Howard University is pleased to report on the activities and progress against the implementation plan during the second six months of the second 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.
During this reporting period, NCAS-M hosted the NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions 9th Biennial Education and Science Forum from March 18-21, 2018. The theme for this year’s forum was “Partnering with Academia to Prepare Highly Skilled Diverse Candidates for NOAA’s Stem Workforce: Building Successful Educational and Research Collaborations for an Inclusive NOAA Mission Enterprise.” Nearly 158 undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, representatives from federal and local government, and private industry representatives convened to present and discuss research on an array of NOAA relevant science topics. Session themes included: Healthy Oceans, Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies, Weather-Ready Nation, Climate Adaptation and Mitigation, Innovations in Workforce Development and Training. A separate report on this activity has been issued.
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 has accepted the offer to become the new Distinguished Research Scientist for the Center – official start date 9/17/18. Interviews for the Data/Communication Manager have been conducted and an offer has been made and accepted to Dr. Neosho Ponder – official start date 9/17/18. The National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) hosted NCAS-M annual meeting on August 27, 2018. Faculty, Staff, and students from NCAS-M joined an interdisciplinary and inter-agency team of scientists and students from NASA, NOAA, EPA, and the Maryland Department of Environmental Quality (MDE) to collect and analyze data from several land stations and mobile platforms. This field campaign – Ozone-Water-Land Environmental Transition Study (OWLETS-2) Field Campaign took place during the Summer of 2018. NOAA facility visits involving NCAS-M faculty and students were conducted to three NOAA facilities (e.g. NCEP, ESRL, NSSL) and two weather forecast offices (e.g. Jackson State and Santa Teresa). Thirteen students participated in NERTOs at nine different NOAA locations. Two NCAS-M postdocs are working 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 moves towards its third year of its 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:
- Cassandra Shivers-Williams (Cohort 1) graduated in Summer 2018 with a Ph.D. in Psychology from Howard University under the direction of Drs. Carolyn Stroman and Terri Adams. Dr. Shivers-Williams is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate with the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) in Norman, OK.
- Tierra Ellis (Cohort 1) graduated in May 2018 with a Ph.D. in School Psychology from Howard University under the direction of Drs. Celeste Malone and Jo-Anne Manswell Butty. Dr. Ellis is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine (DAYAM) in Los Angeles, CA.
- Mussie Kebede (Cohort 1) graduated in May 2018 with a M.S. in Atmospheric Science from Howard University under the direction of Drs. Vernon Morris and Mengsteab Weldegaber. Mr. Kebede has accepted a position with the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).
- Arianna Jordan (Cohort 1) graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. in Meteorology from San Jose State University under the direction of Dr. Sen Chiao. Ms. Jordan is currently pursuing a M.S. in Atmospheric Science from Howard University.
- Janae Elkins (Cohort 1) graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. in Meteorology from Jackson State University under the direction of Dr. Loren White. Ms. Elkins is currently working as a Meteorologist with the Jackson Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Jackson, MS.
- Jaylond Harvey (Cohort 1) graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. in Meteorology from Jackson State University under the direction of Dr. Remata Reddy. Ms. Harvey is currently purDamian Emerson (Cohort 1) graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County under the direction of Dr. Belay Demoz. Mr. Emerson is currently applying to graduate school to pursue a degree in chemical engineering.suing a M.S. in Emergency Management at Millersville University.
- Tony Hurt (Cohort 1) graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. in Meteorology from Jackson State University under the direction of Dr. Duanjun Lu. Mr. Hurt is currently working as a Meteorologist with the Tampa Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Tampa Bay Area, FL.
- Kendall Dawkins (Cohort 1) graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. in Physics from University of Maryland Baltimore County under the direction of Dr. Belay Demoz. Mr. Dawkins is currently pursuing a PhD in Nanoengineering from the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering focusing on nanosensors for physical and environmental applications at North Carolina A&T State University and University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
- Damian Emerson (Cohort 1) graduated in May 2018 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County under the direction of Dr. Belay Demoz. Mr. Emerson is currently applying to graduate school to pursue a degree in chemical engineering.
The following semi-annual performance report details the activities conducted during March 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018.