7.2 Using a Field Experience as a Component of a Traditional REU Program

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 8:45 AM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Don T. Conlee, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and C. Schumacher and C. J. Nowotarski

The National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsors a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site/program in the Department Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University, officially entitled Atmospheric Science in the Gulf Coast Region.   This REU is fairly traditional in that students are paired with research mentors and are assimilated into the mentor's research group to focus on a research problem for the summer.  However, the REU also features a cohort field experience that focuses on an observing/research objective, usually involving time on the Texas Gulf coast.   This field experience introduces the planning, tools, execution, and rhythm of a field campaign, involving the students as much as possible in each phase.   The experience usually comes later in the schedule, and also functions as a short break from the primary research.   The indication from participant feedback is that the field experience is a critical part of the overall REU value to the students.  Details of the field experience and integration into the overall program will be given.
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