Center highlights: NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology II

April 2024 highlights

NCAS-M II celebration at AMS 2024

On January 28, 2024, the NOAA Cooperative Science Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M II) hosted its first HBCUs & Friends Diversity Mixer at the 2024 American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. The purpose of the mixer was to create a venue for students, faculty, and researchers who teach and study atmospheric sciences and meteorology at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to network with partners, affiliates, other Minority Serving Institutions, and friends who support the critical mission of advancing diversity in the field.

NCAS-M II has been a long-time supporter of AMS’s efforts to increase access and retention of underrepresented minorities in atmospheric sciences and meteorology. More than 100 guests attended the mixer, and representatives of AMS recommended repeating the event at next year’s annual meeting. Most importantly, the HBCUs & Friends Diversity Mixer was an important opportunity for NCAS-M II cohort students to interact and network with faculty, researchers, NOAA personnel, and other professionals in the field.

“I enjoyed connecting with other scientists who share my background,” said NCAS-M II graduate fellow Myah Rather. “Being a minority at a conference with over 6,000 attendees can be lonely, so I'm grateful for the Center’s efforts to ensure continued representation at AMS.” NCAS-M II plans to host the HBCUs & Friends Diversity Mixer annually, continuing to strengthen relationships between current and future leaders in the field of atmospheric sciences and meteorology.

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January 2024 highlights

NCAS-M II staff visit Jackson State and University of Puerto Rico

In fall 2023, NCAS-M II staff conducted site visits to two partner institutions: Jackson State University (JSU) on September 26-27 and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM) on November 6-7. The purpose of the visits was to meet face-to-face with students and faculty advisors, provide program information, respond to questions, and recruit new students to NCAS-M II. During the visits, the center’s director, education expert, and senior research scientist presented an overview of the education, training, and research components of the program. At UPRM, five undergraduate student fellows facilitated NOAA mission-aligned research presentations: 

  • A Comparative Study Between Precipitable Water and Effective Precipitable Water as Predictors of Rainfall in Puerto Rico (Kevin Martinez Lopez)
  • Effects of Synoptic Scale Events in the Tropical Boundary Layer over Western Puerto Rico (Juan Colon Perez)
  • Tropospheric Ozone Observations and Model Representation over Ocean (Niwde Rivera Maldonado)
  • The Environmental Moisture Influence on African Mesoscale Convective Systems (Stephanie Ortiz Rosario)
  • Integration of Low-Cost Sensors in Understanding the Impacts of the Saharan Air Layer on Puerto Rico's Air Quality (Andrea Belvis Aquino)

These presentations illustrated students’ understanding of the center’s thematic focus on innovative operations for advancing climate, weather, and air quality analysis and prediction. The students demonstrated their competency in translating scientific research and data to communicate the NOAA mission, and subsequent discussion with the students provided them with feedback on conveying the impacts of their research to decision makers and the public. Overall, the site visits produced important outcomes, including recruiting current fellows at JSU and UPRM to attend graduate school at Howard University, establishing a collaborative research project by setting up lower atmosphere equipment (ceilometer) at URPM, and encouraging new students from URPM and JSU to participate in NCAS-M II and EPP/MSI activities, resulting in two new applications for NCAS-M II’s Cohort 2.

Visit our website offsite link for more NCAS-M II news.

October 2023 highlights

The Annual Cohort Experience at NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology II

A panel of four people who are sitting at a table with an NCAS-M table cloth. Behind them is a projector screen, with a slide titled "Interdisciplinary science alumni panel."
Students at the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology II (NCAS-M II) Annual Center-wide Cohort Experience held in Washington, D.C., in July of 2023. (Image credit: NCAS-M II)

In the summer of 2023, student fellows from all nine NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology II (NCAS-M II) institutions participated in the Annual Center-Wide Cohort Experience (ACE), held in Washington, D.C., on July 18-19, 2023.  This year marked the Center’s return to an in-person format for ACE, which has been held virtually since 2020. Over two days, 15 NCAS-M II fellows, seven EPP/MSI undergraduate scholars, and one William M. Lapenta intern participated in a variety of professional development workshops and activities that collectively provided an interactive, dynamic learning experience. Students gained insight into NOAA and the National Weather Service, in particular. They also learned about resume writing, the federal direct hire process, and NOAA’s policies on research ethics and scientific integrity. Additionally, students engaged with an interdisciplinary panel of NCAS-M alumni. ACE allowed NCAS-M II fellows and NOAA interns to enhance their professional, career, and skill development while reinforcing their understanding of the NOAA mission enterprise.