Elise Colter, ’21, Computer Science

My internship at Climate Central focused on improving the WeatherPower tool, which is a part of the climate-reporting resource Climate Matters that produces text and visual materials to help journalists and TV meteorologists build stories. WeatherPower uses weather forecast data to predict local wind and solar electricity generation across the United States. I primarily used Python, Amazon Web Services and Django to implement a redesigned version of the software’s backend, verify the tool’s calculations, and initiate the ongoing process of code review. I also worked on several new features, including renewable-energy estimates and their equivalencies for new regions (states, counties and congressional districts), and carbon emissions equivalency calculations. Through this internship, I gained a familiarity with several relevant technologies related to my major and had the opportunity to combine my academic interests with an issue that is important to me.