85th AMS Annual Meeting

Sunday, 9 January 2005
"Hands-on" diversity: Training underrepresented students through atmospheric experimentation
Joseph Everette, Howard University, Washington, DC; and J. D. Fuentes, D. D. Venable, V. R. Morris, B. Demoz, P. Kucera, G. S. Jenkins, F. Nzeffe, M. L. Robjhon, S. Walford, and R. Connell
A new state-of-the-art facility designed to expose students to 'hands-on' or experiential learning methods in atmospheric sciences is introduced. The facility is part of Howard University and is located in suburban Maryland on 110 acres of land where scientists and students investigate cloud and aerosol optical properties, atmosphere-surface interactions, ozone formation and deposition processes, and aerosol chemistry and physical characteristics. We report on the experiences gained through 2 workshops intended to motivate minority students in pursuing atmospheric sciences research through experiential learning methods. The principal goals of these workshops were (1) to introduce students to and facilitate student-interaction with leading atmospheric scientists, (2) to develop both horizontal and vertical mentoring strategies with graduate students and participating faculty members, and (3) to employ experiential methods of learning as a means to motivate students to pursue research and careers in atmospheric sciences. The unique features of the workshop included the participation of diverse faculty, and the different research interests among participating students and faculty members. Students assessed the workshop as a highly rewarding learning experience and recommended that similar efforts should be continued at both graduate and undergraduate levels in order to graduate well-rounded students.

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