My name is Connor Waldoch and I'm a postmasters researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. I recently graduated with dual MPA/MSES degrees from Indiana University Bloomington with a concentration in energy. At IU, that's a Master of Public Affairs and Master of Science in Environmental Science in SPEA, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Energy's an extremely broad term, but what this roughly translates to is research and classwork in energy policy, resources, and economics, built on a base of environmental chemistry, applied math, microeconomics, statistics, and law. It's a broad program, but was a logical progression for me. My undergraduate degree was in earth systems, environment, and society at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
I've worked for a web-based sustainability start-up, a national lab, doing research for professors, performing survey evaluation and response coding, and in various IT positions for years. Prior to my current position, I worked for the Indiana Geological Survey on a geothermal heat pump project, modeling systems in matlab to more accurately consider soil thermal conductivity and local temperature.
I'm recently graduate (December 2013), and thought it would be a good idea to carry through on my current ideas and post thoughts as I sort them out. I love looking through datasets, cleaning them up, then crunching through them in matlab to get some interesting (to me at least) results. Matlab is my computational program of choice, although I have some familiarity with Stata and SAS for statistical analysis as well. I have a wide range of shallow programming knowledge from Java, to PHP, to MySQL, to Python. One of my aspirations currently is to develop a working knowledge of Fortran 95/03 so I can better understand the guts of the large-scale environmental models.
On a more personal level, one of the defining facets of my life is my family. I'm the oldest of 6 kids, and while I was born into an apartment right next to Wrigley Field in Chicago, my family packed up and moved to the suburbs before I was old enough to remember. The Waldoch clan settled in Geneva, IL, a sheltered, but very nice place to grow up. I grew up playing soccer, and still get some futsal in when I can, although I'm a bit older and quite a bit slower than I was when I played competitively. I also love rugby and hockey, although I don't have the time to commit to rugby, and hockey is not terribly popular in southern Indiana.
I've been going up to Manitowish Waters, WI since I was born, and it remains one of my favorite places for relaxation and intense games of scrabble on my grandma's pontoon boat. While the Northwoods maintains a special place in my heart, I love traveling across the globe. I studied abroad in South Africa, and also traveled through Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe in a thousands of miles road trip over the course of a month or so. That road trip will likely remain one of the defining experiences of my life, considering the general lack of planning, amazing experiences, and the series of obstacles myself and my travel partner overcame along the way. I also spent a week in Nicaragua in December 2012, and have visited most regions of the USA, with the major exception of the Northwest.
Beyond travel and sports I love games . They can be video/board/card/spoken, but I grew up competing with my siblings on a near-constant basis, and it certainly defines who I am now. Technology is also a passion. I love putting together a new computer every few years, and tinkering with the remains of older PCs, whether I'm turning them into servers for minecraft or streaming-boxes for my living room.
Here are a handful of other places I exist on the internet: