Monday, 23 January 2012
The PRE-Depression Investigation of Cloud-Systems in the Tropics (PREDICT) Field Campaign: Educational Perspectives of Early Career Scientists
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
The PRE-Depression Investigation of Cloud-systems in the Tropics (PREDICT) field experiment successfully gathered data from four developing and four decaying/non-developing tropical disturbances over the tropical North Atlantic basin between 15 August and 30 September 2010. As described in a forthcoming paper in BAMS, the invaluable roles played by early career scientists (ECSs) throughout the campaign helped make possible the successful execution of the field program's mission to investigate tropical cyclone formation. ECSs provided critical meteorological information – often obtained from novel ECS-created products – during daily weather briefings that were used by the principal investigators in making mission planning decisions. Once a G-V flight mission was underway, ECSs provided nowcasting support, relaying information that helped the mission scientists to steer clear of potential areas of turbulence aloft. Data from these missions, including dropsonde and GPS water vapor profiler data, were continually obtained, processed, and quality controlled by ECSs. The dropsonde data provided National Hurricane Center forecasters and PREDICT mission scientists with real-time information regarding the characteristics of tropical disturbances. These data and others will serve as the basis for multiple ECS-led research topics over the years to come and are expected to provide new insights into the tropical cyclone formation process. PREDICT also provided invaluable educational and professional development experiences for ECSs, including the opportunity to critically evaluate observational evidence for tropical cyclone development theories and networking opportunities with their peers and established scientists in the field. This presentation will focus upon the career development and educational activities afforded ECSs during PREDICT and place these activities in the broader context of recruiting, retaining, and developing students in the atmospheric sciences.