I don’t remember when I first learned about Tomnod, but several factors combined to send me searching for the site. In 2010, I fell ill with an auto-immune illness that impacted by mobility and stamina. Like Pastor Ruth, I still want to contribute to the world, however, and value this opportunity. Even if my participation does nothing more than teach Tomnod how searchers can go wrong, I’m still contributing, I figure! The ability to contribute from my home computer, no matter how I feel on a particular day; help other people and the Earth they live on; and keep my physics and math-loving brain engaged at the same time made this a perfect project for me.
My least favorite search was the first extensive search in which I participated: the search for MH 370. Because of my unfamiliarity with the process, I found those endless whitecaps difficult to differentiate from bits of flotsam. I felt the pressure to be correct in my markings and also to search quickly. If I marked something about which I was uncertain, was I slowing the search? If I didn’t mark it, was I missing the single clue that could help save someone? Conversely, I love the campaigns that others seem to dislike, those such as the Citizen Science: Ground Truth’s rectangles! I like thinking that my input is helping to set up algorithms that might shorten other campaigns, although I don’t think computers are going to supplant the human eye and judgment.
What I hadn’t expected was the wonder and appreciation of the globe and the people who live on it that I was blessed to experience. I can no longer travel except in this manner. I will always choose first to participate in campaigns that help people who are suffering, no matter whether a particular campaign might be difficult or tedious.
I have persistence and a driving desire to contribute. Other than that, I don’t think my options-trading, writing of items for high-school mathematics test prep programs and thriller novel-writing background give me any expertise at all. I think it’s a cosmic joke that I love this so much when I can’t even find my way around my small town without getting lost! I hope to become more experienced at searching.
Favorite food? Since I was a young girl, chocolate has always been my obsession. The darker, the better, and it’s always dark chocolate now, since I’ve become vegan. Pasta al pomodoro rates a close second, however.