Nihar Madhavan ’15
Geodynamics Research in Australia
My work this summer was with the Geodynamics Research Group of the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University. Geodynamics, an offshoot of geophysics, studies changes in the earth and geologic phenomena. My project related to levels of ice in the polar regions; my focus was on altitude data from IceSAT, a project run by NASA to measure ice levels in the polar regions. Unfortunately, the satellite taking data was very slightly imprecise; if it was supposed to measure the same area twice over a period of time, the measurements would be slightly off (up to a few hundred meters). This could result in huge mistakes if one directly compared data from different times. The group I worked with was developing a new method to reconcile this data; I worked toward implementing this into a tool that could be generalized and used by others around the world. Although my tool was not completed, I made significant headway, so I truly feel that I contributed to the project. I was also immersed in the research process, and had a direct look into how a research project operates. Although doing this type of work may not be in my future, I found this to be a very valuable experience.
Australian National University (ANU), Australia
Paul Tregoning, Australian National University