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Fall 1997

A unique program SOARS into its second summer

The second summer of Significant Opportunities in the Atmospheric and Related Sciences (SOARS) finds four new students joining the program, and marks a year's advance in the research and studies of the 13 original participants.

SOARS was conceived by UCAR president Rick Anthes and associate vice president for human resources and employee relations Edna Comedy in order to help remedy the chronic underrepresentation of African-Americans, American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Alaskans in the atmospheric and related sciences. These groups made up only 2.4% of respondents in a recent survey of the discipline by the American Meteorological Society, although they constitute more than 20% of the U.S. population. SOARS follows the Summer Employment Program, which brought a new group of undergraduates to Boulder each year from 1980 to 1995; input from SEP students was used to craft the new program.

SOARS protégés. First row (left to right): Kiesha Stevens, Jennifer Zabel, Jazmin Diaz-Lopez, Paneen Petersen, Karen Mozealous. Second row: Jennifer Price, Christopher Castro, Stephanie Rivale, Sharon Perez-Suarez. Third row: Shirley Murillo, Lacey Holland, Rachel Vincent, Darnell Powers, Janel Cobb. Not pictured: Carl Etsitty, Quindi Franco, Preston Heard. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

SOARS gives participating students--called protégés--educational, research, and financial support; mentoring; and career counseling from acceptance (typically between the sophomore and senior years) through completion of their graduate degrees. Support during the academic year also comes from 38 UCAR member universities. "The partner university offers resources that equate to 50% of the protégé's grad school expenses for each of two years," explains Tom Windham, director of SOARS. "SOARS, through an NSF grant and now with new agreements with NOAA and NASA, contributes the other 50%." The program also subsidizes the summers at NCAR.

NASA and NOAA funded two of this year's new protégés. The students in these positions aren't locked into doing their research at that particular agency. The idea is that a match will present itself in time so that NASA and NOAA will eventually have SOARS students on site. "We want the program to have maximum flexibility," says Windham. At the end of the summer, the Environmental Science Division of the U.S. Department of Energy also became a sponsor, funding four new students for next year.

SOARS offers protégés in a graduate degree program the option of staying on their home campuses if that allows them to make significant progress on research toward the completion of their degree. Three SOARS protégés from last year--Carl Etsitty, Janel Cobb, and Preston Heard--exercised this option, returning to NCAR only to give seminars/updates on their work. A fourth, Quindi Franco, spent most of the summer in Washington, D.C., examining the links between climate research and public policy. "In a sense, he's on a field study," says Windham, "and the field happens to be D.C."

Windham developed the format for the program, in which each protégé is assigned four mentors. One is the traditional research mentor, one helps with science writing, one is a community liaison, and one (actually a group) offers peer support. Along with conveying technical knowledge, the mentors help guide the students through insecurity, homesickness, culture shock, and other pitfalls. Each mentor goes through an orientation program, which includes a three-hour workshop, to learn how to best serve a protégé.

For further information about SOARS, contact Windham (303-497-8624 or twindham@ucar.edu) or visit the program's Web site.

SOARS protégés and their projects for 1997

Student Science
Research Mentors

Christopher Castro
Pennsylvania State Univ.
Linda Mearns ESIG Statistical downscaling of a general circulation model and the effect of climate change on crop yields; applying to the region of Pennsylvania
Warren Washington CGD

Janel Cobb*
Colorado State University
Sonia Kreindenweis
Colorado State Univ.
CSU Performing analysis on data from the Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-1) ferry flight and 1997 Arctic expedition to study the effects of ice nuclei (IN), cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), and aerosol concentrations on cloud formation and cloud radiative properties
Darrel Baumgardner ATD

Jasmin Diaz-Lopez
Universidad Metropolitana
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Alan Townsend VSP Examining global ecological change and human health; monitoring effects of global climate change on biodiversity, measuring plant species richness and various climate parameters in Rocky Mountain National Park
Tom Windham SOARS
Regina Cannon ASP

Carl Etsitty*
University of Arizona
Lee Klinger ACD Detection via direct Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Integrated Cell Culture (ICC)-PCR and cell culture of viral survival in sludge amended soils

Quindi Franco*
Harvard University
Roger Pielke, Jr. ESIG Mapping U.S. climate and climate research policy

Preston Heard*
Howard University
Jim Dye MMM Working with measurements from the Stratosphere-Troposphere Experiment: Radiation, Aerosols, and Ozone (STERAO)/Deep Convection study of last summer to investigate oxides of nitrogen (NOx) production by lightning
Vernon Morris
Howard University

Lacey Holland
University of Oklahoma
Greg Jenkins
Pennsylvania State Univ.
Evaluating aircraft icing forecasts using observations from a research aircraft
Barbara Brown RAP
Marcia Politovich RAP

Karen Mozealous
University of Virginia
Maura Hagan HAO Investigating the consequences of large-scale ozone density depletion on atmospheric tidal signatures

Shirley Murillo
Florida State University
David Yates ASP Studying linkages between land surface and mesoscale models, emphasizing the role of land-surface processes and modeling methods

Sharon Perez-Suarez
University of Puerto Rico,
Robert DeConto CGD Analyzing an ocean general circulation model circulation (80 million years ago) and comparing to proxies for ocean temperature and circulation from the geologic records
Bette Otto-Bleisner CGD

Paneen Petersen
University of Alaska,
Benjamin Felzer CGD Reconstructing vegetation for model comparisons using Paleoclimates from Arctic Lakes and Estuaries (PALE) data
Starley Thompson CGD

Darnell Powers
Truman State University
Mary Barth MMM/ACD Examining processes that influence chemistry in stratocumulus clouds
Wojciech Grabowski MMM

Jennifer Price
Florida A&M University
Tony Delany ATD Investigating ozone deposition through on-site work and analysis of data from the Cooperative Atmospheric Surface Exchange Study (CASES)

Stephanie Rivale
University of Rochester
Sasha Madronich ACD Analyzing the of role of ultraviolet light in photochemical smog formation

Kiesha Stevens
Clark Atlanta University
Nan Rosenbloom CGD Developing a daily temperature and precipitation time series for the continental United States

Rachel Vincent
Bryn Mawr College
Tomislava Vukicevic CGD Analyzing chemical interactions using a component of an atmospheric chemistry model, relating the sensitivity of the model solution to the physical parameters used in the model
Peter Hess ACD

Jennifer Zabel
Weber State University
Alex Guenther ACD Assisting in development of trace gas analysis instruments and a trace gas emission model, including natural and anthropogenic emissions for a field site in California

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Edited by Carol Rasmussen, carolr@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Tue Apr 4 14:38:45 MDT 2000