Executive Summary

Howard University is pleased to report on the second six months of the first 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.

Throughout this reporting period, NCAS-M operated under the auspices of an implementation plan that has been submitted and received preliminary feedback but not final approval. The NCAS-M is making significant progress with respect to the five-listed metrics and for the program level outcomes and outputs. The NCAS-M has progressed towards full staffing, interacting with EPP MSI and other OED Program officials to finalize operational plans (e.g. evaluation plan, implementation plan, communication strategy), conducted an annual meeting, met with technical monitors and advisors, engaged with other CSC and NOAA leadership through the Center Champions Working Group (CCWG), and continued to develop collaborations and partnerships with NOAA personnel in a variety of facilities. These activities and interactions are provided in the following sections in accordance with OED reporting guidance.

The NCAS-M is comprised of a thirteen-member consortium with Howard University as the lead institution. The partnership has nine partners as sub-awardees and four affiliate partners (related through a non-funded articulation agreements). NCAS-M nine 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 affiliates: 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 recruited its first cohort of students from a variety of disciplines supporting NOAA mission-relevant research and connected these students and other NCAS-M supported students to opportunities at across NOAA. Examples of these engagements included:

Group tours of NCAS-M sponsored students the National Weather and Climate Center

  • Engagement of NOAA Mentors with NCAS-M post-doctoral Fellows at the Sterling Test Center (Dr. Richard Medina) and at NOAA ESRL (Dr. Keren Rosado)
  • NOAA Personnel serving as co-advisors of PhD students – Dr. Henry Juang for Jia-Fong Fan and
  • NOAA Personnel serving as mentors for PhD students – Dr. Thomas Knuteson (GFDL) for Vitaly Kholodovsky, Jesse Creamean (ESRL) for Catherine Liu, Dr. Geoff Manikin (NCEP) for Mussie Kebede, Dr. Renellys Perez for Kafayat Olayinka and Daniel Yeager, Bob Rabin (NSSL) for Anthony Salome and Eduardo Figueroa
  • Collaborative engagement of NCAS-M faculty and NOAA personnel with examples including – Nick Nalli (NESDIS) and Vernon Morris on improving satellite retrievals in dusty environments, Jeff McQueen (NCEP) and William Stockwell on improving operational air quality forecasts, Vernon Morris and Benjie Spencer on developing new observational capabilities for NWS, and Vankita Brown (NWS) and Terri Adams on responding to the Weather Act requirements for integrated decision support.
  • Training of undergraduate students at NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Jackson, MS and graduate student engagement at the Paducah, Kentucky WFO
  • NOAA personnel were involved in NCAS-M professional development through participation in the Experiential Training Summer Program, seminars, and webinars
  • NOAA personnel contributing to undergraduate courses and training at JSU (Latrice Maxie, Jonathan Moore)

The NCAS-M also engaged NOAA leadership and personnel in program planning and implementation through participation in the Center Champions Working Group Meetings, The OAR Stakeholders Forum, the NOAA “Emerging Technologies for Observations” Workshop, presentations to the NOAA Chief Economist, presentations to the acting NOAA Chief Scientist, Craig McLean, and coordination/alignment of NCAS-M efforts with technical monitors and advisors.

The following semi-annual performance report details the activities conducted during March 1, 2017 – August 31, 2017.