In the lead up to class last week, we were putting together our findings so far. Monday morning came and if anyone happened to walk past the benches on the second floor of the Adams Building at 8 am, they would have found 5 students clustered together. As usual, the conversation centered on graphs, our ever-adjusting definition of seasons, the most recent Matlab vexation, pesky bits of missing data (NaNs), and more on graphs.

Why such an early morning you may wonder? Well, it was time for our progress report.

We split up the presentation into our five respective sections. It was really exciting to present what we were seeing so far with the data. Most interesting to me was the plot showing a strong inverse relationship between winter temperature and length of the ice season. In our original hypothesis, we predicted there would be warmer overall temperatures and therefore less ice cover. This confirmation was an encouraging sign for our project.

However, it was also a wake-up call for the work we still need to do. Going in we recognized that we needed to link all of our variables together further and possibly redefine what we considered a season. But the professors had some helpful remarks. One comment that really stuck with me was that most of our graphs were focused on annual data and trends. We are researching seasonality but may have gotten a little distracted by the annual trends we were seeing related to climate change and let some of the seasonal focus fall by the wayside.

After the presentation, we could all take a breath. Now it was time to head back to our study nooks and take some of these comments into account. I used this week to look back into some background literature, hoping to find some helpful advice from past researchers.

I thought back to our presentation on Monday. As we had all stood up there, I realized that in just one month we would be back at the front of the room, and this time presenting our final report. What will we discover before then?