The Cooperative Science Center in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (ASM) vision is a diverse and inclusive technical workforce that supports a healthy and sustainable environment and a more resilient nation in the face of increasing vulnerability to weather extremes and environmental threats. Our goal is to produce technically and environmentally literate professionals, with focus on underrepresented populations, who will directly contribute to the NOAA workforce through science, service, and stewardship. The ASM will address the recently identified and urgent need for more effectively evolve its services to better address the increasingly complex environmental, societal, and economic challenges that extreme weather and a changing climate present. The proposed ASM will utilize research-training as a tool to address NOAA’s education goals with specific emphasis post-secondary education to serve future workforce needs.
The primary goal of the ASM is to use collaborative research as a mechanism to educate and produce a highly-skilled cadre of technical and environmentally literate professionals, with focus on underrepresented populations, who will directly contribute to the NOAA workforce through science, service, and stewardship. Training post-secondary students through the collaborative research in partnership with NOAA facilities, scientists, and personnel. The primary outputs will be the graduates of this program. Additional outputs will be scientific and technical advancements that support NOAA’s mission, including but not limited to, model improvement, service assessments, and tools to enhance community literacy, especially among under-served populations.
The ASM is comprised of a thirteen-member academic 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 agreements). The institutional composition is four Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs), three Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), two Minority serving Institutions (MSIs), and three non-MSIs. With the changing National demographic, it is useful to define Historically White Institutions (HWIs) as those academic institutions whose incipient MSI designation is not a result of strategic effort, nor a historical investment, nor significant experience in mentoring minority students. These new designations result from the national changes in racial demographics of their student populations at large. Most often they are not reflective of the student populations in STEM fields where students of color remain woefully underrepresented. A detailed identification of the institutional partners is provided in Table 1. The geographic distribution of academic partners coupled with the extended relationships through NOAA facilities allows for a Nationwide impact to be made. The current partnership reflects thirty-one (31) participating faculty from institutions in eight (8) states and two (2) institutions from a US territory that span from the east coast to the west coast of the continental US. Over 50% of the participating faculty have current experience working with NOAA scientists in collaborative fashion. The partnership also includes the leading producers of African American and Latino students in STEM disciplines – specifically the top producers of African American and Latino PhDs in atmospheric sciences at the PhD level (HU), the top producer of African Americans in meteorology at the BS level (JSU) and the top producers of Hispanics in geosciences and physics (UPRM, UTEP, and SDSU).
|Academic Institution||Historical Designation||Minority-Serving Designation||Relationship in ASM|
|Howard University||HBCU||MSI||Lead, graduate and undergraduate education|
|Jackson State University (JSU)||HBCU||MSI||undergraduate education|
|University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez (UPRM)||HSI||MSI||graduate and undergraduate education|
|University of Texas El Paso (UTEP)||HSI||MSI||graduate and undergraduate education|
|University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)||HWI||MSI||graduate and undergraduate education|
|University of Maryland College Park (UMD)||HWI||MSI||graduate and undergraduate education|
|University at Albany (UAlbany)||HWI||Non-MSI||graduate and undergraduate education|
|Pennsylvania State University (PSU)||HWI||Non-MSI||graduate and undergraduate education|
|San Jose State University (SJSU)||HWI||MSI||graduate and undergraduate education|
|Fort Valley State University (FVSU)||HBCU||MSI||undergraduate education|
|San Diego State University (SDSU)||HWI||Non-MSI||undergraduate education|
|Tuskegee University (TU)||HBCU||MSI||undergraduate education|
|Universidad Metropolitana de San Juan (UMET)||HSI||MSI||undergraduate education|
Table 1: Identification of institutional partners in the ASM and their MSI designation
The partnership is also distinguished by strong representation from the social, behavioral, economic (SBE), and communication sciences among the Howard University faculty participants (50% of the initial pool of faculty are in SBE and communication sciences fields) in addition to the traditional STEM disciplines. We anticipate that additional SBE faculty from multiple institutions will be incorporated into CSC activities as future collaborations and opportunities within NOAA develop.
The success of the ASM will build from the fifteen years of capacities and relationships with NOAA scientists developed through a prior cooperative agreement. Representatives from all institutions will be engaged in the management of the center education functions, communication strategy, and NOAA collaborations. Partners will participate in the development of center-wide policies and documents (e.g. evaluation plans, implementation plans, student development plans) and provide input on engagement with external stakeholders. The center-wide coordination will be implemented through a combination of monthly virtual meetings, bi-monthly site visits by the lead institution to partner sites, and multiple opportunities for physical exchanges to ensure that the partnership strengthens over time.