Jessica Stikons ’23


Computer Science

Project Title

Responses of ENSO to Volcanic Eruptions in High-Resolution Climate Model Simulations

Presentation Link

View Jessica's Presentation

Certificate(s): Statistics and Machine Learning, Language and Culture

I studied how the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) — an interannual, acyclic fluctuation in tropical Pacific sea-surface temperatures and winds over multiple years — responds to volcanic eruptions. ENSO is a major driver of natural climate variations in many parts of the world, making it an important factor in understanding the global climate. My role in this internship was to extract and visualize data obtained from climate model simulations to uncover patterns that could yield insight into the impact of volcanic eruptions on ENSO. I learned how to conduct data analysis and visualization using the programming language Python. I am particularly grateful that I had the opportunity to become familiar with working with large data sets, a task that seemed daunting before. What I found most interesting was that I could take massive, opaque data sets and transform them into compact, interpretable figures that provided insights into the mechanisms by which our world operates. Overall, I gained a deeper appreciation for the value of data visualization and I hope to incorporate similar methods into my work at Princeton and beyond.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Environmental Science


Vecchi Research Group, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University


Gabriel Vecchi, Professor of Geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Wenchang Yang, Associate Research Scholar, Geosciences