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Highlights Archive
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Highlights Archive


OUTREACH:Office of Education Participates in Fall Conferences

Published December 2013

The fall conferences are upon us and among the conferences NOAA Education supports and participates in are the three National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) regional meetings around the country. Informal and formal educators are a primary audience/constituency of NOAA education and NSTA is the largest organization in the world, with a membership of 55,000 committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. The mission and goals of NSTA support the mission and goals of NOAA Education.

Einstein Fellow Britta Culbertson; Einstein Fellow emeritus Lindsay Knippenberg; meteorologist Jim Merrell, Morehead City WFO; Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tony Sturey, Greer WFO; Meteorologist in Charge Larry Gabric, Greer WFO.

Einstein Fellow Britta Culbertson and NOAA Teacher at Sea alumnus Marla Crouch.

Carolina Kid News reporter, Richard Parker, interviews National Weather Service meteorologist Neil Dixon from the Greenville-Spartanburg, SC Weather Forecast Office.

The first of these regional conferences was in Portland, OR (October 24-26). NOAA Education Einstein Fellow Britta Culbertson gave presentations on "Engage Your Students with NOAA's Coral Reef and Ocean Acidification Resources" and "Data: It's Not a Four-Letter Word". Following up in the next month was the conference in Charlotte, NC (November 7-9) where there were 7 presentations by several NOAA staff and Einstein Fellows.ranging from Estuaries, Engineering, Coral Reefs, Polar Science as well as 'NOAA in Your Backyard'. The last of the regional conferences takes place in Denver, CO (December 12-14). If you are attending this conference, please stop by the NOAA exhibit booth and say hello- speak with staff and see what resources we are distributing to the attendees.

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LEADERSHIP:Dr. Kathryn Sullivan Identifies Top Priorities

Published November 2013

In an August 30, 2013 interview in the Washington Post, NOAA's Acting Under Secretary Dr. Kathryn Sullivan identified workforce issues among her top goals for the agency. Specifically, she stated:

I also want to develop our young, emerging leaders, and I'd love to find a way to include more inter-organizational rotational assignments than we currently do. The third is to keep improving the diversity of our workforce. In some fields, we're pretty good on gender diversity, but almost across the board, we're still not seeing the level of success that I would like in bringing underrepresented minorities into our workforce.

Kathy Sullivan in front of Science On a Sphere
Kath Sullivan poses in front of the Science On a Sphere installation at NOAA headquarters

The Office of Education and the Education Council will continue to focus on strengthening the pipeline to attract and retain a highly qualified future workforce that includes underrepresented minorities.

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GRANTEE:The 2013 Climate Change Education Principal Investigators Meeting

Published November 2013

Despite the absence of federal agency representatives, the third annual Climate Change Education Principal Investigators (CCE PI) Meeting went on as planned, with some changes to the agenda and a lot of help from attendees who stepped in at the last minute to cover federal agency colleagues' roles in the meeting. The annual CCE PI meeting is a working meeting of principal investigators and other key personnel of climate change education projects currently or recently funded by NASA, NOAA and NSF.

Lisa Discussing the role of Env. Policy
2013 Climate Change Education Principal Investigators Meeting

The purpose of this jointly held meeting is to facilitate synergy and collaboration among project partners as well as with other external networks to expand their projects' impacts and leverage results. This year's meeting provided grant recipients with information on current climate change science findings and policies, how communities are responding to those findings, and how projects can be scaled up and sustained. On the first day, attendees heard from Dr. Don Wuebbles of the University of Illinois on the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC 5th Assessment Report, Dr. Don Boesch of the University of Maryland on the President Obama's Climate Action Plan, and Dr. Robert Summers, Secretary of the Environment and Chair of the Maryland Climate Change Commission, on state-level planning for climate change. On day two, attendees heard from Reverend Sally Bingham, President of the Regeneration Project, Interfaith Power and Light, on engaging faith communities and individuals in collective action, from education on climate change to energy saving activities and policy advocacy.

