I had a great time at the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and National Science Foundation (NSF) Joint Research Conference: Reckoning with the Risk of Catastrophe in Washington, D.C. last week. I presented some recent results from the second study of my dissertation on improving wind storm wind surface estimates through cokriging. Most importantly, I was able to meet and talk with many prominent researchers and people in private industry. The conference focused on multi-disciplinary collaboration so one of my committee members, Melanie Gall, and I discussed an idea concerning the general populations' understanding of the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale with two psychologists - one in Germany and one in California. The conference was very rewarding because of opportunities like this and it will be interesting to see where this research goes from here.
I was very fortunate to be awarded an Austrian Marshall Plan Scholarship for a 3-month period of research (and fun!) in Villach, Austria. For my research, I concentrated on the second study of my dissertation that seeks to improve wind surface estimates for wind storms across Europe by utilizing a geostatistical technique known as cokriging. Cokriging allows for the use of multiple covariates (e.g., elevation, aspect, land cover) to help predict wind speeds based on a potential correlation between the variables. I completed all of my models for the project, presented my research at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, and presented a poster of my research at the International GI Forum in Salzburg. In addition to all of the research, I was able to explore many areas of Austria and Europe and I created a "tourist presentation" here that chronologically illustrates each adventure.
As part of my research assistantship I work for the LSU Disaster Science and Management lab with a group on the LSU System Hazard Mitigation plan. We had several meetings at each of the LSU campuses concerning the final stage of the LSU System Hazard Mitigation plan (http://dsm.lsu.edu/pr_hazmit.htm) in March, April, and May. During the final stage, each campus gave us input on mitigation strategies that were important and needed (e.g., purchasing generators or improving drainage capacities) as well as strategies that may be unnecessary. They also reviewed the current version of the plan and gave us feedback on text, tables, maps, graphics, and other content. We're so close! We will submit the initial version to FEMA in August for their review.
...and so the train left New Orleans...yes I took the Amtrak all the way to DC (24 hours), stayed with a friend in Gaithersburg MD, then took the 3-hour bus ride to Manhattan. I guess I just wanted to check out our transit system. I had a stopover in DC to apply for my Austrian Visa for the summer and also took a picture of my future home. I made it to NYC just in time for some cheesecake, oh and there was a geography conference somewhere in there. The NYC AAG was my first chance at presenting my initial results for study one of my dissertation. I modeled the maximum sustained and peak wind gust for 18 different European windstorms using a kriging approach and shared the results in the Climate Specialty Group Student Paper competition.
My advisor, Dr. Robert Rohli (Bob), collaborated with a fellow PhD student and myself on a poster presentation for the 2012 American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting in New Orleans. The poster described the presence of science-oriented living-learning communities (LLCs) in universities across the United States and how such communities currently benefit students at LSU. I thought I would add a few pictures of my favorite city while I have a chance!
The 2011 AAG conference in Seattle was great. I presented a poster about the impact of climate on water quality in the Pearl River (Louisiana/Mississippi) and received great feedback from several professors and other students. I was also able to explore the towns and coast of the Olympic Peninsula. What kind of geographer would I be if I didn't explore?!?
“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” Yogi Berra