7.6 Place-Based Research and Professional Experiential Learning Models through NOAA’s Investment

Wednesday, 9 January 2019: 11:45 AM
North 229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Shakila B. Merchant, NOAA Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies, New York, NY; and R. Khanbilvardi

In an increasingly dynamic and global marketplace, diverse yet competent STEM professionals are critical to American innovation, competitiveness and the economy. However, most students who graduate with an advanced degree (Masters and/or PhDs) do not acquire much-needed professional skillsets desired by the potential employers – particularly federal agencies and the private sector/industries. Recent studies and surveys reveal that it is critically important to transform and align our graduate education training to include and focus not only academic-driven workforce but also non-academic STEM workforce. Through NOAA’s investment, two unique professional and experiential learning models - (1) NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunities (NERTO) and (2) NOAA/JPSS-Students Professional & Academic Readiness with Knowledge in Satellites (SPARKS) were created particularly for the graduate students with special emphasis on the underrepresented minority communities.

Through this paper, the authors will share the key elements of NERTO and SPARKS initiatives built through synergistic partnerships and collaborative engagement between Federal Agencies like NOAA, various U.S Academic Institutions and Private Sectors to help graduate students attain future workforce-related skill-sets through professional advancement and career related experiential training.

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