Attendees also heard from Ms. Leah Qusba, Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships & Campaigns, Alliance for Climate Education, on educating America's high school students about climate change science and inspiring them to take action. A third speaker, Ms. Michele Madia, Director of Sustainability Finance and Policy of Second Nature, was unable to attend the meeting due to illness; nevertheless, Mr. Mark McCaffrey, Programs and Policy Director of National Center for Science Education, stepped in and presented on behalf of the organization. Mr. McCaffrey spoke about Second Nature's work with thousands of faculty and administrators at more than 500 colleges and universities committed to making sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education.

On the final day, Mr. Jim Elder, Director of the Campaign for Environmental Literacy and Mr. William Heaton, Chief of Staff and Strategic Advisor to the President at the Council on Foundations, spoke to the attendees about the current trends and future opportunities for climate change education funding. Additionally, the scientists, educators and evaluators representing approximately 100 climate change education projects acknowledged advances made by the community and shared the latest information about their projects' impacts and lessons learned.

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STUDENT:2013 Student Science & Education Symposium Winners

Published August 2013

On July 30-August 1, NOAA Office of Education held our annual Student Science and Education Symposium. These exciting 3 days of sessions and information sharing are the culmination of internships at NOAA locations around the United States for 133 Ernest F. Hollings and Educational Partnership Program (EPP)/Undergraduate Scholarship Program (USP) student scholarship recipients.

These highly talented undergraduates selected scientific projects designed by NOAA scientists, and spent 9 weeks this summer contributing to research and analysis associated with these projects. During their 10th week, all of them participate in this opportunity to share a summary of their results with the NOAA community.

2013 Student Science & Education Symposium Winners.
2013 Student Science & Education Symposium Winners
Left to Right: Amanda Tine, McKenna Stanford, Elizabeth Smith, Derrick Jones, Gretchen Stokes, Mali'o Kodis, Michelle Frazer, Jacquelyn Ringhausen, David Kennedy (NOAA Deputy Under Secretary for Operations), Paige Pruisner, Alexander Jensen, Grace Young, Ariana Meltvedt Snow, Conor McNicholas, Marlene Kaplan (Dep. Director of Education)
NOAA scientists and policy staff judge each oral and poster presentation. Scholar presentations were grouped in concurrent sessions according to NOAA's long term goals and enterprise objectives: healthy oceans; resilient coastal communities and economies; a weather-ready nation; climate adaptation and mitigation, and science and technology enterprise.

The event is conducted in the same manner as numerous professional conferences, providing many of these students their first opportunity to experience an oral or poster presentation before an audience. To see the topic of each student's research, please click here. The judging process has clearly-defined criteria, with numeric scores awarded. Winning presentations for each category are based on the highest point score, and first place winners receive a cash award. These scores, along with judges' comments and suggestions are subsequently provided to each student, to assist them in improving their presentation skills. Furthermore, each year, students are surveyed about their experiences during the summer internship and at the Symposium, to ensure that each subsequent gathering provides the best possible experience for these ambitious student scholars!

David Kennedy, NOAA Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. He provided a summary of NOAA accomplishments during the 9 weeks of the students' internships, helping them envision how their dynamic summers were contributing to NOAA's achievements. He congratulated all the student scholars for a job well done, gave kudos to Office of Education staff for a successful scholarship program, and posed for a photo with each student award winner.


Poster Presentations

Weather-Ready Nation
1st Place - Elizabeth Smith, Californis University of Pennsylvania, California, PA

Healthy Oceans
Honorable Mention - Gretchen Stokes, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Science & Technology Enterprise
Honorable Mention - Derrick Jones, Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, MS

Oral Presentations

Weather-Ready Nation
1st Place – Jacquelyn Ringhausen, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
Honorable Mention – McKenna Stanford, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
1st Place – Mali'o Kodis, Brown University, Providence, RI
1st Place - Conor McNicholas, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus, Norman, OK
Honorable Mention – Michelle Frazer, Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH

Resilient Coastal Communities
1st Place – Amanda Tine, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Buzzards Bay, MA
Honorable Mention – Ariana Meltvedt Snow, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Healthy Oceans
1st Place - Paige Pruisner, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO
Honorable Mention – Alexander Jensen, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Honorable Mention – Grace Young, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

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OUTREACH:NOAA's Office of Education Meets Upward Bound Students

Published August 2013

During the summer of 2013, NOAA Education engaged with the Upward Bound program. Upward Bound is federally funded by the US Department of Education and provides students from low-income and/or "potential first-generation college students" with better skills and opportunities to attend college.

