Laura Palamara Nazzaro
Polar Scientist in the Spotlight
Learn about all sorts of careers that polar scientists have as we explore their different research areas through the featured Polar Scientist of the Month.
Laura Palamara NazzaroResearch Programmer, Rutgers University, Center for Ocean Observing Leadership
What do you do?
I write code to do data analysis connecting features of the physical environment to features of the biological environment, such as fisheries.
What is the best thing about your job?
I enjoy the puzzle of trying to fit data from multiple different sources together. It can sometimes be very frustrating trying to figure out how, but that just makes it even more satisfying once it starts to work out.
What is the most important tool you use for research?
My computer! I work with data from many different sources, including satellites, gliders, HF radar, and fisheries trawl surveys. It can sometimes be a lot of data to manage, but I can use the computer to help put it together and make sense of it all.
Why is what you do important?
I have studied the connection between surface currents and penguin feeding grounds in Antarctica, and between water temperature and various fish species in the Mid-Atlantic. Understanding these types of relationships can help give us an idea of how certain animals might be affected by shifts in the physical environment caused by climate change.