The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to highlight Undergraduate Scholarship Program (USP) class of 2005-2007 alumna Krizia Negron-Hernandez, for her continuing accomplishments within NOAA, in support of NOAA mission science and EPP!
Krizia completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science, and was named Student of the Year by the Environmental Sciences Program, in 2007.
Over the course of her time as a NOAA USP scholar, Krizia completed her thesis work, entitled "Accuracy of US Tropical Cyclone Landfall Forecasts in the Atlantic Basin (2004-2005)", won second place in the poster session of the 2006 NOAA Office of Education EPP Student Scholarship Presentation Awards , and completed two internships within NOAA, serving in both the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) Office of Weather and Air Quality in Silver Spring, Maryland and the Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) in Miami, Florida.
Krizia completed a master of science in meteorology at Florida State University. After her graduation in 2010, Krizia returned to her native Puerto Rico, where she is employed as a Meteorologist Intern in NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), Weather Forecast Office, providing weather forecasting and decision support services.
Krizia continues to support EPP, sharing her enthusiasm with future students by guiding them through the EPP web site, announcing EPP opportunities through the Facebook page of the NWS San Juan, and, in her own words, by "raising a voice here in Puerto Rico". Most recently, Krizia has served as a Physical Sciences reviewer for 2013 EPP applicants.
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
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: http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/nbo/14bluebook_highlights.html.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: http://www.epp.noaa.gov/epp_student_statistics_page.html.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Yapur to the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). Martin is an alumnus of the NOAA Cooperative Center for Remote Sensing Science and Technology (CREST) program, the Graduate Sciences Program (GSP), and the Undergraduate Scholarship Program (USP) through the partner institution the City College of The City University of New York.
Martin serves as Chair of the Applications Sub-group of the Working Group on Information Systems and Services (WGISS) of CEOS, the "satellite arm" of the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), with members and representatives from international agencies operating Earth observing satellites. His projects and related interest groups include the International Directory Network, Land Surface Imaging, Atmospheric Composition, Global Datasets, GEOSS Architecture for the use of Satellites for Disasters and Risk Assessment, and Water Portal.
Among Martin’s most significant accomplishments is his work on the CEOS WGISS Integrated Catalog (CWIC) which, once operational, will enable Satellite data never before available to be discoverable and accessible to scientists, application providers, and decision makers who need to synthesize data from multiple sources in order to do their work.
Martin Yapur (Front Right), in the field with collaborators, at the Joint meeting of the CEOS Working Groups on Calibration-Validation& Information Systems and Services, assembled at the National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad, India. September 2012.
Students enrolled in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) gifted program have the opportunity to attend programs hosted by CTY that focus on various academic areas of interest. The recent program at NOAA’s Silver Spring headquarters campus was offered as part of the Fall Science & Technology series of Family Academic Programs for students in grades 7 through 10 and their families.
Traveling from the DC metro area and six surrounding states, over 40 families attended the event and filled registration to capacity. The day program offered families a variety of hands-on experiences and presentations that highlighted the diversity of scientific fields in which NOAA specializes.
The day kicked off with a keynote address via video tele-presence from Dr. Katy Croff Bell, Chief Scientist for the E/V Nautilus Exploration Program, Dr. Michael Brennan, Archaeological Oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island, and Dr. Bob Ballard, Professor of Oceanography, renowned ocean explorer, and mentor to both Bell and Brennan. The trio described several of their current research projects and stressed the importance of science education in developing the skills necessary to be successful in their work exploring the deep ocean. The address was followed by questions from the audience, giving the students and parents the unique opportunity to interact directly with Dr. Ballard and his students.
Activities offered during the concurrent sessions throughout the day included:
On September 26th, NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco presented a certificate of congratulations to Queens College staff and partners in Queens, N.Y. The institution recently won a $1.3 million Environmental Literacy Grant award from NOAA to implement a project that will expose New York City elementary school students to hands-on activities in outdoor environments and provide professional development to teachers. Partnerships with local parks and environmental organizations will provide stewardship and service learning opportunities, enhancing students' environmental literacy and building an appreciation and understanding of Earth system science.
