Howard University is pleased to report on the activities conducted during the performance period March 1, 2019 – August 31, 2019 by the NOAA Cooperative Science Center in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M).
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 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 the four affiliates are: Fort Valley State University, San Diego State University, Tuskegee University, and Universidad Metropolitana. All 13 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 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. Concerted efforts are made to include students from these groups who study the social, behavioral, and economic sciences disciplines (including communication sciences) for support of NOAA’s mission. 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 marked by significant engagement with NOAA Office of Education and NOAA Grants Management Division (GMD) with specific focus on improving grants administration of the award and fostering a deeper institutional commitment to its success. NCAS-M leadership also engaged its technical monitors and technical advisors in various other activities including face-to-face meetings, technical briefings, the NCAS-M annual meeting in May 2019, and participation in the Center Champions Working Group (CCWG). NCAS-M leadership continued to foster the development and strengthening of collaborations and partnerships with NOAA personnel at GFDL, NCWCP, the Sterling Test Center, AOML, ESRL, ATDD, NSSL, and several Weather Forecast Offices (Albany, Jackson, Santa Teresa). NCAS-M is making significant progress with respect to the program level outcomes and outputs. NCAS-M filled all required positions in the Center and engaged OED staff in further enhancing and updating the Center’s operational plans (e.g. evaluation plan, implementation plan, communication strategy). The specific activities and interactions are provided in the following sections in accordance with OED reporting guidance.
The NCAS-M began recruiting its fourth cohort of students with an emphasis on URM students from a variety of disciplines supporting NOAA mission-relevant research. NCAS-M has 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 NOAA mentors with NCAS-M post-doctoral Fellows at the NOAA ESRL (Dr. Keren Rosado) and NOAA NWS (Dr. Leticia Williams)
- NOAA personnel serving as co-advisors of graduate students – Dr. Nick Nalli (NESDIS) for Keren Rosado (HU) and Jessie Cremean (ESRL) or Julio Ceniceros (UTEP)
- NOAA personnel serving as mentors for graduate students – Dr. Daryl Kleist (NCEP) for Emmanuel Dibia (UMD), Jessie Creamean (ESRL) for Julio Ceniceros (UTEP), Dr. Renellys Perez (AOML), Vankita Brown (NWS) for Cassandra Jean (HU), and Nick Nalli (NESDIS) for Kafayat Olayinka and Daniel Yeager, (both HU)
- Collaborative engagement of NCAS-M faculty and NOAA personnel – Nick Nalli (NESDIS) and Vernon Morris (HU) on improving satellite retrievals in dusty environments, Jeff McQueen (NCEP) and William Stockwell (HU, UTEP) on improving operational air quality forecasts, Pius Lee (NWS) on PBL modeling with Belay Demoz (UMBC) , and Howard Diamond (OAR), Tony Reale (NESDIS), Mitch Goldberg (NESDIS), Alan Gerard (NSSL) and Terri Adams (HU) on the Hazardous Weather Testbed testing weather products,, and Megan Lataille (NWS) on GRUAN analysis at Beltsville with Ricardo Sakai (HU) and Belay Demoz (UMBC)
- Training of undergraduate students at NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Jackson, MS
- NOAA personnel were involved in NCAS-M professional development through participation in the Experiential Training Summer Program and Center-Wide webinars (e.g. Genene Fisher, Audrey Trotman)
- 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 program planning and implementation through participation in the Center Champions Working Group Meetings, the NOAA “Emerging Technologies for Observations” Workshop, briefings to leadership at NCEP, and briefings to the NOAA Chief Economist.
The following semi-annual performance report details the activities and accomplishments for March 1, 2019 – August 31, 2019.