Performance Report: September 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020

Executive Summary

Howard University is pleased to report on the activities conducted during the performance period September 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020 by the NOAA Cooperative Science Center in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M).

The NCAS-M continues to promote expanded participation in education, training, capacity building, and collaborative research with specific focus on groups that are traditionally underrepresented in NOAA mission-relevant STEM fields. While the NCAS-M research and training focus is on weather, meteorological, and climate applications, concerted efforts are made to include students engaged in the study of social, behavioral, and economic sciences disciplines (including communication sciences) for support of NOAA’s mission and to ensure that they are environmentally literate in addition to their disciplinary specialties. The NCAS-M research and training activities support its 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.

This reporting period was earmarked by continued engagement between NCAS-M and NOAA’s Office of Education and NOAA Grants Management Division (GMD) to support continual improvement in grants administration of the award, the Independent External 4th-Year Review (February18-21, 2020), and fostering greater collaborative partnerships with NOAA and NOAA stakeholders. To this end, NCAS-M leadership developed and implemented a 1-day Project Fest in collaboration with NWS, NESDIS, OAR, and another CSC (CSSERT) to highlight specific projects for which NWS, NESDIS, and OAR personnel were seeking student and faculty collaborators. NCAS-M began transition planning in light of the impending departure of the Founding Director and principal investigator of NCAS-M, Vernon Morris. Steps were taken to identify an interim Director (Dr. Terri Adams) as well as plans for a permanent replacement.

The NCAS-M continued recruitment of the fourth cohort of students and the coordination of NERTOs for existing NCAS-M Fellows. Additionally, the Center continued to connect existing Cohort and leveraged students to relevant opportunities across NOAA. Examples of the student engagements and achievements during the reporting period included:

  • Engagement of NWS NOAA mentors (Vankita Brown, Gina Eosco, and Cindy Woods) with the NCAS-M post-doctoral Fellow, (Dr. Leticia Williams.
  • NOAA personnel serving as co-advisors of graduate students. Examples include Dr. Adam. Clark (NSSL) for Arianna Jordan (Cohort-3, HU), Nick Nalli (NESDIS) for Kafayat Olayinka (Cohort-1, HU), Libby Jewett (OAR) for Carla Mejias (Cohort-1, PRM), and Sim Aberson (AOML) for Kelly Nunez (Cohort-2, Penn State University).
  • NOAA personnel served as NERTO mentors for graduate students. Examples include Vankita Brown (NWS) for Cassandra Jean (Cohort-2, HU), Sundararaman Gopalakrishnan (AOML) for Alrick Green (Cohort-2, SJSU), and Sean Griffin (NOS) for Maria Cardona (Cohort-2, UPRM).
  • Collaborative engagement of NCAS-M faculty and NOAA personnel included Greg Foltz (AOML) and Vernon Morris (HU) on planning for the 2020 PNE/AEROSE cruise, Jeff McQueen (NCEP) and William Stockwell (HU, UTEP) on improving operational air quality forecasts, Ariel Stein and Mark Cohen (OAR) on HYSPLIT verification with Vernon Morris and Ricardo Sakai (HU) and Belay Demoz (UMBC), and Howard Diamond (OAR), Tony Reale (NESDIS), Mitch Goldberg (NESDIS), and Daniel Melendez (NWS) working with Sen Chaio (SJSU) and students.
  • Hands-on training of JSU undergraduate meteorology students at NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Jackson, MS
  • NOAA personnel contributing to undergraduate courses and training at JSU (e.g. Latrice Maxie and Anna Wolverton of the Jackson WFO)

The NCAS-M also engaged NOAA leadership and personnel in monthly tag-up meetings a between the NCAS-M Director and NOAA OED, a briefing to the new technical monitor, Russ Schneider (NWS), and conference calls.

The following semi-annual performance report details the activities and accomplishments for Sep 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020.

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