Performance Report: September 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019

Executive Summary

Howard University is pleased to report on the activities and progress against the implementation plan during the first six months of the third year of the NOAA Cooperative Science Center in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M).

The NCAS-M promotes the expanded participation in education, training, capacity building, and collaborative research focusing on groups that are traditionally underrepresented in NOAA mission-relevant STEM, social, behavioral, and economic sciences disciplines (including communication sciences). The NCAS-M research and training activities support the primary goal of producing a diverse and highly skilled cadre of technical and environmentally literate professionals who will help build a more resilient nation in the face of increasing vulnerability to weather extremes and other environmental threats.

The NCAS-M is a thirteen-member consortium with Howard University as the lead institution. The partnership has nine partners as sub-awardees and four partners related through a non-funded articulation agreement. NCAS-M nine sun-awardee partners include, Howard University (lead), Jackson State University, University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, University of Texas – El Paso, San Jose State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland – Baltimore County, University of Maryland – College Park, State University of New York – Albany, and four articulated: Fort Valley State University, San Diego State University, Tuskegee University, and Universidad Metropolitana. All thirteen of these academic institutions have been engaged in NOAA mission-relevant activities during this reporting period through faculty, student, or combined faculty-student engagement activities.

The NCAS-M is making significant progress with respect to the five-listed performance metrics and for the program level outcomes and outputs. The NCAS-M is pleased to announce that Dr. Charles Ichoku was officially onboarded September 17, 2018 as the new NCAS-M Distinguished Research Scientist for the Center. In addition to Dr. Ichoku joining the NCAS-M family, we also welcomed Dr. Neosho Ponder to the Center as the Data and Communication Manager on September 17, 2018. NCAS-M faculty, staff, and students had a busy conference season with a total of 49 presentations given over the course of this performance period. In addition, several faculty and students visited NSSL in Norman, OK in September 2018 IN our continues effort to forge new collaborations within NOAA. Despite the government shutdown, NCAS-M had a good turn-out at the AMS annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ. NCAS-M was present at the student conference and hosted another successful Colour of Weather Networking event. Three students participated in NERTOs at two different NOAA locations. Two NCAS-M postdocs continue to work with NOAA mentors at ESRL (Boulder, CO) and NWS (Silver Spring, MD). The Center continues to develop collaborations and partnerships with NOAA personnel in a variety of facilities.

As NCAS-M completes the first half of its third year of this first five-year cycle, we are pleased to report significant achievements in both education and research. Several of the highlights from this reporting period are listed below.

NCAS-M educational component prioritizes on graduate degree production in key disciplines of Atmospheric Sciences/Meteorology (HU, UAlbany, PSU, JSU, UMD, and SJSU), Marine Sciences (UPRM), and Environmental Sciences (SDSU, FVU, TU, and UTEP). NCAS-M funds are used to support student training at undergraduate and graduate levels in these and other basic sciences, including chemistry, biology, engineering, and physics. Our efforts have historically produced positive impacts at our MSI partner institutions and we are strengthening efforts to make greater impacts at our majority institutional partners. Some of the educational highlights of this reporting period include:

  • Miguel Cortez (Cohort 1) graduated in December 2018 with a M.S. in Physics from University of Texas El Paso under the direction of Dr. Rosa Fitzgerald. Mr. Cortez has accepted a Nuclear Security Analyst Position with the National Nuclear Security Administration.
  • Robert McAfee (Cohort 1) graduated in December 2018 with a M.S. in Physics from University of Texas El Paso under the direction of Dr. Rosa Fitzgerald. Mr. McAfee is currently a Staff Scientist at LT Environmental, Inc.
  • Ashley McAfee (Cohort 1) graduated in December 2018 with a B.S. in Environmental Science from University of Texas El Paso under the direction of Dr. Rosa Fitzgerald. Ms. McAfee is currently pursuing a M.S. degree in Sociology at the University of Texas el Paso.
  • Keon Gibson (Cohort 1) graduated in December 2018 with a B.S. in Meteorology from Jackson State University. Mr. Gibson is taking some time to pursuing his options as to his next career move.
  • Ayesha Wilkinson (Cohort 2) received an honorable mention for her presentation titled: “Surveying the Tropical Cyclone Forecast/Advisory with NWS Partners” presented at the AMS 2019: 14th Symposium on Societal Applications: Policy, Research and Practice in Phoenix, AZ.
  • Kelly Nunez-Ocasio (Cohort 2) was awarded 1st place for her oral presentation titles: “African Easterly Wave-Mesoscale Convective Coupled Systems that are Potential Candidates for Tropical Cyclogenesis” presented at the AMS 2019: 7th Symposium on the Madden-Julian Oscillation and Sub-Seasonal Monsoon Variability in Phoenix, AZ.

The following semi-annual performance report details the activities conducted during September 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019.

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