The Best Summer on the Summit

2016-07-30 17:18:45.000 – Emily Schuitema, Summit Intern

 

It’s almost August, and my last week as an intern at Mount Washington Observatory has arrived! I have no idea how the summer went by so fast, and I can’t believe my time here is coming to an end.

 

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I accepted the offer to be an intern here in March. All I knew was that I was going to be living on top of a mountain in close quarters with a bunch of people I had never met. While all my friends from college were buying professional clothing and nice shoes for their summer internships, I found myself going out to purchase rain pants and snow goggles. I left Michigan in May with two suitcases and a tent loaded up in my trusty old car, without even having a concrete plan as to where I was going to live during my off weeks.

Flash forward two and a half months, and I’m about to head back to Michigan with a lot of memories and my car much messier than it was when I left. My time being an intern on Mount Washington has been full of hard work, but also full of laughter and the most beautiful scenery. The weather nerd in me was constantly being amazed as I experienced everything from daily temperature records being broken, to 94 mph wind gusts, to snow at the end of June. Every day has brought something new and exciting.

 

My major in college is Climate and Space Science and Engineering, so while I study a lot of atmospheric science, I had never done much with hands on meteorology. Luckily, at Mount Washington Observatory you experience just about all the hands on meteorology that you can. I was able to do the afternoon forecast, go out for all of our hourly observations, and track storms as they moved towards us. Additionally, all of the interns were given projects to work on for the duration of their internship, so I was kept busy doing statistical analyses of the errors in our forecasts so that we would know how to improve. In the summer that I was here, I learned so much, and I feel much more confident and excited about finishing school and starting a “real world” job.

 

This job is unique in a lot of ways, but something that is especially interesting is the fact that you live up here for eight days at a time with all of your coworkers in a cozy living space. We bunk together, work together, eat dinner together, etc. My shift has been great, and it was such a fun time getting to know everyone. Thank you all for answering my endless questions during the day while we worked, and for making the hours after work was done for the day so much fun! I’ll really miss all the goofiness of our shift, like Adam running around the weather room trying to catch flies with his bare hands, and observers attempting to rap during the music jam sessions they like to have after work. Thank you to everyone I worked with in the Weather Discovery Center as well, for making the valley a little bit more like home. I really appreciated when people came down to chat with me, offered to have me over for dinner, or even helped me with some car maintenance!

So, thank you for the best summer, Mount Washington. It has been the greatest of adventures, and I’ll be back for you soon!

 

 

Emily Schuitema, Summit Intern

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