6.4 Orchestrating Magic: Designing and Conducting What Participants Call an Amazing Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 4:30 PM
Room 353 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Daphne LaDue, CAPS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Successful direction of a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) or REU-like program is requires an adaptable mindset, a group of like-minded scientists, ongoing attention to an ever-changing context, and an underlying program philosophy to guide decisions. Each year the program is adapted to the particular participants and to the current state of the science and evolving landscape of available careers. Program elements are explained to participants as they are actively led through reflection on their experiences with research. They are exposed to a wide variety of careers, locally and through alumni of this program. The Norman weather community, including university, federal, state, and private sector partners has led an REU program for about 20 of the years dating back to 1991. The seeds of this program's philosophy can be traced back to the current director's own REU experience and to similar experiences of the scientists involved, all of whom dedicate time and energy to nurturing undergraduate students. A brief history of the program will be described before delving into how evidence-based elements are implemented each year to make the National Weather Center's Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program so successful.
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