Specifically the Upward Bound program administered by The College Board in cooperation with The Catholic University of America has been working with students in the target schools of Anacostia, Ballou, and H.D. Woodson High Schools in Washington, DC. On July 18th a NOAA career panel convened at Catholic University to discuss a wide variety of science careers available to the junior and senior level high school students.

Lisa Discussing the role of Env. Policy
Lisa Nakamura discussing the role of Env. Policy to Upward Bound students
Panelists included: Dr. Maria Murray (Office of Education), Dr. DaNa Carlis (National Weather Service), Martin Yapur (NOAA Satellite and Information Service), Tyra Brown (National Weather Service), and LCDR Sarah Mrozek (National Ocean Service).

Also on July 18th a group of rising sophomores from the Upward Bound program went on a field trip over to the eastern Shore of Maryland to the NOAA laboratory in Oxford, MD hosted by Bart Merrick from the NOAA Chesapeake Bay office. Students engaged with a range of NOAA professionals on how NOAA related disciplines can lead to a diverse array of career tracks including studying oyster diseases, understanding ecosystems of commercially important fisheries, communicating complex data through computer visualizations, and translating science to policymakers. Students also had an opportunity to seine for fish to explore how different habitats affected the community of species.

Students on field trip
Upward Bound students on a field trip on the eastern Shore of Maryland at the NOAA laboratory in Oxford, MD

Later during the summer, several NOAA employees in the National Weather Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service mentored a number of students from the Upward Bound program. Students shadowed these NOAA employees for a week to learn about their jobs, to gain exposure to NOAA science, and to receive advice on pathways to different careers.

The plans are to continue working with the Upward Bound program to foster the next generation of NOAA scientists.

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STUDENT:Derek Somo

Published July 2013

The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to highlight Ernest F. Hollings scholarship program class of 2010-2012 alumnus Derek Somo! Derek completed his undergraduate studies at Arizona State University, where he graduated in May of 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences, having concentrated in ecology and evolution.

During the course of his summer 2011 research internship within NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Derek worked to process muscle samples for a study of the ontogeny of dive capacity in toothed whales. He presented his work at the 2011 NOAA Hollings Science and Education Symposium, in an oral presentation on the influence of life history and ecology on comparative dive capacity between two species of toothed whales.

Derek Somo, monitoring a seal, following a sampling 
Derek Somo, monitoring a seal, following a sampling procedure.
During the course of his summer 2011 research internship within NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Derek worked to process muscle samples for a study of the ontogeny of dive capacity in toothed whales. He presented his work at the 2011 NOAA Hollings Science and Education Symposium, in an oral presentation on the influence of life history and ecology on comparative dive capacity between two species of toothed whales.

In addition to his Hollings scholarship and internship work, Derek earned a National Hispanic Merit Finalist Scholarship from 2008 through his graduation in 2012, and conducted Honors Thesis research at Sabo Lab, the riverine ecology and freshwater sustainability lab at Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability.

Derek has continued his studies in NOAA mission-related sciences, and is expecting to complete his Master of Science degree in biology in May 2014. His current research focuses on comparative physiology and ecology of marine mammals.

Learn more about NOAA Office of Education opportunities, NOAA Fisheries, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFCS), the Conservation Biology Division, and read publications by NWFCS researchers.

