Training programs for broadening participation

CISL is actively working to broaden diversity among technical and scientific research communities related to the computational geosciences. CISL uses its Research and Supercomputing Visitor Program (RSVP) funds to brings students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), as well as under-served EPSCoR-state universities to attend CISL training events, such as NCL Workshops and the annual UCAR Software Engineering Assembly (SEA) Conference.

Diversity participants at SEA
Undergraduate and graduate students shared their career interests and educational experiences with NCAR scientists, engineers, and other SEA attendees during a conference luncheon. Carolyn Brinkworth, NCAR Director of Diversity, Education, and Outreach, is standing at left.

For example, in 2015 CISL, in partnership with NCAR’s Advanced Study Program, supported undergraduate and graduate students attending the SEA conference. This technical meeting is a community event that promotes professional development, advocates effective, up-to-date software engineering practices, and fosters collaborations both internally and with our peer institutions. The conference also provides a forum for discussions on aspects of software engineering that support scientific disciplines.

This year, travel support enabled 12 students from 11 institutions – both MSIs and universities in EPSCoR states – to participate in the conference. EPSCoR universities are located in states that are deemed to be underserved by federal research and education funding, so the National Science Foundation increases support for research and education in these states to improve its funding balance across the U.S. These 12 students met and made connections with engineers, researchers, and other professionals during the conference’s presentations, tutorials, social events, meals, and at the CISL-sponsored luncheon with NCAR staff. CISL staff also introduced the students to the many internship opportunities throughout UCAR, with the goal of attracting these motivated young scientists and engineers to begin their careers at NCAR or UCAR.

The 2015 SEA Conference on Python in Scientific Computing convened at UCAR’s Foothills Laboratory campus in Boulder, Colorado on 13 April and ran for five full days. Funding was supplied through NSF Core funds provisioned in CISL’s RSVP and NCAR’s Advanced Studies Program (ASP).