Getting a Hold of GAMIT
As the fourth week of our Costa Rican journey comes to a close, I have begun to think about what research will begin to look like back at home. Here in Costa Rica, Izy, Oscar, and I have been busy looking around the country for benchmarks to collect data. This data is important to us because it gives us information, using GPS satellites, on the separation between our topographical earth and ellipsoid. While it is fun to go around and explore the country, learning what to do with this data is a challenging task. Throughout the school year Izy and I will be processing this data in order to get the most clear results we can from these benchmarks. This means honing in on our computer science skills and learning how to use programs such as UNIX and GAMIT. Luckily, these sources are becoming available and we should be able to see more results as we work this last week in Costa Rica and throughout the next semester!
For me, research anywhere is a learning experience. You constantly are looking into ways to improve your understanding of the material while also looking for the most accurate results that help you solve the case. I realize that not all data gives you the answer you are looking for; however, data is data and what you collect can be helpful in ways that you may not see from the very beginning. Here in Costa Rica, Izy and I have already learned many lessons on the victories and struggles of research. As we start thinking about what research will look like in New Jersey I am hopeful these lessons will stick with us and we will be able to assist in creating a research project that benefits our cause.
In other news, this past week, Izy and I had an interesting lesson on how to level! Leveling is a valuable job for our project because it helps us determine the distance to "mean sea level" otherwise known as the geoid. Having this information along with the GPS data collected, Izy and I will be able to solve for N which is the distance between the geoid and the ellipsoid. It is exciting to learn more about the details of our project everyday. In this last week we have ahead of us I am sure that GREAT things will continue to happen in Costa Rica. As always, thanks for checking in and stay tuned for updates on our fifth and final week in Costa Rica!