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GRANTEE:Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC), Acadia B-WET Project

Published July 2013

The Acadia B-WET project, implemented by the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC) Institute, engages teachers and students in the study of living marine and watershed resources; contributes to data collection for scientists in support of studies on human impacts on watershed ecosystems; and serves NOAA's trifold mission of Science, Service and Stewardship. Acadia B-WET is part of the larger Acadia Learning program led by the SERC Institute at Acadia National Park, in collaboration with Maine Sea Grant and the University of Maine George J. Mitchell Center. Acadia B-WET provides professional development for teachers and works with students to conduct citizen science research in Gulf of Maine coastal watersheds. Through fieldwork and data collection, students in grades 6-12 gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of coastal watershed ecosystems while engaging in authentic scientific inquiry.

Supported by a New England B-WET grant, Acadia Learning implements research projects that successfully pair student inquiries with scientists' data needs. Teachers and students learn sampling protocols from partner scientists and sample watersheds at field sites in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The students gain first-hand experiences with their local watersheds and then use these field studies to develop research questions that are answered through analysis of data collected across the network of field sites.

Photo Credit: Hannah Webber, SERC Institute
Photo Credit: Hannah Webber, SERC Institute
In addition to acquiring field sampling skills, students learn about watershed systems and macro-invertebrates and gain habits of scientific practice associated with collecting, organizing, and analyzing high quality data. Working side-by-side with scientists, students collect data to pursue their own inquiries while also providing samples and data that are useful to the scientist. For example, in one study, scientists and student partners collected dragonflies to support a student investigation of mercury concentrations in different local watersheds. The same data supported the scientist's research on two questions; whether dragonflies could be used as reliable proxies for overall mercury concentrations, and identification of watershed factors related to differences in mercury concentrations. Because Acadia Learning's citizen science programs require students to develop and research their own scientific questions rather than just collect samples for the scientists, academic curriculum content knowledge is easily integrated into the projects.

Bill Zoellick, Acadia B-WET project lead, along with project partners, articulated some of the challenges and successful elements of their program in a recent article; Participatory science and education: bringing both views into focus, in the Ecological Society of America's Journal, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. In addition to relating their success in helping scientists and educators collaborate to design and implement a program that respects the two groups' different desired outputs and outcomes, the authors present an elegant logic model summarizing the process.

The B-WET best practices of the meaningful watershed educational experience (MWEE) are fully implemented in Acadia B-WET; the students' watershed experiences are investigative and project oriented, integrated into instructional programs, sustained, include preparation, action and reflection phases, and investigate the watersheds as interconnected systems. For more information about B-WET and MWEEs, see our website.

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LEADERSHIP:Director of Education: Briefing on Education Issues within President's FY14 Budget

Published June 2013

On May 13, 2013, the Office of Education hosted a web-based briefing and Q&A session on the Administration's proposal to reorganize and consolidate Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education activities within the federal government. Grantees, partners, and other external constituents of NOAA education activities expressed great interest and over 150 people attended this briefing. The impact of the proposed action was discussed and options for ensuring that NOAA's assets remain available to our partners were explored.

Federal STEM Education 5-Year Strategic Plan from the National Science and Technology Council (pdf)

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OUTREACH:NOAA Awards Two Students: 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Published June 2013

NOAA was pleased to present the Taking the Pulse of the Planet special award to two worthy students at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). These two young ladies conducted outstanding and innovative research projects addressing real-world challenges related to NOAA's mission.

Olivia Kay Joslin of Hilton Head Island High School in Hilton Head Island, SC received first prize for her project: The Replacement of Fishmeal with Formulated Sustainable Meals and its Effect on the Growth of Litopenaeus vannamei. Her research demonstrated equivalent growth among shrimp raised on a sustainable, mainly vegetarian food blend and those on the traditional fish-based food meal. Olivia will have the opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship at a NOAA research laboratory. Additionally, she will receive: 1) a $500 monetary award, 2) a certificate signed by Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting NOAA Administrator and Louisa Koch, Director of NOAA Education, 3) an engraved award plaque, and 4) an All Hazards NOAA weather radio.

