Student Researches California Flooding During Internship

Kimberly Brothers
Kimberly Brothers

From the August 2017 Desktop News | Geography and interdisciplinary studies double major Kimberly Brothers spent the summer pursuing her passion as an intern through the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science, or SOARS, program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, or NCAR, in Boulder, Colorado.

Brothers said her interest lies in studying how climate, weather, and society interact with each other, especially when pertaining to drought and in public outreach and education.

“We’re all affected by climate and weather, and some people may not understand the warnings given to them on the news,” Brothers said. “That’s why I got interested. I read an article explaining how the drought was affecting California, which is where I’m from, and the understanding I gained made me want to give back what was given to me.”

Brothers said in the 10 weeks she worked, she designed her own research project with the help of scientists at NCAR and attended research workshops where she learned skills that will help her later in her career, including how to code and write an academic paper.

Through her internship, Brothers is working to verify the forecasted flooding at Lake Oroville in California in 2017 using NOAA’s National Water Model. She chose the project because she wanted to focus on a recent event that was impacting people.

Brothers said one of her favorite aspects of her internship was the community she gained. She said she is excited to know she has a group of people, including scientists at NCAR and the other 21 interns from around the country, who will support her every step of the way, regardless of setbacks.

“I don’t know if I would feel confident being in this field without having had this opportunity,” Brothers said. “I have a mission, and now it’s possible for me to complete it. I’ll be able to look back and say this is what really helped me get to the place I’m at now. I cannot speak highly enough of SOARS.”

This research was funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation through the SOARS program.