What I am doing with my life

After a long hiatus – much longer than I like to think about or admit to – I am finally back. I just finished the last semester of my undergraduate degree, which was by far the busiest few months I’ve ever experienced.

This was largely due to my honours thesis, on which I spent probably three times more effort than was warranted. I built a (not very good, but still interesting) model of ocean circulation and implemented it in Python. It turns out that (surprise, surprise) it’s really hard to get a numerical solution to the Navier-Stokes equations to converge. I now have an enormous amount of respect for ocean models like MOM, POP, and NEMO, which are extremely realistic as well as extremely stable. I also feel like I know the physics governing ocean circulation inside out, which will definitely be useful going forward.

Convocation is not until early June, so I am spending the month of May back in Toronto working with Steve Easterbrook. We are finally finishing up our project on the software architecture of climate models, and writing it up into a paper which we hope to submit early this summer. It’s great to be back in Toronto, and to have a chance to revisit all of the interesting places I found the first time around.

In August I will be returning to Australia to begin a PhD in Climate Science at the University of New South Wales, with Katrin Meissner and Matthew England as my supervisors. I am so, so excited about this. It was a big decision to make but ultimately I’m confident it was the right one, and I can’t wait to see what adventures Australia will bring.

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10 thoughts on “What I am doing with my life

  1. I have a question you might have an answer to – under El Nino conditions, should we expect more polewards heat transport through either atmospheric or oceanic circulation? (particularly with respect to the Arctic)

  2. Kate, congratulations on both the honors degree and upcoming PhD study. I hope you’ll still find a free moment 2-3 times a year to keep posting here.

    Best wishes!

  3. Congrats! Australia is amazing, and I’m jealous! I spent three months mainly in Tasmania back in 2004, and then spent three weeks traveling from Tassie to Uluru to the Top End in 2010. Spending time there inspired me to care about the planet and realize that Global Warming is the most urgent crisis facing humanity.

  4. Kate

    I have been following you for a long time but I’m not much of a commenter.

    Congratulations on your degree and good luck on your PHD.

    Robin

  5. Congrats on finishing your Honours thesis and acceptance into a PhD program with Meissner and England!

    Do you know what your project will be about?

  6. Kate…congratulations and welcome to down-under. If you find Australia a trifle too warm, come on down a bit further to NZ. where the temps. are more Canadian like. We’ve got a good dumping of snow here today., the skiers are in for a good season.
    Best wishes for your future,..but also you might like to take a little time off to read my one comment ,and links, here…
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Interview-Chuck-Kennicutt-and-Gary-Wilson/tabid/1348/articleID/340749/Default.aspx

  7. You should consider posting your ocean model on Github or something. There is a real lack of comprehensible, open tutorial code for budding climate modelers.

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