Meagan Elizabeth Currie of Greely High School in Cumberland, ME achieved second place for her project: Effects of Environmental Stressors on the Filtration Rates of the Blue Mussel Mytilus edulis. She demonstrated decreased filtration rates under nutritional and chemical stress for this economically important mussel that serves as an indicator of harmful algal blooms. Meagan will receive: 1) a $500 monetary award, 2) a certificate signed by Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting NOAA Administrator and Louisa Koch, Director of NOAA Education, and 3) a Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World book.

First place winner Olivia Joslin shares her research project.

Second place winner Meagan Currie tells judges about her research.

We extend our most sincere congratulations to these impressive student scientists. You can learn more about NOAA's support for science fairs at:

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OUTREACH:NOAA's FY14 Budget - Education Highlights

Published May 2013

The Obama Administration recently submitted its FY14 budget request to Congress. The Administration's FY 14 budget request proposes elimination or consolidation of education programs across the Federal agencies in order to improve STEM education overall. The following terminations of programs in NOAA's Education Portfolio have been requested by the Administration

NOAA logo
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
  • A decrease of $3.1M to terminate the NOAA's Competitive Education Grants Program, which supports the Environmental Literacy Grants Program; ocean education partnership grants; and grants that foster the integration of NOAA assets into geography education.
  • A decrease of $5.533M to terminate the Bay Watershed Education and Training (BWET) Regional Program for competitive funding to local and state education offices, government agencies, academic institutions and non-profit organizations.
  • A decrease of $600K to terminate the Teacher at Sea Program.
  • A decrease of $601K to terminate funding for the Nancy Foster Scholarship Program.
  • A decrease of $4M to terminate Sea Grant STEM education funding, including support for the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program and National Marine Fisheries Service-Sea Grant Fellowships.
  • A decrease of $900K to terminate funding for Ocean Exploration and Research education.
  • To see NOAA's overall budget request for FY14, see pp. 73 - 116 of the DOC budget document . Additionally, NOAA's budget details can be seen online at:

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    STUDENT:It's No Mind Trick, Office of Education Hosts Evaluation Internship with a GEDI

    Published April 2013

    The American Evaluation Association's Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program is a unique opportunity to help to build evaluation's future through fostering the professional growth of an intern from a background under-represented in the field. Interns work two days per week, September through June, on meaningful evaluation project work by applying their inquiry skills to real-life situations in the agency. NOAA Office of Education served as a host site this year (FY2013). Host sites provide meaningful evaluation project work and mentoring to GEDI interns.

    Kwamé McIntosh was selected as NOAA's GEDI evaluation intern. Kwame is a graduate student in the School of Social Work at Howard University. His primary interest in evaluation is in its ability to ensure that the mission of organizations are being accomplished by those who work tirelessly to achieve the desired impact.

    Kwame Mcintosh
    Kwamé McIntosh, graduate student in the School of Social Work at Howard University.

    Kwamé's evaluation project is a qualitative analysis of survey data for the Educational Partnership Program (EPP) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (USP) and the Ernest F. Hollings scholarship program. For the project he analyzed exit survey data collected from 2008 to 2012 across over 550 participants and will help to inform program delivery and future evaluations. In addition to the project, Kwame developed program logic models for the USP, Hollings and the Nancy Foster Scholarship program.

    In the future, Kwamé plans to use evaluation to ensure that organizations fashioned to impact the fields of education, public health, and human rights are maximizing their abilities to generate change in this world, especially those serving children, youth, and families.

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    STUDENT:Nelsie A. Ramos

    Published March 2013

    The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to announce the graduation of Dr. Nelsie A. Ramos, and her pending appointment to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), where she serves as a Meteorologist and Surface Analyst Forecaster!

    Nelsie completed her doctoral degree in Atmospheric Sciences and graduated from Howard University, Washington DC, in December 2012. Nelsie was also a student that was supported by the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) that is one of four NOAA Educational Partnership Program's Cooperative Science Centers.

