5.6 A Novel Approach to Prepare the Next Generation Cadre of JPSS Scientists through Pragmatic Education and Training

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 11:45 AM
Room 252/254 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Shakila Merchant, NOAA/CREST, New York, NY; and M. Goldberg and R. Khanbilvardi

A Novel Approach to Prepare the Next Generation Cadre of JPSS Scientists through Pragmatic Education and Training

Shakila Merchant*1, Mitch Goldberg2 and Reza Khanbilvardi1 *Presenting author - smerchant@ccny.cuny.edu 1NOAA CREST Center, the City College of New York, NY 10031 2 NOAA /JPSS Program Science Office, Joint Polar Satellite System

ABTRACT There is a major dearth of STEM learners and in particular training of diverse pool of students in NOAA related sciences. With meager 14% HS graduates entering into STEM career the challenge becomes even more daunting when it comes to training and graduating college students in cutting edge 21st century sciences dealing with satellite based remote sensing sciences and technologies that are critical to understand, assess and predict the ever changing earth's environment. It is therefore imperative that students particularly from underrepresented population be trained on how to understand and utilize satellite based data and thus expand their tool-box on job-skillsets. NOAA's Education Strategic Plan as specified in the America COMPETES Act, 2007 and re-authorized in 2015 focuses on the five education goals - Science-Informed Society; Conservation & Stewardship; Safety and Preparedness; Future Workforce and Organizational Excellence to advance NOAA's Sciences. The current paper will primarily focus on the last two of NOAA's education goals of advancing NOAA's sciences to help create a diverse future workforce especially in Satellite Programs including JPSS. NOAA-CREST Center which is NOAA's one of the four cooperative science centers - focuses on the holistic education and training of students particularly students from underserved, underrepresented and first generation college students to prepare and engage them in the satellite programs. This paper will highlight the new innovative approach that the authors have adopted to impart holistic training to JPSS interns that combines academic training; professional development and internship opportunities at various NOAA facilities. The approach focuses on students' core competency and job-ready skill-sets and create a STEM workforce for NOAA and other relevant federal contractors, industries and private sectors. The authors will share their best practices and approach through this presentation.

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