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Highlights Archive
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Highlights Archive


OUTREACH:NOAA Education Completes Conference Participation for 2014

Published Dec 2014

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) regional conference in Long Beach, CA.

NOAA Education completed it’s education outreach event participation in early December by ending the year with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) regional conference in Long Beach, CA. Nearly 6,000 people attended this science education event, the largest regional conference NSTA has ever held.

The NOAA Education Office received staff assistance from several regional NOAA programs including the National Weather Service Offices in Oxnard and San Diego, CA; the NOAA Fisheries Southwest Science Center, La Jolla, CA; the University of Southern California Sea Grant; and NOAA Teacher at Sea program.

The most important aspect of our exhibit presence is the NOAA staff making personal connections with the attendees- whether discussing: NOAA sciences, teacher professional development opportunities, pathways to STEM careers, hands-on science activities, weather preparedness, staff presentations at schools, or any of the other multitude of questions and issues that come up.

Look for our participation at science education conferences coming up in 2015!

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STUDENT:Highlights from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Educational Partnership Program, 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum

Published Nov 2014

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator, gave the keynote address at the NOAA EPP 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum
From October 26-29th 2014, NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program (EPP) cosponsored the 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum with the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Nearly four hundred students, alumni and scientists participated in the Forum, the theme of which was “Developing a Premier Future STEM Workforce to Support Environmental Sustainability”. Highlights included:

1.) An inspiring keynote address from Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, on the critical role of science in fostering ecological, social and economic resilience and environmental intelligence.
She emphasized the role of the NOAA Cooperative Science Centers in driving regional scientific knowledge and providing tangible benefits to society. Other distinguished guest speakers included Dr. Joann Boughman, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Maryland System, Dr. Juliette Bell, President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Representative Andy Harris (R-MD-1st), and Dr. Richard Spinrad, NOAA Chief Scientist. A press conference was held to allow the media to ask questions of NOAA, university and policymakers.

2.) Plentiful and diverse networking and professional development opportunities for students. The Forum began with a professional development session, as well as a ‘speed mentoring session’, during which students received career advice from NOAA and Cooperative Science Center professionals, along with their peers. Interactive sessions were held during the week on how to build collaborative relationships, preparing for opportunities in the public and private sectors, writing successful research proposals, and more. Students learned both in formal professional development sessions and through networking opportunities.

3.) Outstanding oral and poster presentations by students from all four NOAA Cooperative Science Centers. Technical sessions were held for each of NOAA’s long term goals: healthy oceans; weather-ready nation; climate adaptation & migration; and resilient coastal communities and economies. Students from undergraduate to Ph.D. level and post-doctorates presented their NOAA-related research, and there were lively discussions and ample opportunities for the cross-pollination of ideas. As NOAA has a broad mission of understanding and predicting the earth system and managing and conserving natural resources, the agency depends on interdisciplinary collaboration. Learning to think collaboratively early in the career will be an advantage for students to compete in the STEM workforce and solve the complex problems of tomorrow.

Kevin Williams, II, a master’s student at Florida A&M University, presented his research during the poster session at the NOAA EPP 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum. Photo Credit: Kristen Lycett

Equisha Glenn, a research fellow at The City College of the City University of New York, presented her project during the poster session at the NOAA EPP 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum. Photo Credit: Kristen Lycett

4.) Invaluable advice from alumni. NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) alumni from each of the four Cooperative Science Centers and the undergraduate and graduate scholarship programs participated in the event and were excellent resources for the students. Many alumni served as panelists or led professional development sessions. Lonnie Gonsalves, an alumnus of the Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC), co-led a session on how to initiate and build professional relationships, based on his experience at the NOAA Oxford Cooperative Laboratory. Emily Tewes, an LMRCSC alumna, spoke to students about her experience as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and gave advice to those considering applying for the Fellowship. EPP alumni Drs. DaNa Carlis and Ayeisha Brinson gave inspiring presentations about their career journeys and the challenges they overcame. And, most importantly, alumni sat with current students during meals and networking sessions to talk and answer questions from the students.

