My name is Lillian Henderson and I am a junior environmental science major and sustainability minor at the University of Rochester in New York state. This summer I worked with Samantha Siedlecki at JISAO on a project that aims to predict the presence or absence of Pacific hake in different regions off the Pacific Northwest coast.
I was working on a specific part of the model that dealt with the California Undercurrent, which is poleward flow beneath the surface of the ocean. It has been suggested that the strength of the undercurrent has an impact on how far North hake tend to travel during the upwelling season. I worked with both the model and data from various sources to compare them and see how well the model was doing at predicting the strength and location of the undercurrent. I also worked on assessing the predictability of the undercurrent by looking at correlation values between different forecasts and hindcasts spatially over different latitudinal cross sections.
Another part of my summer research involved looking at data from Willapa Bay, Washington and assessing the performance of the model in that region as well. For this we were no longer looking at the undercurrent, but at temperature and aragonite saturation state. These are important factors in the growth of oyster larvae.
Overall, my summer was amazing. I researched a really interesting topic under a wonderful mentor, practiced my coding skills, and made significant progress in deciding what I want to do with my future. I also made some amazing friends and got to explore Seattle and the area around it. I would like to thank JISAO and Samantha Siedlecki for this unforgettable experience.