During the visit, Dr. Lubchenco spoke with the PIs for the project, met with a participating teacher, and viewed student project reports. You can learn more about the project at our: grants listing page.
From left to right: Dr. James Stellar, Queens College (provost); Dr. Allan Ludman, Queens College & GLOBE New York Metro director; Roy Harris, New York Dept. of Education; Frances Bosi, Alexander Graham Bell School; Dr. James Muyskens, Queens College (president); Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator; Peter Schmidt, GLOBE New York Metro & project principal investigator; Dr. James Ammerman, New York Sea Grant (director).
Through support from an Environmental Literacy Grant, the Miami Science Museum opened an interactive exhibit called Climate Change Miami, which allows visitors to explore Earth’s climate system, the human activities contributing to change, and the potential impacts of global warming at the global level and as they are likely to be experienced in Miami. Visitors can take turns controlling a Magic Planet to view global data on the spherical display, while others can browse related local examples on touchscreen kiosks and adjacent display monitors.
The exhibit was developed in collaboration with Ideum, who designed the multi-user interface and touchscreen application. Visitors control the sphere by manipulating a 2-D representation of the spherical display on the touchscreen. The exhibit is fully bilingual, and provides an engaging experience regardless of whether visitors decide to use one of the kiosks, or just watch the displays.
Following installation, the Institute for Learning Innovation completed a second round of formative testing, providing valuable insights that will be used to refine the exhibit in the coming months. Initial findings show that visitors are ‘enamored with the interactive nature of the entire exhibit’, with many commenting on the attractiveness of the displays, and the power of the images to draw visitors in for further investigation. The design is also proving successful in supporting engagement by multi-generational groups, with grown-ups explaining the content and children often displaying more ease with the touchscreen interface.
The Educational Partnership Program is pleased to announce that Micheal Hicks, a Graduate Sciences Program (GSP) scholar received his Ph.D. from Howard University Program of Atmospheric Science (HUPAS) in May 2012. There he conducted research utilizing LIDAR, radiosonde, and anemometer technologies to analyze the impact of urbanization on atmospheric boundary layer processes. His dissertation is entitled "The Characterization of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Depth and Turbulence in a Mixed Rural and Urban Convective Environment."
As an undergraduate mathematician at Paine College, Micheal was inducted into the United Negro College Fund Mellon-Mays fellowship in 2004, where he was inspired to attain a PhD degree. In addition, as an undergraduate mathematician, he completed two summer internships with NOAA’s Education Partnership Program (EPP), where he developed his sustaining interest in the atmospheric sciences. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 2006, Micheal then received an academic scholarship to study at NOAA’s Center for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at Howard University. As a participant in the GSP, he was mentored by Joseph Facundo of NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) and now works fulltime for NWS as a Physical Scientist in Sterling, VA.
On July 31, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as Acting Chief Scientist was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony for the Office of Education’s 2012 Student Science and Education Symposium. She provided a sweeping summary of NOAA accomplishments during the 9 weeks of the students’ internships, helping them envision how their dynamic summers had contributed to NOAA’s achievements. She 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.
Left to Right: Kandace Kea, Genki Kino, Tricia Thibodeau, Maria Tarduno, Ethan Coffel, Dr. Kathy Sullivan, Collin Perkinson, Vinoo Ganesh, Kelly Gregorcyk, Ellen Ward, Jennifer Mills, Neesha Schnepf
This annual Student Symposium is comprised of 3 days of sessions and information sharing, the culmination of internships at NOAA locations around the United States for 130 Hollings and EPP student scholarship recipients. These fortunate undergraduates selected scientific projects designed by NOAA scientists, and spent 9 weeks of the summer contributing to research and analysis associated with these projects. During their 10th week, all of them participated in this opportunity to share a summary of their results with the NOAA community. NOAA scientists and policy staff judged each oral and poster presentation. Scholar presentations were grouped in concurrent sessions according to NOAA’s four long term goals; healthy oceans; resilient coastal communities and economies; a weather-ready nation; and climate adaptation and mitigation.
