Enlightenment strikes! Broadening graduate school training through field campaign participation

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  • 1 * Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
  • | 2 + Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
  • | 3 # Education and Outreach, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
  • | 4 ^ Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
  • | 5 $ Colorado State University STEM Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
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Abstract

This article provides an overview of the Advanced Study Institute: Field Studies of Convection in Argentina (ASI-FSCA) program, a 3-week dynamic and collaborative hands-on experience that allowed 16 highly motivated and diverse graduate students from the U.S. to participate in the 2018-19 Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field campaign. This program is unique as it represents the first effort to integrate an intensive Advanced Study Institute with a field campaign in atmospheric science. ASI-FSCA activities and successful program outcomes for five key elements are described: (1) Intensive field research with field campaign instrumentation platforms; (2) Recruitment of diverse graduate students who would not otherwise have opportunities to participate in intensive field research; (3) Tailored curriculum focused on scientific understanding of cloud and mesoscale processes and professional/academic development topics; (4) Outreach to local K-12 schools and the general public; and (5) Building a collaborative international research network to promote weather and climate research. These five elements served to increase motivation and improve confidence and self-efficacy of students to participate in scientific research and field work with goals of increasing retention and a sense of belonging in STEM graduate programs and advancing the careers of students from underrepresented groups as evidenced by a formal program evaluation effort. Given the success of the ASI-FSCA program, our team strongly recommends considering this model for expanding the opportunities for a broader and more diverse student community to participate in dynamic and intensive field work in atmospheric science.

Corresponding Author: Kristen L. Rasmussen, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Email address: kristenr@rams.colostate.edu, Phone number: (970) 491-8983, Fax number: (970) 491-8449

This article is included in the RELAMPAGO-CACTI: High Impact Weather in Subtropical South America Special Collection.

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the Advanced Study Institute: Field Studies of Convection in Argentina (ASI-FSCA) program, a 3-week dynamic and collaborative hands-on experience that allowed 16 highly motivated and diverse graduate students from the U.S. to participate in the 2018-19 Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field campaign. This program is unique as it represents the first effort to integrate an intensive Advanced Study Institute with a field campaign in atmospheric science. ASI-FSCA activities and successful program outcomes for five key elements are described: (1) Intensive field research with field campaign instrumentation platforms; (2) Recruitment of diverse graduate students who would not otherwise have opportunities to participate in intensive field research; (3) Tailored curriculum focused on scientific understanding of cloud and mesoscale processes and professional/academic development topics; (4) Outreach to local K-12 schools and the general public; and (5) Building a collaborative international research network to promote weather and climate research. These five elements served to increase motivation and improve confidence and self-efficacy of students to participate in scientific research and field work with goals of increasing retention and a sense of belonging in STEM graduate programs and advancing the careers of students from underrepresented groups as evidenced by a formal program evaluation effort. Given the success of the ASI-FSCA program, our team strongly recommends considering this model for expanding the opportunities for a broader and more diverse student community to participate in dynamic and intensive field work in atmospheric science.

Corresponding Author: Kristen L. Rasmussen, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Email address: kristenr@rams.colostate.edu, Phone number: (970) 491-8983, Fax number: (970) 491-8449

This article is included in the RELAMPAGO-CACTI: High Impact Weather in Subtropical South America Special Collection.

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