5.) Final award presentation. At the conclusion of the Forum, Dr. Jennifer Keane-Dawes, Dean of Graduate Studies at UMES, and Dr. Juliette Bell, President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, presented awards for outstanding oral and poster presentations in each technical session. All students received constructive feedback from the judges on their presentations, which they may use to prepare for national conferences and to enter the STEM workforce. At the end of the ceremony, all of the award winners were presented certificates and posed for a photo on stage with Dr. Juliette Bell.

A group of students and Dr. Dionne Hoskins from Savannah State University, part of the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center.

Dr. Juliette Bell, President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, posed for a picture with all of the outstanding oral and poster presentation award winners.

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STUDENT:NOAA Hollings and EPP Undergraduate Scholars Complete Summer Internships

Published July 2014

Kyle Nolan, Hollings Scholar interning at Macdill Air Force Base in St. Petersburg, FL

At the end of July, 125 NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholars and 18 Educational Partnership Program (EPP) Undergraduate Scholars will finish their summer internships. They will travel to Silver Spring, MD, to present their projects at the Education and Science Symposium, held July 28-31st. The Hollings and EPP Scholars have spent the past ten weeks working at NOAA facilities across the country under the guidance of a NOAA mentor. Here's what some of the scholars had to say about their experience:

Jennifer Johnson, Hollings Scholar interning with the National Ocean Service in Silver Spring, MD

"My experience thus far has given me confidence in what I want to do as I move forward in developing my career goals. I am excited to take the first few steps to building a successful and fulfilling career path." - Olivia Poon, EPP Scholar, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

"This has been a fantastic internship all around. I managed my own project and developed real-world software that will be used long after I leave. Wherever I work in the future, it will be somewhere engaging and challenging, where I have the opportunity to affect positive and meaningful change." - Kyle Nolan, Hollings Scholar, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations

"During my internship, I have improved my troubleshooting skills. I have been challenged in a way that has led me to think critically and utilize all sources of information that are available to me." - Jennifer Johnson, Hollings Scholar, National Ocean Service

"My mentor let me tag along on a damage survey after a tornado, and a man who lost his home told us the warning we issued saved his life. That may have been an exaggeration, but it was still pretty powerful."- Ryan Connelly, Hollings Scholar, National Weather Service

"I am proud to be a NOAA EPP Undergraduate Scholar, because this scholarship explores my career interests, allows me to conduct research under the guidance of NOAA scientists and to be a part of the NOAA team" - Autumn Chong, EPP Scholar, National Ocean Service

"During my internship, I was able to gather graduate school advice from NOAA employees and academic research scientists. These discussions have affirmed my interest in marine studies and encouraged me to pursue a Master's degree in marine conservation or coastal management." - Ashley Gordon, Hollings Scholar, National Marine Fisheries Service

Ashley Gordon, Hollings Scholar interning at the Sandy Hook Lab in Highlands, NJ

Kelly Nunez, EPP Scholar interning at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab in Miami, FL

In addition, NOAA scientists benefit greatly from the Hollings and EPP Scholarship Programs. NOAA offices hosting interns are able to increase their research productivity. One NOAA mentor stated,

"Our intern hit the ground running on day one and has made great progress. We have had to expand the scope of the internship because she has worked so hard and learned so quickly. She has contributed a great deal in a short period of time."

Another mentor said, "Our intern is doing an excellent job and we have offered him co-authorship on the resulting paper."

Congratulations and good luck to all of the Hollings and EPP Scholars!

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OUTREACH:Education intern at NOAA

Published July 2014

Aliyah Shah, NOAA intern at the control of the Science On a Sphere in Silver Spring, MD

Springbrook High School's Aliyah Shah provides educators and community members across the country with valuable NOAA resources through her work as an intern this summer at NOAA's offices in Silver Spring, MD. Aliyah combines her interest in computer programming, web design, and robotics with the working world of NOAA data and research. Among her projects is activity with NOAA's Science on a Sphere.

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GRANTEE:Queens College's Into the Woods Project Hosts Science and Art Symposium

Published June 2014

Students from PS 205Q present "Trash to Treasure", a composting project using cafeteria waste to create compost for the school's garden.  The fourth grade students asked their teacher if they could do something to improve the soil after engaging in a study of soils around the school. 

