Where in the World is Joshua Perez?

2014-12-03 20:22:58.000 – Joshua Perez, Summit Intern


Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?”

“Hmm . . . What do you think, Harry?” said Luna, looking thoughtful.
“What? Isn’t there just a password?”
“Oh no, you’ve got to answer a question,” said Luna.
“What if you get it wrong?”
“Well, you have to wait for somebody who gets it right,” said Luna. “That way you learn, you see?”
“Yeah . . . Trouble is, we can’t really afford to wait for anyone else, Luna.”
“No, I see what you mean,” said Luna seriously. “Well then, I think the answer is that a circle has no beginning.”
“Well reasoned,” said the voice, and the door swung open.” 
J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Every week the observatory staff changes, in the same way car parts are maintained and replaced to keep the car performing at its maximum potential. It’s uttered as a mundane task—a simple shift change, but that phrase lacks the poignancy it deserves. The observers hear the fabled stories of the weather of the fallen week, and are given a slight glimpse of the battle to come. In essence, one does not take an exam without knowledge of the course materials, and one does not begin an adventure without knowledge of where they are going; however the brave observer-adventurers head forth each and every day into the unknown, in the name of science, in the name of bravery, and in the name of all the wonderful people who take the time to enjoy the mountain as much as the observers do.
Who am I? I’m an observer-of-observers, a student, turned intern, with an incomparable opportunity.
My name is Joshua Perez, an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College with the unique opportunity to study atmospheric sciences in a location as close to the heavens as possible. My project is to study snow-atmosphere exchange, and to hopefully elucidate the myriad of effects that are acting upon the solid precipitation, and quantify the relative rates of each. What that means, is that I’m eating snow, and drinking the air through a straw, and in a few weeks I’ll be able to tell you why the snow tastes funny (and I’m talking about the white snow).
Weather is something people take for granted with cozy cars, heated houses, and Eastern Mountain Sports jackets that make an ice bath feel like a local swimming pool. While this may be a normal week for many, and the observatory will remain the bastion of reliable weather forecasting, there will be one person at the summit running in 70 mph winds and hoping that the cold gets colder.


Joshua Perez, Summit Intern

Find Older Posts