Jacob Eisenberg, 2016, Undeclared

The overarching goals of my research group were to develop a complex computer model that would simulate the effectiveness of the terrestrial biosphere as carbon sink, and to determine how climate change has, and will, alter that effectiveness. Over the course of the summer, I learned how to use the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 (ED2). I then began running the model on small patches of forests in the Amazon, using a database containing information on those patches to initialize the model, and ultimately to determine the accuracy of the model. I consulted with Professor Medvigy about changing some of the parameters in the model that weren’t yet fully understood, to see if it would increase or decrease accuracy. While I spent some time learning about the general issues of the work the group was doing, the most valuable aspect of this internship for me was learning about the structure, complexity, and technical issues of a large computer model, and how such a model can be used in scientific research. It was also interesting to see first-hand how a research group functions and collaborates. This internship has definitely confirmed my interest in studying environmental science.