151 Pathways to Atmospheric Science Through Immersion in Geoscience Research

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Melissa A. Burt, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and S. Bililign, A. S. Denning, K. Schimmel, A. Mekonnen, Y. L. Lin, J. Zhang, M. Jha, and B. Banks

The recruitment of undergraduate students, especially minorities, into geoscience career paths continues to be a challenge. This NSF-Geopaths program aims to increase diversity in atmospheric sciences through a collaboration between North Carolina A&T State University (NCAT) and Colorado State University (CSU) with the goal of developing a sustainable pathway model for undergraduate and/or graduate programs in atmospheric sciences at HBCUs. The program design has four components based on education literature best practices: (1) Promoting atmospheric sciences as a socially and culturally relevant career option, (2) Cohort building activities and effective mentoring, (3) Year­round research opportunities for undergraduates at NCAT, complemented with field trips to atmospheric science and meteorology facilities in the region and state, followed­ up by a short but intensive research experience at CSU and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to develop career relevant competencies, and (4) Enhancing and improving atmospheric science curriculum by integrating student research activities and course content. The program recruited six African American students in its first cohort. The students were engaged in a year-­round research activity, bi-weekly professional development seminars, visits to CSU, the National Weather Service (NWS), and a field trip to the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the program activities and assessment, along with challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned from the first cohort.
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