ISETCSC EXPERIENCES AS TOLD BY STUDENTS
Kawana Fuller, MS-Computer science, NCA&T
As a computer science graduate student, I have been completely supported by NOAA-ISET, in both my research and finances. The opportunities and insight that the ISET program has provided me have been invaluable in so many ways. Of course financial support is very important, but the research opportunities that I have been given are even more valuable and will be a major benefit to my growth, both now and in the future.
When I first got into the ISET program I was a little apprehensive because of the fact that I wasn’t sure how NOAA’s weather research goals would fit with my interest in computer science. In the future I hope to work as a software engineer, developing software for entire systems. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my career goals fall directly in line with my current research in remote sensing because I am able to apply my programming skills to weather monitoring systems (wireless sensor networks).
Not only has my research given me a preview of my future career, it has also provided me with the tools that I need in order to make an easy transition into internship and on-site research positions. In school I had learned what workflow management systems were and I had even used a drag-and-drop workflow editor, but on-site in Boulder last summer I learned about the inner-workings of a workflow management system and all of its components and properties. The fact that I had already been exposed to workflow management systems, made it very easy to grasp the project that I was expected to work on in Boulder.
Being in the program has also allowed me to make connections with other students across many disciplinary, social, and state boundaries. I’ve become friends and colleagues with students from Alaska, Ohio, New York, and Minnesota (to name a few) and of those, none of them shared the same discipline as me. The beauty of the NOAA-ISET program is that people from all backgrounds can work together to achieve a common goal.
Israel Begashaw, MS-Physics, NCA&T
My graduate school experience at North Carolina A&T was an exceptionally productive engagement that has opened multiple doors of opportunity for advancement. I currently work as an application analyst, at LI-COR Biosciences, one of the leading companies in environmental research instrumentation. The valuable training that I received and the networking I developed at A&T was instrumental in my selection process to my current position. My experience at A&T was facilitated by my advisor, the department, the research group I worked with and outside collaborations.
My advisor was an excellent mentor both in actions and in words. He was patient and yet consistently pushing me forward and encouraging me towards significant achievements. He provided me with the freedom to explore my ideas and to pursue solutions to problems as they arise while giving me the guidance necessary. The relatively small size of the department allowed for a much more direct interaction with the professors. The collaborative nature of the department also made my experience as a graduate teaching assistant smooth and rewarding.
My research group was a place where I grew both in learning and in teaching. I learned a lot from the diversity of the group, which included PhD candidates, a post-doc as well as undergraduates. I was able to tap in to the different backgrounds group members had during the course of my research work. I was also able to share my knowledge with members of the group. In addition to members of the group, I also benefited a great deal from the groups’ collaborations with scientists outside NC A&T. The group involvement with scientists at NOAA and NCAR and beyond has enriched
Robert Olabode, BS-Computer Science, University of Minnesota
I joined the ISET program in April 2007. Through it, I have had opportunities to go on summer internships to the NOAA office in Boulder, Colorado. Working unMichael Steinbach, I have also done research on weather data, and have presented posters at two different events, the NAC meeting inNorth Carolina in October 2008 and at Howard University in November 2009. I will be taking up a full time position at Epic Corporation in Madison; during the interview I was asked to discuss one of my past projects, I chose to discuss one of my posters. They must have been impressed, since I got the job.
Tommy Morrison, MS-Computer Science, NCA&T
My NOAA-ISET experience for fall 2008 thru spring 2010 has been a great journey. I did research with NOAA my undergraduate year as a senior and continued with it during graduate school. My advisor is Dr. Albert Esterline. Presentations at Howard and at the McNair Symposium have helped me with my growth in my communications area and presentation skills. It has given me the training I need to be a leader and to deal with real world issues. My experience in Boulder, CO was very different. It allowed me the chance to work in a work setting and be independent. My NOAA-ISET experience was great and it gave me the chance to experience new things and to become a great leader.
Richard L. Messick, MS-Computer Science, NCA&T
My experience with NOAA ISETCSC has been a good experience. First my advisor, Dr. Yaohang Li, has guided me through the master’s program here at North Carolina A&T State University. During the summer of 2009, I was blessed to go to Boulder, CO to work at NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory. During my time at the ESRL, I worked on a Google Earth Project that maps base stations and climatology data. I continued my research from the summer and published a thesis on the Google Earth Project. I will never forget what NOAA has done for me and I will always remember this program. I wish everyone the best in your endeavors.