On May 9th, 630 elementary school students, representing 10 schools from four boroughs of New York City, gathered for a special event to celebrate their forays into natural areas around their schools. Queens College's GLOBE New York Metro Program hosted the Science and Art Symposium. It was the culminating event for a group of teachers and their classes participating in the Into the Woods (ITW) project funded through NOAA's Environmental Literacy Grants Program. This four-year project is now finishing its second year.

At the heart of ITW is a series of professional development workshops for teachers designed to help them become comfortable leading classes outdoors. During the workshops the teachers learn about and explore natural systems and develop class management skills that work outdoors. They work together to identify areas in the curriculum where they can replace traditional indoor lesson activities with appropriate outdoor alternatives. The Symposium is a forum for their students to showcase the work they have done related to these outdoor activities. This work consists of year long research projects focused on natural areas around the school, including soil studies, pond studies, cloud observations, phenology, and general explorations of local areas. ITW has deep roots in art, social studies, and language arts, and there were samples of students' artwork and writing on display.

Third grade students from PS 32x created individual dioramas based on their investigation of macro-invertebrates in pond of Crotona Park in the Bronx.

Beyond showing their presentations and viewing the presentations of other classes, the students were entertained with a science show put on by members of the college's Science is Fun club. The students were led on a tour of the campus by volunteers from the college's Elementary & Early Childhood Education Department and a number of science departments.

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LEADERSHIP:TIME Magazine Names Kathy Sullivan One of the '100 Most Influential People in the World'

Published May 2014

Photo courtesy: Stephen Voss for TIME

On March 6, 2014 Dr. Kathryn Sullivan was confirmed as NOAA's Administrator. Now, she has made the list of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people. Dr. Sullivan is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut and intrepid explorer. Dr. Sullivan's profile written by her friend and fellow astronaut John Glenn refers to her as the World's Weather Woman and highlights NOAA and the critical work we do. Congratulations Dr. Sullivan!


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GRANTEE:Office of Education participates in Upward Bound "STEM Careers Day" at Howard University

Published April 2014

Dr. DaNa Carlis conducts "weight of the world" experiment with students.

On Saturday March 29, 2014 the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) and Howard University's Upward Bound/TRIO hosted a "STEM Careers Day" event at Howard University in Washington, DC. NCAS is a Cooperative Science Center led by Howard University in collaboration with three other minority-serving institutions (MSIs): Jackson State University, University of Texas at El Paso, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and two majority institutions: University of Maryland College Park, and State University of New York at Albany. The Center has been funded by the NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) since September 2001 and has formed a cooperative partnership with the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS). The four minority institutions consist of the highest enrollments of African American and Hispanic students in the physical sciences, engineering, and atmospheric-related disciplines (including meteorology) at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


The Howard University Upward Bound Program is a college preparatory program for high school students designed to develop the skills and motivation necessary for success at the collegiate level.

Dr. Jude Abanulo instructs students on circuits and robotics.

This professional development seminar was geared towards area high school students that are college-bound, and eager to learn about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The overall theme for the event was "STEM Careers Day". The audience was comprised of approximately 60 High School students, who currently participate in the Howard University Upward Bound/TRIO Program. The students are a part of the Math & Science program of Upward Bound.

Presenters included: Dr. DaNa Carlis from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Dr. Jude Abanulo from the HU CREST Nanoscale Analytical Sciences Research & Education Center, and Mr. Osaretin Obaseki from NOAA's Office of Education. The presenters engaged students in interactive activities related to the work/research performed in their respective fields.


Osaretin Obaseki discusses web technology at NOAA.
Dr. Carlis gave a demonstration on weather forecasting and the accuracy of forecasts from private and government weather enterprises such as The Weather Channel, Accuweather, Weather Underground, and the National Weather Service. Dr. Abanulo introduced students to the exciting world of radio communications and electronics, while working with Snap-On electronic circuit components such as diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers and timer circuits. Mr. Obaseki invited youth to explore the world of web design at NOAA, as well as how the Internet and social media are used to accomplish mission goals in technology and science education.

