Jackson Ludtke Recognized as a 2023 Triton Student Employee of the Year For His Role in the 2023 AR Recon Season

June 06, 2023

Jackson Ludtke came to CW3E in the fall of 2021 as a UCSD undergraduate student interested in the center’s Atmospheric River (AR) Reconnaissance program. Flight tracks for these missions are developed in Google Earth and require close coordination between CW3E staff and collaborators around the world. Jackson’s position requires him to start as early as 6 am, update a variety of background fields in Google Earth, create draft flight tracks, present them during weather briefings, revise them on-the-fly as needed with feedback from senior scientists and aircraft personnel, and then produce and provide coordinate and spacing information on a tight and inflexible timeline. He quickly learned how to use the Google Earth flight planning tool during the water year 2022 season and enjoyed the work so much that he decided to join us again for the water year 2023 season. During his first season, he provided key support but did not use the tool in real-time on his own. However, he fully embraced the opportunity this season and excelled in the high-pressure work. He was always able to complete his tasks on deadline which required close collaboration with the team and excellent communication skills. Jackson was able to exceed our expectations in communication and teamwork as well as in the precision of his work. He has great initiative, shares well thought out ideas, and makes sure everyone is included. He routinely asks questions to make sure his tasks are completed correctly and by the middle of the season did not need much supervision.
After winning the award he was presented with a plaque and various gift certificates at the 2023 CW3E Annual Meeting. The AR Recon team is very thankful for his contribution and endorsed him for 2023 Triton Student Employee of the Year. Congratulations Jackson, and job well done! Hope to see you during the upcoming water year 2024 season.