Wednesday, November 26, 2014

URSP Student Afsana Anwar Uses Remote Sensing Technology to Measure Precipitation over Oceans

This Fall of 2014 was my first year anniversary at Mason. Yes! It has been exactly one year that I’ve been a patriot. So, I’m still fairly new to what Mason has to offer. With that being said, the OSCAR program was a surprise to me. I got to learn about it only after my mentor had emailed me about this research opportunity. Upon learning about it, I paused and thought for a while. The prospect for research was in environmental or water related topic. I am a structural engineering major so water and environmental were not exactly in my comfort zone. But that’s when I thought that this would be a great opportunity for me to step outside my comfort zone and broaden my knowledge. I didn’t want my knowledge to be just limited to structures; I wanted to get exposure to other exciting fields and get some experience from it. So when my mentor told me about Remote Sensing and its applications, I got very intrigued. I had almost little or no knowledge about remote sensing technology and its applications but this research gave me the chance to explore its utilization in measuring precipitation over the Pacific. I was baffled when my mentor Dr. Maggioni had informed me that there hasn’t been much evaluation done on precipitation data retrieved by the satellites through R.S over oceans. I found it significantly important to evaluate the satellite precipitation data over oceans since it is critical in determining global precipitation estimates. Therefore, I set out to pursue this journey of evaluation. Although the results from this research may not be directly linked to structural engineering but the experience from this is priceless and will serve me good in any research in the future.
My weekly task is to finish doing statistical computations on the data I have collected. The evaluation is being done over satellite data versus buoy data over the Pacific and every week I am dealing with thousands of data for each method of data retrieval in fact I’ve made a new best friend during this project, Microsoft Excel. I wonder what I would’ve done without Excel! It makes life so much easier. But one thing I’ve been realizing since last week actually is the fact that as time draws closer, time management has become the greatest challenge. With all classes almost getting ready to end and finals lurking upon our heads, being able to continue with the research without any impact to other classes is getting really difficult. However, I’ve been trying to do the best I can to keep up with school and research.