The event was 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. The judging process had clearly-defined criteria, with numeric scores awarded. Winning presentations for each category were based on the highest point score, and first place winners received 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!
1st Place – Genki Kino, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
Honorable Mention – Ethan Coffel, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
1st Place – Neesha Schnepf, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Honorable Mention – Jennifer Mills, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
1st Place – Tricia Thibodeau, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME
Honorable Mention – Ellen Ward, Columbia University, New York, NY
ORAL - Resilient Coastal Communities
1st Place – Maria Tarduno, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY
1st Place (tie) – Kandace Kea, Howard University, Washington, DC
Honorable Mention – Kelly Gregorcyk, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC
1st Place - Collin Perkinson, Reed College, Portland, OR
Honorable Mention – Vinoo Ganesh, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
As the new sponsor for Science Olympiad’s Meteorology event, NOAA co-led a workshop on weather-related science and technology at Science Olympiad's 2012 Summer Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 19th. Seventy-five middle-school teachers and coaches from all over the United States participated in the workshop, which focused on concepts and measurement techniques related to everyday weather. Ken Waters, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service (NWS) in Phoenix, gave a weather balloon/radiosonde demonstration for the teachers and shared information about resources and opportunities available through NWS
The Educational Partnership Program is pleased to announce that Dominic Hondolero, a Graduate Sciences Program (GSP) student, received his Master's Degree in Biology with a concentration in Ecology in December 2011 from San Diego State University. His thesis was entitled, "Physical and Biological Characteristics of Kelp Forests in Kachemak Bay, Alaska."
A large contingent of NOAA staff, lead by NOAA Education, participated in the USA Science & Engineering Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on Friday, April 27 - Sunday, April 29, 2012.
NOAA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have partnered to establish a new Bay-Watershed Education Training (B-WET) Program in the Great Lakes. The health of these vast inland freshwater seas, containing 84 percent of North America’s fresh surface water, has long been a focus of environmental groups in the Midwest. In 2011, many of these organizations helped encourage NOAA’s interest in expanding its B-WET program into the region. This coincided with an opportunity to fund environmental educational programs as part of EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The initial Great Lakes B-WET competition drew applicants from all eight Great Lakes watershed states. Twelve one-year projects are set to begin summer 2012 across the region, taking place around all five Great Lakes.
Great Lakes B-WET programs are grounded in the Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEE) that form the core of all B-WET projects around the country. Much more than self-contained field trips, or individual hands-on activities, MWEEs weave together classroom learning with field experiences. They are sustained activities that take place throughout the year. MWEEs also align with state, regional and national standards of learning.
To better address Great Lakes issues and to achieve the goal of leaving the Great Lakes better for the next generation, in addition to providing MWEEs, B-WET projects also align with the goals, strategies and principles of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan and the Great Lakes Literacy Principles .
Funds are available for eligible applicants throughout the Great Lakes watersheds in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. This includes K-12 public and independent schools and school systems, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, state or local government agencies, and Indian tribal governments. To learn more about the Great Lakes B-WET Program, contact Cathy Green: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://thunderbay.noaa.gov/B-WET.
The 11th Annual NOAA Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (CREST) Day was held on Thursday, April 19, 2012 in the City College of New York’s (CCNY) Steinman Hall, and proved once again to be greatly successful at promoting and inspiring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education to the next generation of scientists and engineers. Attendees heard from an assemblage of top scientists and NOAA speakers, including Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction/NOAA Deputy Administrator.
Since its inception in 2001, the annual NOAA CREST Day has showcased the research and opportunities that make NOAA CREST such a unique and special part of the New York metropolitan area. Following its recent inauguration to status as a City University of New York Institute, the NOAA CREST gathering fulfilled its promise of a fun-filled and informative day for anyone interested in coastal, atmospheric and hydrologic sciences. Attendees included more than 150 metro area high school students, as well as CCNY undergraduate and graduate students, NOAA CREST faculty and researchers and special invited guests.
