NOAA 03-R298
Contact: Keli Tarp
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Williamsport Area High School graduate Christina M. Nestlerode, a senior astronomy/physics major at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., was one of 10 students selected to participate in a summer research program at the Oklahoma Weather Center in Norman, Okla.

The program pairs undergraduate students with government and university weather researchers for 10 weeks to conduct research on a variety of topics including severe weather, tornadoes, numerical weather prediction models and climatology. In addition, students prepare and present papers reporting the results of their research. Their experience is supplemented by tours, field trips, and lectures, all designed to provide students the opportunity to judge whether or not they want to pursue a future career in research.

The students’ mentors, who are leading scientists in the field of meteorology, are from five of the organizations that make up the Oklahoma Weather Center, including NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory, Storm Prediction Center, as well as OU’s Oklahoma Climatalogical Survey, School of Meteorology and Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies.

Nestlerode, who is the daughter of Tina Cuneo of Williamsport, Pa., worked with Michael Richman, associate professor of meteorology at the OU School of Meteorology on a tornado forecasting project which involves statistical analysis of the Mesocyclone Detection Algorithm. The purpose of this project is to increase warning time and lower false alarm rates.

Students apply for participation in the Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms. The 10 participants were chosen from almost 100 applicants in the fields of meteorology, atmospheric science, physics, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, physical geography and other disciplines.

The aim of the National Science Foundation is to promote and advance scientific and engineering progress in the United States. Projects supported by the national REU program provide opportunities annually for several thousand undergraduate students to participate in active mathematics, science and engineering research experiences.

On the Web:

Oklahoma Weather Center REU program:

National Severe Storms Laboratory:

Storm Prediction Center:

Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms:

Oklahoma Weather Center:

University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology:

National Science Foundation: