Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The End of My Undergraduate Career

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for following along with my on my journey through my Senior year at Bridgewater State University!

I have reached the end of my internship and while I am sad to go I am excited to start my career on Monday for a large utility company!

This internship has been one of the best experiences of my life, I have learned a lot of information about the electric utility field and I have grown as a person, as I have had to work on real-life projects, conduct research and apply my findings to real life scenarios and present at board meetings. All of this and more has prepped me for the career that I will be starting come Monday.

I want to thank everyone who has followed me on this journey, the wonderful people at NAED and my professor and GIS advisor, Dr. Darcy Boellstorff at BSU. Without all of you I wouldn't be where I am today! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

If you're reading this and are an undergraduate considering taking an internship, do it! You won't regret it! I really underestimated just how important an internship is to your work and helping you to move forward in your life and career, I will be forever grateful for this opportunity that I have had working with NAED!

Here is the research poster that I presented at the BSU Research & Arts Symposium on Monday:

Thank you again for reading!
Take Care & God Bless,
Eva Cante
BSU Geography Dept '17

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Prepping for BSU's Symposium

Previous Research I've Presented at the BSU Symposium, 2013
Hello Everybody!

Well the semester is winding down which means Bridgewater State University's Research and Arts Symposium is just days away! This year's symposium will take place on Monday, April 24th and I will be presenting a research poster for the Collector application project that I have been working on all semester. I am excited to show the campus community what I have been able to accomplish with Collector!

In other news, the inspectors are continuing their inspections of the pad mount transformers using Collector and I have been updating the Map Book for the line crew. My work is winding down as I finish my internship next week. I have had a wonderful experience and without it I don't think I would be able to be heading where I'm going after my internship ends. I am excited for the opportunity that awaits me!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

AAG & Presentation

Hello Everyone!

So as you may have read from my last blog post, last week I had the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in Boston! Unfortunately, I was sick last week so I was only able to attend on the Friday but I'm very glad that I was able to attend one day out of the five day conference!

Brittney and I at the conference
It was quite the experience! The conference was spread out between the Hynes Convention Center, the Copley Marriott hotel and the Sheraton hotel so there was a lot going on! I went with my friend Brittney and her dad and we were able to attend 2 presentations. The first talk that we went to was given by climate scientist, James Hansen. It was really interesting to hear him talk about how the future generation can battle climate change and help to make changes to reduce our carbon footprint and global warming. I had been really interested in hearing him speak because I had written about him in a paper for my Climatology course at Bridgewater a couple years back. He was awarded the "Honorary Geographer" title by the AAG.

We also attended a talk on the extinction of animals. It was a panel presentation so there were two professors speaking and one graduate student. One professor was from France and he spoke about the extinction of animals and zoos, the other professor was from SUNY and she spoke about the extinction of Corals. The graduate student spoke about a research project that she was in the middle of completing about fish in the Rocky Mountains and how some species of trout are losing their "pure genetics" because they are breeding with different fish species. She talked about how they are using some type of piscicide to kill off the invasive fish species. I personally did not agree with this as they are poisoning the fish and potentially contaminating the water with chemicals that could be harmful to humans or other species of animals.

Overall, I was definitely glad that I was able to attend the conference. Definitely bummed that I wasn't feeling well enough to attend more of the conference. Hopefully it will be in Boston again and I'll be able to go or maybe I'll be able to travel to the conference elsewhere another time.

In other I was invited to speak to the GIS II class at BSU on how far I've come from learning GIS in the classroom to applying it in the real world at my internship. It was an inspirational and motivational talk of sorts to get the students to consider applying for internships in a field that they want to pursue a career. I will be forever grateful for my time here at the North Attleboro Electric Department and I will miss my coworkers when I leave April 28th to start my new adventure elsewhere.

I hope that everyone has a happy & healthy week!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Collector Training!

Hello Everyone!
Me training one of the inspectors
I know that I said I would write about the AAG Conference this week but I will hold off until next week to write about that as I have not attended yet this week...I will be attending on Friday and Saturday!

What I would like to write about this week is that I have trained the 3 person crew who will be conducting the pad mount transformer inspections!

Last Thursday, my manager Heather and I sat with the 3 person crew and their foreman and manager to explain to them what the Collector application is, why we're using it and how to use it. I passed out my 60+ page reference guide for the crew to keep on them so that they can refer to it whenever they have questions or run into an issue before coming to Heather or I. We went on a little field trip (the weather was beautiful last Thursday so it was the perfect day for training) to the transformer outside of the Electric Department offices and to the transformers across the street at the Substation. The crew picked up the workflow for the inspection very easily and were comfortable with the application after doing one inspection each!

Operations Dashboard workflow
Since their training, the crew has been assigned the task of completing as many inspections as they can. So far, they have completed 6 inspections (not including the two from training). I have set up a view in Operations Dashboard so that Heather and I can keep track of the inspections as they happen. We are going to be releasing the Operations Dashboard view shortly to the other managers in the office as well as to the line crew Foreman.