The NOAA Office of Education was the sponsor of an exhibit booth at the annual National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) annual conference held on March 29- April 1, 2012 at the Indianapolis Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN.
Nearly 10,000 science educators from around the country attended this 60th annual conference. NOAA was acknowledged for participating for over 20 years in the exhibit hall.
The NOAA exhibit booth was staffed by a well rounded representation of all the NOAA programs including staff from the Illinois/Indiana Sea Grant programs, and both the education programs and the National Invasive Species staff. Rounding out exhibit staff were science teachers: NOAA Teacher at Sea Alumni (TASA), NOAA Climate Stewards as well as an Einstein Fellow assigned to NOAA. Excellent education resources from the various programs were distributed to the attendees. There was also a 'hands-on-science' area within the booth which enabled the NOAA staff to demonstrate short science activities which could be used in the classroom or in after-school activities.
CoCoRaHS (the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network) is a nationwide "citizen science" project, supported by an Environmental Literacy Grant (ELG) award, that engages thousands of people (currently over 15,000 active volunteers) of all ages in measuring and investigating precipitation. Participants use low-cost, high-capacity rain gauges along with rulers and foil-wrapped Styrofoam "hail pads" to accurately measure rain, hail and snow.
The measurement and communication of precipitation information are lowest common denominators for connecting the public to atmospheric and hydrologic processes and impacts. Precipitation affects the lives and activities of nearly everyone. Precipitation is episodic and sometimes destructive. Its characteristics change with the seasons. It may be the most noticeable, variable and impactful element of our climate.
Volunteer networks, such as with National Weather Service’s Cooperative Observer Program, have a long history in NOAA. Volunteered data are used extensively within the agency. What is unique about CoCoRaHS is the use of Internet technologies along with social networking and great ties with local National Weather Service Offices and State Climate Offices to effectively connect people from across the entire country with environmental science, weather prediction, the climate system and the scientific community.
CoCoRaHS has twice received ELG awards from the NOAA Office of Education. The current award is helping CoCoRaHS enhance the "volunteer experience" by improving access to and visualization of the data collected by volunteers. This allows the volunteers to be data analysts, not just collectors. New mapping capabilities are being added to view both recent and historic national, regional or local precipitation. Through collaborations with Oregon State University, volunteers will soon be able to view their recent precipitation data in context with 100-year geospatial time series of precipitation data. Graphing capabilities have been added and more features are planned. A very exciting new addition for 2012 is the measurement of "reference evapotranspiration" to improve the visualization and understanding of the water cycle in action.
Thousands of new volunteers will be recruited and trained during the next two years with emphasis on reaching younger audiences (the most common age range for current volunteers is 45-80 years old). Facebook and Twitter have already become effective recruiting tools. Animations are being developed and disseminated via YouTube to introduce CoCoRaHS to broader audiences. Live and archived webinars are becoming a mainstay for volunteer training. An educational series of monthly webinars called CoCoRaHS WxTalk provides opportunities for CoCoRaHS participants to learn special topics directly from top atmospheric scientists and educators.
CoCoRaHS welcomes anyone with an interest in learning about precipitation. Please sign up today at: (http://www.cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=application).
More information on this exciting project, including how to join, is available from their web site.
The Educational Partnership Program (EPP) is pleased to announce that on May 20, 2011, Graduate Sciences Program (GSP) student Melanie Harrison completed her Doctoral Degree in Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Dr. Blank's talk highlights recent reports by NOAA's sister agency in the Department of Commerce, the Economics and Statistics Bureau. The
three reports examine Census data on STEM education and jobs. The reports conclude that STEM education promotes racial and ethnic equality, that
growth in STEM jobs was three-times faster than non-STEM jobs and that women are still underrepresented in STEM fields. These reports can be found at: http://www.esa.doc.gov/reports.
To hear Dr. Blank's keynote address, please see http://www.brookings.edu/events/2011/0912_stem_education.aspx.