Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant
My name is Samantha Ballard. I am currently a PhD student studying Applied Marine Physics, with a focus Meteorology and Oceanography at the University of Miami. I graduated with my Bachelor's of Science from Pennsylvania State University in Spring 2015.
I am currenty located in Miami, Fl, but grew up in Severn, MD.
Outside of my education, my hobbies include fitness, cooking/eating delicious food, reading, traveling, filming for my Youtube Channel, and spending as much time as I can outdoors (most likely at the beach).
My interests are meteorology, oceanography, wind and wave retrieval, coastal dynamics, hurricanes, air-sea interactions, Synthetic Aperature Radar (radar), and marine and atmospheric forecasting.
My PhD research at the University of Miami utilizes remote sensing techniques to better understand the coastal air-sea environment. I am proficient in the computer languages, Matlab, Python, IDL and Fortran.
My PhD project at the University of Miami is an Office of Naval Research (ONR) funded experiment called Coastal Land Air Sea Interaction (CLASI). CLASI was a field experiment conducted in June, 2016 in Monterey Bay, California. Insitu data was collected from rawinsondes, polarimetric cameras, ships, coastal towers, as well as, spaceborne Synthetic Aperature Radar (SAR) images, in order to better understand the air-sea interaction dynamics near the coast in Monterey Bay, California. My primary role in the experiment is to utilize the SAR images for wind and wave retrievals to explore surface roughness patterns (spatially and temporally) in the coastal zone. My goal is to improve SAR wind retrieval algorithms, which are developed for the open ocean, in coastal areas, where the relationship between surface roughness, wind and waves is more complex and less understood. In my intensive study of Monterey Bay, CA, I also analyze other data from the experiment, such as buoy wind and wave measurements, coastal tower wind measurements, tidal station data, atmospheric soundings, etc.