Covid-19 is turning out to be a massive disruptor. The world is on lockdown. Our schools and offices are closed, and we're required to stay home. For those of us fortunate to be healthy and employed, our homes are now office-homeschool-gym-cafeteria-daycare facilities, and our nerves are frayed with the compound stress of maintaining dual-careers and homeschooling young children. The immediate impact on higher ed has been an unprecedented transition to online teaching, while longer term effects remain unknown. For faculty engaged in research, the covid disruption is crippling because laboratory facilities are largely closed and student research assistants can no longer come to campus.
Here in the Computational Geofluids Lab, we enjoy terrific IT support from the James "Jim" Langridge, who maintains much of the computer infrastructure for the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech. Before campus closed, Jim set up several of our computers with Remote Desktop access and provided training to my lab group to access the computers from any internet connection. Combine this remote lab access with our normal ssh access to the Advanced Research Computing facility at Virginia Tech, and we have the tools required to stay productive. Although it took some time work out the kinks with Remote Desktop, Zoom, vpn, Jupyter notebooks, etc, I am very happy to report that the Computational Geofluids Lab is up and running. We look forward to continuing our productive work from all corners of Virginia and beyond. And we have a couple new projects starting this summer, so please check back for exciting new updates.
Some images of our new normal:
Weekly Zoom meetings
Undergraduate researcher, Jordan Pritchard, continues her work modeling fluid system architecture in the Triassic Danville Basin:
Undergraduate researcher, Cameron Chambers, is working on a digital conceptual model of the Potomac Aquifer system and underlying crystalline basement.
And Wu Hao is using Jupyter notebooks to continue her research developing a machine learning emulator for problems in geologic CO2 sequestration.
If you've made it this far, then one final question: Where's MS student, Graydon Konzen?!?
Answer: Preparing his MS thesis for defense on May 14, 2020!!!