Wilsharo Scott, BS Computer Science, Fisk University
My experience with the NOAA ISET Cooperative Science Center throughout this academic year has been phenomenal. I have collaborated with NOAA scientists on projects that have greatly strengthened my research skills. One project involved evaluating the use of satellite remote sensing to monitor coral bleaching. I presented the result of this project at Fisk University’s 12th Annual Student Research Day, where I was selected as a first place recipient in my category. I also presented these results at NOAA’s Fifth Education and Science Forum. The opportunities provided by NOAA ISET have helped me to develop as a scientist and have allowed me to strengthen my professional network. I look forward to my future participation in this program.
ISET-CUNY undergraduate student Janelle Lawrence excels…
Janelle Lawrence, BS Physics, CUNY
June 2010: Being a part of NOAA ISET I was able to see the world. Okay, not the world but at least I was able to represent the undergraduate community from City University of New York, as one of the participant at the Junior Scientist Conference 2010 from April 7-9, 2010, held at the Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria. That was one of the most interesting days of my life. Imagine, going to your first conference and it being in such an enchanting country; well, that opportunity was mine! The conference was lovely and not what I expected. Prior to this trip, I believed that those who are interested in the sciences and research are doomed to a life of boredom, but that viewpoint of mine sure changed after this trip! The keynotes and then the presentations had me begging to know more about everything – this was a large conference with people from different areas of the science world. The work of other students and their passion also aided to rejuvenate my desire to continue working on my research until I get to the point where I can present to such a large crowd without the fear of not knowing all there is to know about my topic. This spring semester my article was published in the Grove School of Engineering Student Journal for Student Research (JSR). JSR sure encourages and trains undergraduate students like me to get an exposure to the scientific community, who are able to see the work I was able to do because of the opportunities of NOAA ISET; and the encouragement of a wonderful advisor, Brian Vant-hull, and of course a self promoting drive to succeed.
June 2011: The ISETCSC program has helped me realize my passion for atmospheric science. With the help of Dr. Brian Vant-hull, I have been able to develop skills that would be imperative to a meteorological career. I am now knowledgeable in Matlab, C++, and Java (whilst conducting research for this program I became aware of how important computer programming skills are to a future meteorologist).
Beyond developing research skills the ISETCSC program provided me with the opportunity to meet other students and scientist interested in not only atmospheric science but hydrology, ecology, oceanography, and such on. This opportunity is special because I have met many people that might one day save the world. Also, it was great to see others interested in understanding the world we live in and trying to leave a world that is enjoyable for those who follow us.
But most importantly, to me at least, the ISETCSC program has provided an introduction to what research in graduate school and beyond would be. I believe that it is the work I have done with the ISETCSC that made me a desirable applicant for graduate schools. I confidently say the research experience I have received with this program has opened door for higher learning and with that a career which will soon follow.
Ioannis Ioannou, Ph.D Electrical Engineering, CUNY
ISETCSC is an outstanding program that has permitted me to participate in state of the art research on coastal sensing and ocean color that is being carried out under the ISETCSC program. I have been participating in that research over the 3 years at the City College of NY which permitted me to relate classroom knowledge to real-life technological applications and obtain significant research experience, with noteworthy peered reviewed publications that are much related to NOAA interests. I can say that it is the opportunities that the ISETCSC program presented that allowed me to pursue the research that led to my PhD thesis and degree. I am obligated to say that my work wouldn’t be possible today without ISETCSC support.
Wilsharo Scott, BS Computer Science, FISK
ISETCSC has greatly helped me maintain interest in my major of Computer Science by exposing me to exciting opportunities to apply the skills I have obtained. I didn’t want to be a cliché Computer Science student who primarily writes programs and goes on to work at companies such as Microsoft or Google. Through ISETCSC I was able to apply my programming skills to contribute to various other areas of science. I’ve contributed to the development of a weather service as among other projects. During my participation in this program I have learned the importance of networking and also gained the confidence that I can take the initiative on any project I desire and get quality results. I am thankful that I have been able to participate in this program.
Malikah Greene, BS Chemical Engineering, NCA&TSU
The ISETCSC program has helped me by providing assistance in class work. I received help from fellow students in the program as well as from my advisor. It also gave my any opportunity to apply the information that I learned in class. In working on the uptake of isocyanic acid, I was able to apply information learned in my physics, quantitative analysis, physical chemistry chemical reactions, mass transfer and separations as well as thermodynamics courses. I was given the opportunity to present my research to students at Howard University as well as to my peers on campus at NC A&T. ISETCSC prepared me for a STEM-focused career in exposing me to ways to problem solve.
