Karitsa Williams ::Biography
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I have always been interested in subjects that relate to science and technology. As a senior in high school, I was accepted into the Office of Naval Research Scholarship program at Elizabeth City State University that is affiliated with NASA and NOAA. This research scholarship program gave me the opportunity to become a student researcher in the area of computer science. Through my research experiences at Elizabeth City State University, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to an application of computer science known as remote sensing. The combination of science and technology to be applicable to real life situations, as GIS and remote sensing does, truly sparked my interest which has led me to seek research opportunities in these areas and to pursue a graduate degree in geography.

As an undergraduate research student, I had the opportunity to learn several technical software packages including HTML, UNIX, Mathematica, Mat Lab, Arc GIS, Arc View, LINUX and TerraScan. Additionally I have been trained in being comfortable with both PC and Macintosh operating system environments. All of these skills were very useful as I pursued research projects. During the fall and spring terms of my undergraduate matriculation I worked on several research teams. In the 2002-2003 terms, I worked with a Remote Sensing team that investigated "Processing HRPT and SeaWifs Data from Polar-orbiting Satellites (NOAA) and Orbview-2 Satellites, " which dealt with processing hrpt data from NOAA satellites and decrypted and processed SeaWifs data from the OrbView-2 satellites. In the 2003-2004 terms my research entailed "Remote Sensing of Turbidity and Water Clarity in the Atlantic Ocean with the use of SeaWifs Data ", which involved generating secchi disk depth estimates, water clarity for the analysis of turbidity events and processing and analyzing SeaWifs datasets. The following year my research involved "Generating a Database of Seismic Events and a Probability of Correlating Precipitation Using Acoustic Debris Flow Data Gathered at Mt. St. Helens".

My research experience has not only been developed during the academic year, but also nurtured through summer research experiences. In the summer of 2003 I was given the chance to complete a seven-week summer internship at Norfolk State University with the Research Experience in Earth System Science (REESS) program. I was able to be on the Digital Earth research team where we presented our research entitled “Disaster Agency Readiness: Predicting and Preparing for El Nino, La Nina and Southern Oscillation (ENSO)". During the summer of 2004 I conducted an internship with the Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean and Marine Science (URE OMSS) summer program at Elizabeth City State University where I investigated "The Relationship Between Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Height on Strandings of Harbor Porpoise". Satellite imagery and Arc GIS was used on figuring out why there were stranding of Harbor Porpoise along the NC coast. Recently, I conducted an internship with the URE OMSS and NOAA EPP program in Beaufort, NC on a project entitled "Mapping the Sea Grass Resources of North Carolina's Core and Bogue Sound". This research involved updating our knowledge of the distribution and extent of sea grass in the Core and Bouge Sound areas of North Carolina.

From the combined experiences that I have had as an undergraduate, I am certain that the field of geography is one that will bring me both professional and personal satisfaction. The skills that I have acquired coupled with the research experience I am sure will prepare me to become an effective research scientist in the field of geography.