    Dr. Nelsie A. Ramos
    Dr. Nelsie Ramos, assisting the Hurricane Specialists Unit (HSU) at NHC as a Hurricane Support Meteorologist (HSM) during Hurricane Miriam 2012.

    Nelsie is a Class of 2009 alumna of the NOAA EPP Graduate Sciences Program (GSP), through which she studied in the Howard University Program of Atmospheric Sciences (HUPAS), concentrating in Tropical Meteorology.

    Dr. Ramos' research involved modeling and data assimilation using the NOAA AOML/HRD experimental Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model, with the aim to find distinguishing factors to better discriminate between possible developing and non-developing African Easterly Waves into tropical cyclones.

    Her thesis work, entitled "Structure and Evolution of Developing and Non-developing African Easterly Waves during National Aeronautics and Space Administration African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (NAMMA)", was conducted as part of collaboration with the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) Hurricane Research Division (HRD).

    Among Nelsie's significant accomplishments, she has presented her work internationally in Bologna, Italy and Melbourne, Australia, served as the Principal Investigator of the 1st collaborative research with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Environmental Modeling Center, and participated on a mission flight into a hurricane!

    You can learn more about the GSP student experience in NOAA science, from Nelsie's perspective, by clicking the links to see photos of Nelsie's P-3 TDR mission flight into Hurricane Tropical Storm Alex 2010, read the flight log of her mission, view her bio, and get her perspective by reading the Q&A with NHC interview.

    "Through the EPP Graduate Sciences Program I just not landed a dream job, but I had the opportunity to enrich my career as a Meteorologist in many ways. In a 3-year period, I was able to lead significant scientific and applied research, experienced the fieldwork in a hurricane mission, and learned the operational side of the hurricane science. Moreover, I had the opportunity to communicate my research findings at national and international settings.

    To be able to employ my interdisciplinary background, talents and passions to fulfill NHC's mission of saving lives, mitigate property loss and improving economic efficiency is what makes my job meaningful. Among all the experiences that the Graduate Sciences Program brought to my life, one that I enjoy the most is mentoring undergraduate and graduate students so that they can have successful careers." - Nelsie A. Ramos, PhD.

    In keeping with her dedication to the next generations of NOAA scientists, Nelsie continues to participate in the NOAA Student Scholarship Programs by serving as a reviewer for the 2013 class of EPP Undergraduate Scholarship Program and Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program applications.

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    GRANTEE:NCAS, Howard University Scientists

    Published February 2013

    NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) is one of four NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Cooperative Science Centers (CSCs). EPP CSCs are educating students and participating in collaborative research funded through a cooperative agreement.

    Most recently, NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) at Howard University, completed a campaign in the Aerosols and Ocean Science Expeditions (AEROSE) science teams, along with the Pilot Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) oceanographic scientific team, aboard the NOAA vessel Ronald H. Brown. On arrival in San Juan, Puerto Rico, marking the end of the AEROSEVII campaign, scientists co-sponsored an open house aboard the Ronald H. Brown.

    NOAA ship and team
    Scientists Mayra Oyola (left) and Ebony Roper (right) enjoying the bad weather. Photo courtesy:

    The AEROSEVIII campaign focused on two primary objectives, studying the physical, chemical and marine meteorology characteristics of biomass and other aerosols, particularly those emerging from the African coast during the peak of their biomass burning season, and providing validation for the newest NOAA/NASA Earth-observing research satellite, Suomi NPP.

    Led by Dr. Vernon Morris, Director of the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) at Howard University,and AEROSE Principal Investigator, the mission was divided into three main components: Aerosol and Trace Gas (ATG) operations, by Dr. Morris (Howard University), Dr. Ebony Roper (Howard), Mr. Chris Spells (Hampton) and Ms. Elsa Castillo (UTEP); Atmospheric Physics and Radiation (APR) operations, by Dr. Everette Joseph (Deputy Director of NCAS and Director of the Beltsville Center for Climate System Observation), and Ms. Mayra Oyola (Howard); Satellite Validation operations, by Dr. Nick Nalli (NOAA/NESDIS), Dr. Everette Joseph, Deputy Director of the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) at Howard University and Ms. Mayra Oyola, NCAS Graduate student. PIRATA operations were headed by NOAA scientist Dr. Claudia Schmid.

