6A.3 Puerto Rico Weather Camp: A summer experience to build knowledge in tropical meteorology, atmospheric sciences, and oceanography

Saturday, 14 November 2009: 9:10 AM
Yasmín Detrés, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico; and R. A. Armstrong

The Puerto Rico Weather Camp is a summer experience where bilingual high school students have the opportunity to discover the fields of atmospheric sciences, tropical meteorology and oceanography, among others. The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, one of the four minority-serving institutions in partnership at the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS), has hosted this educational activity since 2007 to encourage students in fields of interest to NOAA. A total of 45 students have had the opportunity to explore the atmosphere and ocean connections, and learned about the complex tropical weather and climate phenomena such as trade winds, hurricanes, jet streams, and the El Niño Southern Oscillation. This educational approach required the establishment of new partnerships and collaborations amongst representatives from the academia, NOAA, and other agencies which share interest and expertise in these fields. Partners from the National Weather Service (San Juan Office), NOAA-UPRM Cooperative Program in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (CPAS), NOAA NESDIS, and the Caribbean Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing system, and others, assisted participants in the discovery of these exciting fields and the diverse opportunities and careers that are available. The quality, commitment and strength of our partners and collaborations certainly contributed to the overall excellence of the PRWC. Approximately 26% of the 2007-2008 PRWC participants are already pursuing careers in atmospheric sciences, meteorology or oceanography, demonstrating the effectiveness of this initiative to motivate bright students, of underrepresented groups, to choose education and careers in support of NOAA's mission.
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