By Chrysandra Medley
On Friday, July 13, ESSIC / CICS-MD hosted dozens of high school students for a presentation on the science at ESSIC and how to prepare for higher education.
The students were a part of the CAREERS Weather Camp, a program that aims to expose high school students to atmospheric science and the careers around it. For two weeks, students participate in hands-on activities, field experiments, seminars, tours of research facilities, and instructional workshops that expand on weather and forecast models and environmental instrumentation.
The presentation titled “Weather Research at the University of Maryland – Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center” was proctored and presented by ESSIC / CICS-MD researchers Pat Meyers and Scott Rudlosky. Meyers is an ESSIC / CICS-MD senior faculty specialist that works primarily with improving satellite rainfall retrievals for the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) in advance of the deployment of the AMSR2 satellite sensor. Rudlosky, a SCSB/STAR/NESDIS/NOAA scientist co-located at CICS-MD, led the development of a Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) product recently adopted by National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Offices.
The presenters gave a wide overview of the scientific work conducted at ESSIC, gauging what students were interested in and broaching complex topics with humor. They emphasized the multifaceted role of scientists and the importance of independent problem solving and clear communication.
“Our science doesn’t mean anything if we can’t communicate it effectively,” said Rudlosky.
The second half of the presentation was a Q&A panel led by students from the 2018 CICS-MD Summer Institute. The lively session provided the campers with insight on topics ranging from life after high school to navigating the academic world as a college student.
“[Internships] put your knowledge to work,” noted Brandon Bush, a CICS-MD summer institute intern, in response to a student’s question about the value of the internships versus courses.
The trip ended with a visit to the CICS-MD Proving Ground Training Center (PGTC) Visualization Lab where the students watched visualizations of the data collected by the GLM.
The CAREERS Weather Camp has shown to have a profound impact on students’ future academic pursuits. “Of the High School graduates that we have been able to track, nearly all have pursued Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics disciplines as majors in college, and almost 50% in the geosciences,” states the CAREERS website.