Providing University Students Access to the Resources of NCAR
The Advanced Study Program provides university graduate students and their advisors with access to NCAR resources through the Graduate Visitor Program (GVP). The program, now in its fifth year, was created in response to multiple requests from NCAR scientific staff for graduate student support. It was also developed in response to university community requests for access to NCAR resources and facilities that are not available at a university. ASP recognized the need to establish a program that would sponsor a significant number of meaningful visits and collaborations with graduate students and their advisors. The GVP responds to that need.
The Graduate Visitor Program provides NCAR scientific staff with opportunities to bring graduate students to NCAR for three- to 12-month collaborative visits. These visits are undertaken with the endorsement and complementary support of the graduate students' thesis advisors. While residing at NCAR, the students conduct research in pursuit of their thesis requirements. The students receive support to cover their travel and living expenses in Boulder. Funding is also provided to allow the students' advisors to visit NCAR for a period of up to two weeks. The students' home institutions continue to pay the students' salary, benefit, and tuition expenses while they are in residence at NCAR.
As a result of the 2010 GVP search, 11 GVP awards were given to students and most of those included a visit by the student's advisor.
The Graduate Visitor Program is still too new to measure or understand its full impacts. Yet, the ASP recognizes that students and their advisors are the bridge builders between NCAR and the university community. The ASP contends that the Graduate Visitor Program will seed significant and long-term collaborations. This program helps to extend NCAR capabilities by bringing students on-site to work on research of mutual interest and by providing NCAR scientific staff with the opportunities to participate in graduate student research and education. Through this program, NCAR increases its contribution to the education of the next generation of scientists, researchers, and faculty. In turn, the graduate students help invigorate NCAR and their home institutions. Finally, the Graduate Visitor Program provides opportunities to partner with universities and engage Ph.D. students from underrepresented groups in NCAR research activities. The ASP anticipates that the program will help diversify the future workforce at NCAR and in the geosciences professoriate and research communities.
My ASP visit exceeded my expectations. My research goals for the 3-month stay were achieved and new projects/collaborations were initiated. I am gratified that there seems to be interest in the work I am doing. I met a lot of interesting and helpful people during my stay and was able to explore beautiful Colorado as well. I hope that this program will continue to benefit graduate students and postdocs for many years to come!
-Charlotte Kendra G. Castillo, Purdue University
The underlying personal goals of meeting professionals in my field and seeking their expertise as learning opportunities were satisfactorily accomplished during my visit. These professional relationships will certainly outlive my visit indefinitely. Meeting the “experts” will undoubtedly prove to be advantageous throughout my career in atmospheric science, both as invaluable resources in my research and as potential “ins” toward a long-term career with NCAR.
A highlight of my visit was the advisor visit. It was most helpful that my advisor’s visit was set near the middle of my visit. This allowed time for my advisor, mentor, and I to touch base and decide if any changes to the visit plan need to be made.
My visit was an overall positive experience. It provided a unique and rewarding opportunity to, not only work amongst, but collaborate with professionals in my field, any of whom may hold the key to a possible long-term career with NCAR in the future. I would recommend this program to any graduate student in atmospheric science.
-Alex Bryan, University of Michigan
.......my participation in the NCAR GVP program allowed me to pursue a PhD project beyond the realm of my advisor’s expertise and successfully accomplish my goals of running the CLM and successfully incorporating ozone oxidation damage to plants. Without participating in this program, my PhD research would have been strictly experimental in scope. I firmly believe that the skills I acquired while participating in this program will open more job opportunities to me upon completion of my PhD program.
-Danica Lombardozzi, Cornell University
From a personal perspective, the visit was a resounding success. I interacted with other scientists in the field in a manner that was constructive to my understanding of, not only the subject of data assimilation, but also other relevant topics in Atmospheric Science. In terms of data assimilation, my host, Dr Huang, and others in his research group were more than helpful in explaining the details of WRFDA [Weather Research and Forecasting Data Assimilation model]. Additionally, I attended the Data Assimilation Tutorial and this again helped to clarify many aspects of the subject for me. I also attended and presented at the 11th WRF User’s Workshop during my visit and this afforded me the opportunity to learn much more about what others are doing in the field and also enhanced my confidence in presenting my work. In terms of computing resources, the CISL staff was very accommodating and thanks to their generosity, I was able to run all my planned simulations. Finally, the ASP staff and coordinators were extremely helpful and welcoming which served to make my visit a very unique and pleasant one. I will close off by saying thank you to all involved in making my experience at NCAR both a productive and memorable one.
-Ronald Gordon, University of Miami