939 Promoting STEM Literacy and Diversity through the Center for Applied Atmospheric Research and Education (CAARE)

Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Mohammad Z. Al-Hamdan, Universities Space Research Association at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (USRA at NASA/MSFC), Huntsville, AL; and S. Chiao, S. L. Palacios, W. L. Crosson, M. G. Barik, M. G. Estes Jr., R. Griffin, S. M. Estes, F. R. Freedman, C. Sack, and C. Kowalczak

Handout (2.3 MB)

The Center for Applied Atmospheric Research and Education (CAARE) is funded by the NASA Minority University and Education Project (MUREP) Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO) Program and led by San Jose State University (SJSU). CAARE is a collaborative effort between SJSU, Universities Space Research Association (USRA) at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA/MSFC), Bay Area Environmental Research Institute (BAERI) at NASA Ames Research Center (NASA/ARC), University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC). The motivation for the establishment of CAARE is to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) literacy and to enhance and sustain the capability at these partner institutions to support NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). CAARE’s goals are to: a) Contribute to NASA Centers’ atmospheric and environmental research programs through the use of in situ and remotely-sensed observations, geospatial technologies and models; and b) Train underrepresented STEM students with emphasis on understanding atmospheric processes through the use of state-of-the-art atmospheric observing instruments, modeling techniques, analytical approaches and remotely-sensed data. To that end, student interns from underrepresented institutions spend ten weeks in the summer of each year at NASA/MSFC and NASA/ARC working with NASA-affiliated researchers on hands-on applied atmospheric and environmental research projects related to subject areas such as air quality, hydrology, water quality, climate variations, urban heat islands, agricultural productivity, wildfires and ecological forecasting. The student interns also receive fundamental remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), geospatial analysis and programming trainings that allow them to more efficiently perform their research. In addition to technical trainings, these projects also help the students improve their technical writing, presentation and critical thinking skills. In this conference presentation, we will give an overview of CAARE’s recent educational and research activities and share our lessons learned.
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