In Chile, students interacted with operational meteorologists at the Chilean National Weather Service and visited field sites to observe the climatological diversity of the country. In Vietnam, students interacted and engaged with Vietnamese citizens, scientists, engineers, and students involved in international S&T collaboration in the areas of Energy and Coastal Oceanography. In Guatemala, students collaborated with Guatemalan Navy in the design of a coastal engineering solution to sedimentation and erosion at the main Guatemalan Pacific Naval Base at Puerto Quetzal.
Upon return from each LREC experience, faculty leaders advised undergraduates in independent research capstone projects on topics that emerged during the trips. Several of those theses resulted in peer-reviewed publications in top (STEM) journals. Also, pre-and post-trip surveys showed changes in how students view the world both from a cultural perspective and a STEM perspective. Assessment data, feedback, and other products from these USNA LREC Program trips and plans and goals for future STEM-based LREC experiences will be presented to show the value of these trips to students, faculty, and international partners. Results will demonstrate a successful model for the integration of cross-cultural learning with STEM disciplines that, especially in the case of USNA Midshipmen, will help develop future leaders with an increased cultural awareness and rich STEM background that will benefit them in their future careers.