700 Increasing Minorities in Atmospheric Science through Geoscience Experiences (I.M.A.G.E.) Program at Jackson State Univ.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Dereka Carroll-Smith, NCAR, Boulder, CO; Jackson State Univ., Jackson, MS; and J. N. Elkins

Increasing Minorities in the Atmospheric Sciences through the Geoscience Experiences (IMAGE) project is a three-year partnership between the Jackson State University (JSU) Department of Chemistry, Physics and Atmospheric Sciences (CPAS) and Provine High School. The project also collaborates with alumni at the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Jackson, MS (NWS-WFO), and includes regional schools in recruiting activities. The project leverages JSU’s demographic and institutional services to research, assess, and evaluate the effectiveness of a multilayered, academic year experience to increasing the number and diversity of students within the geosciences. The program targets a cohort of pre-college, first-year, transfer students and undergraduate geoscience majors. The cohorts are supported academically, socially and professionally via a series of effective and evidence-based strategies including a summer bridge program; a mentored geoscience teaching experience; and internships. These activities are aimed at achieving the program’s goals of increasing the number and diversity of STEM students, preparing students well to participate in science for tomorrow, and improving students' STEM learning outcomes. An overview of these activities will be presented.

As of June 2019, IMAGE has reached over 170 students, from two local high schools, and a college preparatory high school from New Orleans, LA, via the CPAS/IMAGE symposium. The IMAGE Summer Bridge program has mentored 12 students since June 2018. Four of which committed to enrolling in the JSU meteorology program. A total of four undergraduate students have received mentorship, financial support, and teaching training through the IMAGE program. Two of those students graduated and are employed at the Naval Research Laboratory at the Stennis Space Center, and as a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) Jackson Weather Forecast Office. A current undergraduate student was recently accepted into the NWS Pathways student internship program. The collaboration between NWS WFO Jackson, JSU, and IMAGE has served as a primitive channel for facilitating student’s professional development, pre-college meteorology courses, and a host of other academic accolades. Most importantly the collaboration is bringing together a new generation of young scientists from underrepresented communities together, whose voices are waiting to be heard.

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