So Colin and I sat down and talked for a little about Scarlet and he mentioned how he simply asked Scott if there were any opportunities to work with CTD’s, which caught his interest during the Ocean Methods class. To his excitement, Scott said there was and Colin began working on CTD data for RU27 throughout the summer and the semester. His tasks changed throughout the mission but he recalls the whole temperature map that he and Abe made near the end of the fall 2009 semester. He tracked the thermocline throughout the semester and compared that with to see if there were any explanations for present anomalies. Occasionally he and others would see a slight difference in the Yo profiles, most of which occurred early in the summer but that ended up being just some organism in the Atlantic.
Anyway, Scott thought it would be cool to have a map showing the changes in the thermocline with respect to the seasons and location in the Atlantic. So Colin got to work on trying to put together an entire trans-Atlantic section of temperature plots using MATLAB. He explained MATLAB as one of the most confusing programs he ever tried learning (and is still learning). He mentioned John Kerfoot as a big help with it and also John Wilkins helped him and Abe make the plots clearer. Other students also helped him along the way that have been using MATLAB longer than he had. He recalled working on the plots in the COOLroom when RU27 was actually being recovered at 4 in the morning and also whenever he had time on his trip in Spain. He said he didn’t get much done there because there was just too much excitement. Eventually during finals week, he and Abe came up with a month by month trans-Atlantic temperature section of Scarlet’s track. Below are a few cross-section plots for RU27's path:
Colin describes the mission as something he’ll always remember and claims that he really enjoyed working with everyone involved. Also his advice to me, and any undergraduate looking for opportunities, is to just simply ask. Get to know your professors and always stay in contact because if you’re really interested, there will always be something available.
-Chris and Colin