed out on my not so comfy bed.

On Friday, the graduate student with the truck was becoming a father (congratulations) so we could not go out for data collection that day. We stayed inside the lab and took more measurements of the sand. We were ready to put the sand in the drying oven, but the plug for the oven is different from the typical one and would not fit anywhere in the lab. So we asked our advisor and another man who knew the building and had access to all the labs, and they both gave insight about other ovens in a lab in the basement. The plan is to use the oven in the basement in lieu of the bigger, better oven in our kab. Oh well. After that, we put the sand in a storage refrigerator in that room, and we plan to use the oven on Monday.  We went shopping at home depot and a couple of other stores for cleaning supplies and trays to put the sand on for putting it in the oven. After we get all of the stuff out of the black room part of our lab, we will clean the floor and the GRIT. That probably won't be for some time, and this week is my final week,so I don't think I'll be doing this. After all that was finished, we called it a day and we left to go home at around 1:30 or 2:30. We were all tired from waking up early anyways.

Sorry that this update is very late, but I've been a lot more busy recently, not just because of the internship, but with other work and events as well. Thank you for being patient, and sorry for the inconvenience :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's August Already?! [Friday and Monday]

On Friday and Monday, our lab has been finalizing everything, and setting ups, etc for our experiments on the lake this week. We set up a rental truck, and planned out what we were going to bring. We made an inventory of everything, as well as a checklist for the steps to take when doing experiments. We also discussed some modifications that we might make to make the whole process easier for now. I also got a chance to talk to my coworkers about my presentation, and how I can improve what I have so far. I am presenting next Friday, so I should finish up as soon as I can.

On Friday, I went and visited my fellow interns in the Visual Perception Lab. There, I was a test subject for them, and I read digital text, basically pages on a computer screen, and then read an actual text. During both of these readings, my eyes were being tracked, and they were researching the differences for when reading an digital text versus an actual text. It was all very interesting. Afterwards, they showed me a little demonstration of the software, and it showed a plot of where I looked when I was reading the texts. It was very cool to see the computer plot everywhere I was looking, and how long i fixated on those points. It was a tantalizing glimpse of the other imaging sciences out there.

On Monday, I helped shop for some equipment needed to make modifications to the GRIT. For the GRIT, we need a set up to make it so that the calibration plate won't touch the ground and disturb the sand or material below and can still be tested on. After that, we went out with the GRIT, hoping to do a few short experiments so that we could get a better idea of how many samples we will need to take during the actual experiment. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. It started becoming cloudy, and blocked the necessary sunlight, so we had to cancel. After rushing to bring the stuff in, I set up a printer in the lab for easier access to -well- a printer. Also, I helped troubleshoot the setting up of said printer.

After all of that, I read a couple of articles about work that my advisor has done, and I saw different applications and methods for the experiments we are doing with the current GRIT.

Both Friday and Monday were packed full of activities!