Supporting Diversity in the Atmospheric Sciences
The ASP continued its ongoing efforts to better serve diverse communities in FY2010 through two initiatives:
1. Cultivating a new collaboration between North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University (NCA&T), and
2. The new ASP Historically Black College and University (HBCU) postdoc exchange.
In Support of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University
In FY2008, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between NCAR and four HBCU partner universities:
* Howard University
* North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University
* Hampton University
* Jackson State University
The MOA focuses on these areas of mutual agreement:
* Graduate student research and internship opportunities
* Faculty exchange and internship opportunities and faculty training.
* NCAR scientists serving as visiting faculty to increase instructional capacity and curricular breadth/
* Participation of NCAR scientists on graduate student committees.
* Collaborative research that results in proposal submission
In June 2009, NCAR’s Maura Hagan traveled to NCA&T to meet with high-ranking officials about their current programs in Atmospheric Sciences and where possible collaborations might occur. As a result of that meeting, NCA&T faculty requested that five NCAR scientists come to NCA&T to give seminars. All five scientists (Tom Warner, Geoff Tyndale, Christine Wiedinmyer, Frank Flocke, and Jothiram Vivekanandan) agreed. Last spring, each of these scientists spent several days at NCA&T giving seminars and meeting with faculty and students to help build capacity. The main challenge for NCA&T is that it lacks enough faculty expertise to be able to teach several courses in support of its new Bachelor of Science program in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology. These lectures and seminars provided by NCAR staff have the potential to fill those holes. ASP plans to support additional NCAR staff to travel to NCA&T in FY11 to provide additional courses and seminars.
Initiating a new postodoc exchange with HBCU partners
In support of the Memorandum of Agreement referenced above, the ASP supported one of its postdoctoral fellows to spend four months teaching, conducting research, and collaborating with faculty and students at Howard University. Song-Lak Kang spent the fall semester, 2009 at Howard where he taught a course, participated in the ongoing research activities of the Physics Department, gave seminars, advised students, and initiated a new collaboration with Michael Hicks, a student in the department.
There is no doubt that his visit elevated NCAR’s visibility at Howard among the students and faculty members and provided opportunities for recruiting more students for ASP’s visitor and fellowship Programs. For the ASP Postdocotral Fellow, participating in the HBCU exchange provides an opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience and to increase their visibility in the university community, both of which can only help when it’s time to find a position after their fellowship.
From Dr. Gregory Jenkins, chair of the Physics Department about Song-Lak Kang’ semester at Howard:
He was an excellent role model, with great interactions with the students and he provided guidance for some of the dissertation research that our students are undertaking. We expect to continue to collaborate with Dr. Kang in the coming years and hope that he will serve as a dissertation committee member for students in the HUPAS program. We also hope that if such opportunities present themselves in the future, that you will consider having another ASP postdoctoral fellow come to Howard University for a semester. …Once again, thank you for helping us to build capacity and technical expertise in our atmospheric science program at Howard University.