May Celebrations!

Howdy all, and welcome to the end of spring semester!  There were many highlights and causes for celebration this semester, though sadly several of those didn’t get to happen in person due to covid19.  Let’s list a few of them to share the joys (and acknowledge the non-joys) of Spring 2020.

In February, I attended the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego!  It was wonderful to see my Nearshore friends and colleagues all in the same room – definitely got the wheels churning for future projects and collaborations.  If only there were more time!  I was also thrilled to reconnect with several of my EFMH colleagues from Cornell, pictured here.  I had planned an extra weekend mini-vacation with that trip — and I am glad it happened, because little did we know travel would be halted indefinitely with the rapid spread of coronavirus.  Logged many miles exploring southern California’s beaches and consumed a LOT of fish tacos.

In March, we had to put the JETlab to sleep.  We initially stayed open through Spring Break with many social distancing and safety requirements in place.  While we were still running, on March 19, Aubrey finished building her new tank and a fantastic addition to the lab – our mini homogeneous isotropic turbulence tank, presently called the J-20 for the 20 jets that run it.  She was able to collect lots of PIV data, and then on March 24th, 3pm, we locked it up not knowing when we’d be back.  Sweet dreams, turbulence!

Zoom meetings commenced, and thankfully we all stayed healthy and relatively happy.  Some new hobbies emerged, post-seminar zoom happy hours were held, and we all made the most of it.  (And we are still doing this, as I write!)

In April, we had several bits of awesome JETlab news.  Aubrey was awarded the NSF GRFP, which means she has full funding to move forward with her PhD!  I could not be more proud – she’s incredibly deserving and has a bright path ahead for sure.  Congrats, Aubrey!

I was relieved to have a JFM paper published – finally all of my PhD work is “officially” done, years after graduation.  We can share videos of sand and turbulence and all of it now, no secrets left!  I was also awarded another grant for the lab, so we may continue studying median barriers in flood-prone areas, a project that we hope continues to evolve so we can better serve our coastal communities in Texas .. and elsewhere.

Then May emerged – with three of our JETlabbers officially becoming Masters of Engineering!  Congratulations to Hannah, Greg, and Aubrey for writing fantastic theses of your work over the past two years.  Admittedly we were not able to “finish” some parts due to the lab closure, but they all did excellent work from day 1. I am sad to see our group shrink – Greg will be moving on to complete his PhD with Lina Sela – thankfully still in the same building – but will be switching over from experiments to remote sensing.  Hannah will be working for Exxon (staying in Texas, mostly, woohoo!) and Aubrey will be a PhD student in our group, effective immediately.  Two years with them absolutely flew by.  They’ve taught me a lot and have brought a lot of laughter and great memories to the lab.  Sadly we don’t have a group graduation photo, but here are some of my favorite action shots with them.

And with that, we’ve concluded another semester of research, writing, teaching, seminars, conferences, etc.  We’ve probably made about 8,247 mistakes in the lab thus far, and that number will only continue to rise once it’s safe for us to continue working in there again.  Cheers!

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