Summer Internship; looking at lake temperature data
As a Maths and Stats student going into his 3rd year at Lancaster University, the opportunity to tackle real life statistical research excited me. Though little experience in Environmental studies, the Ensemble team welcomed me with open arms and remained patient as I grasped new ideas and methods. Working under the supervision of Ross Towe has been a wonderful experience where I could pick the mind of a environmental statistician. I maintained a good working relationship with the Ensemble team and was able to sit in meetings and presentations – giving me a taste of life after university.
I started the internship looking at temperature data from the Lake District, specifically the Esthwaite lake surface temperatures. The data ranged from 1947-2013 with fortnightly observations. Equipped with basic skills in RStudio, I managed to grasp a good understanding of the data from using exploratory analysis from tools I had gathered from my statistics course. Here I noticed some trends in increasing temperatures, especially in the winter season. This kept me aware of the seasonal variations and I often split my data into summer and winter due to it.
The internship helped me develop advanced skills in both RStudio and LaTeX. The acquisition of these skills, along with guidance from Ross, enabled me to break down data efficiently, compare with other datasets that were in complicated formats and create my own algorithms. This was extremely useful when I was comparing NAO and rainfall to the temperature of the lakes. From this, I found a lot of interesting results which I have attached to my poster.
Using time series analysis to forecast and model lake temperatures was a new subject to me. I was able to learn both independently and with guidance- particularly theoretical sides which helped me apply my knowledge to the lakes. I found this section exciting and a teaser to the 3rd year of my degree. With some effort, I was able to construct time series models for each of the lakes.
The project was a wonderful experience, as were the people. To the people at Ensemble I thank you and wish you the best of luck!
Ensemble Intern, 9 July – 14 September 2018