CISM Summer School

2014 CISM Summer School Participants
Figure 1. 2014 CISM Summer School participants and staff.

In 2014 the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) held the second CISM Space Weather Summer School. The goal of this intensive two-week program is to provide participants with a broad overview of the sun-earth system—how space weather effects arise, and how models can be used to help understand, investigate, and predict the space weather system.

This year we had we 29 students, including 9 female students, 9 from international universities, and 2 space weather professionals (Fig. 1). The intimate setting provided a unique learning environment that is not possible at a typical university.

Funding included support for students to travel to HAO in Boulder, CO, to attend the program. Lectures were given by experts in all areas of heliosphere and geospace, and students participated in an interactive laboratory session using model output for exploring the high coupled space weather system. In addition to these sessions, experts from industry and government discussed how space weather impacts our technological systems. The students left the school with a broad understanding of the entire Sun-to-Earth chain that makes up the space weather system.

As part of the laboratory portion of the school, the students had the opportunity to predict the arrival time of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) at earth. One of the students said about the experience, “I love it, very interesting to play with the CME arrival model. I felt like I was at the prediction center exercises.” Initially, the students were broken up into expert groups and given observational data from one area. These groups were then rearranged to assemble a complete team that produced a concept map of the space weather event they were examining. A member of class felt this exercise was “…the best we've had. I liked how it brought all the concepts we learned together and showed how interrelated they were.”

This activity is supported by NSF Award No. 1220626 and will continue for another three years.