Kadidia Thiero, the Outreach Coordinator for NCAS, had this to say about the event, "NCAS endeavours to create opportunities with partners to encourage students to explore STEM careers. We had shining examples of the possibilities in web design, robotics, and weather forecasting. I think the event was very successful."

Presenters at Howard Upward Bound STEM Careers Day
From left to right: Dr. DaNa Carlis, Dr. Jude Abanulo, and Mr. Osaretin Obaseki

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STUDENT:1st Cohort of NOAA-EPP Graduate Research & Training Scholars Selected

Published March 2014

PhD students Daryl Sibble and Marisa Litz have been selected as the first cohort for a new graduate pilot program with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Educational Partnership Program (EPP). The two students are the first to be awarded the EPP - Graduate Research and Training Scholar (GRTS) award, which is designed to support graduate students during extensive research opportunities at NOAA facilities and other research institutions.

Daryl is a Ph.D. candidate majoring in Environmental Science at Florida A&M University (FAMU) - the lead institution of the NOAA's Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC). His research focuses on how the fluxes and deposition of ammonia (NH3) affect the health and functionality of certain ecosystems. His dissertation research is advised by Dr. Elijah Johnson and co-advised by Dr. Marcia Owens, both of FAMU. Daryl will be interning and conducting the majority of his research at the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division of the NOAA OAR Air Resources Laboratory, located in Oak Ridge, TN. Daryl's NOAA mentor is Dr. LaToya Myles, a physical scientist with an extensive background working with ammonia. LaToya is also a former EPP Graduate Scientist and FAMU graduate, and will serve on his graduate supervisory committee.

Dr. Myles and Daryl will be part of a research team collaborating with the University of Illinois to measure NH3 concentrations above and within a vegetative canopy in an agricultural environment. Measurements will be used to calculate the fluxes and deposition rates to compare actual values to the predicted values calculated through modeling. The goal is to improve the overall accuracy of the models for areas where environmental conditions and/or lack of resources render traditional sampling methods impracticable and to support large scale watershed management.

Daryl Sibble, PhD student at Florida A&M University

Marisa Litz, PhD student at Oregon State University

Marisa is a PhD student in Fisheries Science at Oregon State University (OSU), a partner of the Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC). The LMRCSC was established at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to support the research priorities of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the goals of EPP through cutting edge research and training of students for careers in fisheries.

Marisa will spend her internship conducting research at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), a facility located on the Oregon coast approximately 50 miles from OSU's main campus. Marisa will work with NOAA senior scientist Dr. Richard Brodeur of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center's Estuarine and Ocean Ecology Program on a bioenergetics model to better understand how juvenile salmon growth rates respond to climate change. To accomplish this goal, Marisa will rely on a data-rich NOAA time series of juvenile salmon diet and environmental variables collected between 1980-1985 and 1998-2012. The model will be developed with input from additional NOAA sponsors from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Salmon Team. Marisa's research contributes to the overall goal of better understanding some key relationships between climate, oceanography, and biology that largely determine the fate of salmon entering the ocean during specific years.

Science and research training opportunities such as the EPP-GRTS pilot program that Daryl and Marisa participate in are critical to enhancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experiences for students, particularly from underrepresented communities. Training opportunities such as the GRTS are essential to increasing the number of students who successfully select and pursue STEM degrees and careers.

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OUTREACH:The 13th Annual WeatherFest

Published March 2014

The 13th Annual 'WeatherFest' was held in February 2014 sponsored by and in conjunction with the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Always a very popular feature before the AMS meeting begins, WeatherFest is an interactive, hands-on science and weather fair event open to the public. The event is designed to stimulate interest in STEM and has activities for children of all ages. This year, over 3500 attended the event at the Georgia International Convention Center. The theme of the 2014 AMS Annual Meeting was "Extreme Weather—Climate and the Built Environment: New Perspectives Opportunities, and Tools." Lots of NOAA staff were on hand engaging with the students and were all supported by materials provided by NOAA Education.

A view across the convention center shows the crowd participating in the range of activities.

Highlights of the event included "Mrs. Virginia International 2014" Cheryl Nelson, former Norfolk, VA area broadcast meteorologist with NWS mascot, "Owlie Skywarn" entertaining the audience.

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