UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > July-August 2002 Search

July-Aug 2002

Students praise Undergraduate Summer Leadership Workshop

UCAR's first-ever Undergraduate Summer Leadership Workshop appears to have been a big hit with college students.

"It's an incredible experience," said John Krasting, a meteorology major at Rutgers University, during a break in the workshop. "I could never get all this information at my university—seeing the broader picture of the sciences and how they fit together."

Students in NCAR's Undergraduate Summer Leadership Workshop take a tour of RAF. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

The workshop, organized by Education and Outreach and held on 17—21 June, was designed to educate students about atmospheric research at NCAR and expose them to various career opportunities in the atmospheric sciences. The students, all of whom were going into their senior year at college, heard from scientists about topics ranging from chemical dynamics in the atmosphere to the latest research on climate change. They toured such facilities as NCAR's Visualization Lab and NOAA's Space Environment Center, and they viewed technology and instrumentation demonstrations.

The workshop also put an emphasis on the value of leadership, with UCAR president Rick Anthes talking about leadership and collaboration in the university community. "Leadership is very important in the sciences," says EO assistant director Susan Foster, who helped run the workshop. "Knowing how to work with your colleagues and provide direction for research initiatives is a vital skill."

The students gave the workshop high marks for clarifying the many specialties within the atmospheric sciences. Joel Gratz of Pennsylvania State University said the week helped him decide what type of work to pursue, adding: "This kind of spares the person from going to grad school and then finding out that's not what they want to do when they‚re 25 or 30."

Joel said that now he was more likely to explore opportunities in science communications than in research because, after meeting with several scientists, he didn't think that he was suited for the discipline required for decades of research. In contrast, Paul Quelet, also of Penn State, said he planned to go into climate modeling because he found that work challenging.

"I'm glad that the week helped students focus on how they‚d like to shape their careers,‰ Susan says. "Thanks to the enthusiastic support of so many scientists, the program went very well." • David Hosansky

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UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > July-August 2002 Search

Edited by David Hosansky, hosansky@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Carlye Calvin
Last revised: Mon Aug 19 17:08:40 MST 2001