Today marks the fourth week since the IARC summer school boarded the Akademik Fedorov in Kirkenes. I was initially worried about leaving responsibilities at the university, at home preparing for winter, and also my family, for almost five weeks as a participate in this school/expedition, but the weeks have gone by very quickly. The WRF/NEMO computer modeling project group has been busy wrapping up their final model runs of the 2012 Arctic Cyclone. For my part, I have been looking at how the modeled cyclone affects the sea-ice, when used as an input to a different model. This may allow us to say something about the cyclone’s effect on sea-ice, using the model results as a proxy for the actual cyclone’s effect on real sea-ice.
Perhaps more importantly than anything else I’ve learned during the cruise, as a life skill rather than scientific content, is the value of communication and teamwork. I typically work individually or closely with my advisor, and haven’t had the opportunity to work in a larger cooperative setting as we have in Volodya’s WRF project group. During the first few meetings, all of our group members seemed to speak at once, voicing our opinions and disagreements as we tried to make decisions. The sessions were chaotic and somehow each of us knew what we should be doing next. As the Friday deadline for our presentation approaches, these meetings have become much more coherent. We all know our roles in the team and understand how our individual contributions contribute to the larger goal. Further, my part of the project relies on input produced by four other group members. This is a lot different than the go-it-alone approach I usually have. During the cruise, as part of the project, I have run models for approximately 200 cpu-hours (i.e., the amount of time spent running the model with a single computer processor, usually while I’m sleeping), and only about 15 cpu-hours of the models were actually useful to the group. It seems like a lot of unnecessary work, but I learned a great deal about two models, and teamwork in the process.
Shout-outs to Julia and Doug on their birthdays!
- j. Stroh