Carlos Crawford, BS Chemistry, NCA&TSU
The ISETCSC program has helped me pursue my bachelor’s degree in chemistry via funding, building my resume, and providing guidance. They have enhanced my scientific competencies by introducing so many different topics and research problems. They have introduced me to various NOAA personnel in which increased my networking skills. I have been able to present at ten presentations my undergraduate career due to NOAA ISETCSC. I have been able to improve my public speaking abilities and obliterate my fear of public speaking. The program has also improved my overall confidence in my abilities because they are always expecting the best, thus I’ve had to continuously acclimate to that level.
STUDENTS’ ISETCSC EXPERIENCES AS TOLD BY FACULTY ADVISORS
Robert Mera, NCSU gets NCAR Visiting Student Award, Faculty Advisor, Fred Semazzi
The host institution for this award was the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Robert was hosted by Dr Arlene Laing of the Mesoscale and Microscale Modeling group. The appointment took place from March 9th to April 17th, 2010. This research supports efforts currently underway through NOAA-ISET as well as the Google.org/UCAR Africa Initiative project.
Robert Mera gets UCAR PACE Post-Doc Fellowship at Oregon State University
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has awarded Robert Mera the Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise (PACE) Post-doctoral Fellowship. This fellowship is managed by UCAR but takes place in Corvallis and Salem, Oregon. The two hosting institutions are Oregon State University (OSU) and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD). This two-year appointment began September of 2010. Robert is working on creating risk maps of climate change impacts on land development in the state of Oregon using resources available through OSU's Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI). These resources include multi-model regional climate model ensembles of relevant climate variables.
Samuel Hernandez, MS Chemistry, Faculty Advisor: Alam Hasson
Samuel became an ISET student as an undergraduate in January 2008 after being challenged to raise his GPA to 3.0 in order to join the Center. He graduated in spring 2008 with a BS in chemistry, and continued on in the MS chemistry program at Fresno State. He will graduated with a GPA of over 3.9. He has worked on a laboratory project to understand the atmospheric chemistry of organic peroxy radicals, which are important intermediates in the atmospheric degradation of most organic pollutants. His work has resulted in one journal article to date (with one more expected to be based on his thesis work) and fourteen conference ity to spend one month in Boulder during summer 2009, where he worked with DGeoff Tyndall at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and spent several days with Dr. James Burkholder’s group at NOAA ESRL. He began his Ph.D. studies in physical chemistry at UCLA in the fall 2010.
Sean Campbell, BS Biology, spring 2010, Faculty Advisor: Alam Hasson
Sean joined ISET in January 2009, and graduated in spring 2010 with a GPA of 4.0. As an ISET student, he worked on both a laboratory study of the chemistry of peroxy radicals and field measurements of pollutant emissions from dairies. He visited Boulder in summer 2009 spending time with both Dr. Geoff Tyndall at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and with Dr. James Burkholder at NOAA. He has been the co-author of 14 conference presentations, and he has received several awards for best presentation, including at the 2009 EPP forum at Howard University. He is also the co-author of two manuscripts that will be submitted for publication in the next few weeks.
Ndifreke Friday Amama, NCA&T-Chemistry, participated in AEROSE_VI (April 26- May22, 2010) and studied determining the potential impacts of lightning on [O3] and comparing lightning activity to ozone-sonde data.
ISETCSC-NCA&T PhD Student at CalNex 2010 project
The Calnex 2010 project is a massive field campaign with the intended goal of collecting atmospheric information from air, land, and sea. The intention is to get as much overlap in data as possible in order to provide a cohesive regional limate change.
Anthony Cochran, NCA&T, PhD, EES seen in the figure working atop NOAA trailer) participated in the ground based portion of the campaign and has assisted in the pre-deployment tests at NOAA ESRL in Boulder, Colorado which were designed to simulate the actual experimental environment in the field. He is currently ain the rigorous day to day calibrations as well as the efforts to maintain a continuous stream of ambient data.
The instrument Mr. Cochran is working with is a quadrupole cionization mass spectrometer (CIMS) that uses acetate as the reagenion to react with gas phase acids. The primary acids of interest are HONO, HNCO, and HCL due to evidence in earlier work that they are present in biomass burning. Several organic acidare also being sampled simultaneously. Mass scans are routinely conducted in order to identify any new species of interest.