    A key aspect of the mission was investigating the connection between African winds, the Saharan dust particles they carry (aerosols), and the weather patterns across the tropical Atlantic. It is estimated that between 60 and 200 millions of tons of Saharan dust can be aerosolized, and transported worldwide, per year. These quantities of Saharan dust can be found in the tropical Atlantic along the same path where hurricanes and tropical storms form. The data collected on the cruise, and studying how aerosolized particles affect weather in the U.S. and Caribbean, could potentially improve hurricane forecasting. You can visit the team at aerosecampaigns and on facebook, to see their photos, read their log entries, and learn more about NOAA sciences.

    NOAA's Office of Education (OED) Educational Partnership Programs (EPP) with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) provides financial assistance through open competition to support students and build capacity in NOAA mission critical sciences to train the next generation of scientists and managers to carry NOAA and our nation into the future. The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) established Cooperative Science Centers (CSCs) at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). These Centers are each comprised of a consortium of academic institutions with the principal goal of providing formal education to students in coursework directly related to NOAA's mission. Each Center strengthens and builds sustainable capacity in education and research in NOAA's mission scientific and technology areas. For more information about the outcomes of Educational Partnership Program, visit:

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    LEADERSHIP:NOAA Hosts its Fifth Science On a Sphere® Users Collaborative Network Workshop

    Published January 2013

    NOAA and the Aquarium of the Pacific (AOP) recently co-hosted a successful fifth Science On a Sphere® Users Collaborative Network Workshop with support from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. NOAA's Office of Education hosts Network workshops every 18 months, bringing institutions that publicly display Science On a Sphere® (SOS) together to collaborate and create best practices on using the sphere as an effective Earth system science education platform.

    SOS Presentation
    Eddie Goldstein of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science shares new Science On a Sphere® video content and effective docent techniques with the SOS Network.

    This workshop took place at AOP in Long Beach, CA on November 6-8, 2012. There were 109 participants in attendance representing 50 different organizations, including museums, science centers, aquariums, zoos, federal agencies, universities, formal education programs, and exhibit and visualization specialists. Attendees represented six countries, reflecting the continued growth of the SOS Network around the world.

    The workshop theme was Science & Storytelling, and several keynote speakers helped frame the discussion around this theme. Major agenda elements included: new content and programming for SOS; updates to the technical system; how-to sessions for creating content, becoming a subject matter expert, designing digital interfaces, using real-time data, customizing presentations, and building your own equipment; overview of the SOS Network for new members; and discussions of evaluation and research, stewardship, and professional learning. View the goals and objectives of the workshop for more detail. A workshop report will be posted on the Network workshops and meetings page later this year.

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    STUDENT:Lonnie Gonsalves

    Published January 2013

    The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to announce the graduation of Dr. Lonnie Gonsalves! Lonnie completed his doctoral degree and graduated from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (UMES), in partnership with the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center, in December 2012.

    Lonnie Gonsalves
    Lonnie Gonsalves (center), with partners from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), and local watermen, collecting striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay as part of his doctoral dissertation research into fish health and disease.

    Lonnie is a Class of 2010 alumnus of the NOAA EPP Graduate Sciences Program (GSP), through which he studied Marine-Estuarine Environmental Science (MEES), concentrating in environmental molecular biology and biotechnology. He conducted his research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory (COL) of the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR), a part of the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS).

    Lonnie's thesis work, entitled "Nutritional Status and Immune Function of the Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Morone saxatilis", was completed through partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), and local watermen. Among Lonnie's significant accomplishments, he has served as president of the American Fisheries Society, Equal Opportunities Section, and is currently awaiting finalization of his appointment to the NOAA NCCOS National Ocean Service (NOS) as a Research Ecologist in Fisheries Biology.

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