Luckily, there has only been a couple of minor glitches associated with the application since the inspectors have started using it. One glitch being that while I was making edits to the map online while creating the Operations Dashboard view, the crew was unable to access the map. Once they came into the office and I refreshed their devices everything was good to go. Another glitch that they have run into is that the transformer icon doesn't change its color from red to green unless the "Inspected" attribute is changed from "No" to "Yes" however this is not under the inspection report. The change must be done outside of the inspection report on the Transformer layer itself where the photos of the transformer can also be taken. I'm sure after a few more inspections they will fully get used to using the application.

My abstract for the BSU Undergraduate Research Symposium has been submitted and I will be presenting this Collector research project at the Symposium on the 24th! Now that I have mostly completed the project I can start putting together my research poster!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and I'll let you know how the AAG went in next week's blog post!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Life Updates

Hi All!

This week has been extremely stressful so I honestly have not been in the office much. My mom fell down the stairs at her work last Wednesday morning and broke both of her ankles so I had been at her home taking care of her until she was admitted to the hospital in Boston last Friday. She has had surgery to repair her left ankle and is doing well considering what happened but she will not be able to bear any weight on her left ankle for 3 months. This has been and certainly will continue to be a learning curve but whatever God brings you to, he brings you through! She has a long road to recovery ahead of her but we're hoping and praying for the best, she will be entering a short-term rehabilitation facility for a week or so before moving back home with my dad and my brother.

In GIS news: I am still working on the Transformer Pad Mount Inspection project, I will be going out with the three person crew and my manager tomorrow to train them on how to use the application and to start collecting data. I'm so glad that we are moving forward with this! I will also be submitting my abstract for the conferences very soon as they are due on Monday, April 3rd...I just need to get the go ahead to move forward with submission.

I am also researching and creating documentation for the new GPS receiver that NAED will be receiving shortly.

There is a lot more going on...including my search for a full-time permanent job position but that is all I will say at the moment! I just wish for luck in my future endeavors whatever they may be! Next week I will be attending the AAG conference at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston with my friend Brittney from BSU who is actually giving a poster presentation at the conference. My blog post next week will focus on the conference! Until then, take care!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Forms Galore

Hello All!

I am back from my honeymoon! We just spent a long weekend down the Cape in Chatham. It was fun! Very quiet since most of the shops down there were closed for the season but we still had a good time! The food at our bed & breakfast was delicious...I highly recommend the Chatham Wine Bar & Restaurant at the Chatham Inn at 359 Main. That is where we stayed and ate! There is also a fun candy shop just down the street, the Candy Manor that makes delicious chocolate covered cranberries!! I could eat them for days (:

Anyways, before I ventured off on my honeymoon I was learning the ProntoForm system that NAED uses for various forms. Once I figured out my way around the site I created test forms that will hopefully get approved to be created for real use.

I'm still working on the Transformer Pad Inspections project, will hopefully be training the linecrew either this week or next week, we're just tying up some loose ends with the project such as getting the Collector application downloaded on the line crew IPads. I will update on more next week.

Enjoy the week!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wedding, Abstract Writing & More!

Hello Everyone!!

Welcome back from Spring Break!! Today marks 11 days since I married the love of my life! The day was beautiful but freezing cold!! The wind chill made the temperatures feel like they were below zero!! But all went well, everyone had a great time! I've heard so many compliments on the food and the cake, which is great because I didn't get to eat anything except the stuffing!! Now I've just got to go on my honeymoon this weekend and finish my college career on a high note!

I am meeting with the operations manager and the men who will be conducting the transformer pad inspections next week on the 22nd so hopefully we can finish this project completely!! My abstract for both the Bridgewater State University Undergraduate Research Symposium and the NEARC conference are due on the same day, April 3rd. I have been working on my abstract for that which is hard to do since my project isn't finished yet! The critical portions of my research project are done, since the research, development and configuration aspects are done with the project, but the implementation of the application has yet to start so I can't reflect on successes or failures in my abstract. I am assuming that all will go well with the application but you never know if there are any glitches or whatnot! This process has definitely taught me patience. I am one who dedicates my time to one or two tasks and completes them in full before moving on to the next, this process has had me work on numerous tasks while waiting for the inspection process to start with the primary task that I was assigned for this semester. Hopefully this project will be fully completed before I need to present my results at the symposium on April 24th...we shall see!

I have also been spending my time working on a map book that was requested by one of the Engineers here and I have been working with my manager Heather on updating the Fiber Map for another project manager. I still have yet to learn any more about fiber but hopefully will learn that soon too.

For now, please enjoy these pictures from my wedding!

My Wedding Cake! As Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan describes it,
"When a geographer marries"
Myself, my husband Walter, and our good friend Brittney who
is also a graduating senior at BSU majoring in Geography!
Walter and I sharing our first dance to the song
"Rest of My Life" by Bruno Mars