Contact: Keli Tarp
NOAA News Releases 2005
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Students from colleges and universities around the country are spending their summer working with the nation’s top weather researchers and forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.

Undergraduate students are paired with government and university weather experts for 10 weeks to conduct research on a variety of topics including severe weather, tornadoes, numerical weather prediction models and climatology. Students prepare and present papers reporting the results of their research. Their experience is supplemented by tours, field trips and lectures, all designed to help determine whether they want to pursue a future career in research.

A total of 12 students are participating in the National Weather Center Research Experience for Undergraduate program, and one student at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

The students’ mentors, who are leading scientists in the field of meteorology, are from several of the organizations that make up the Oklahoma Weather Center, including NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory, Storm Prediction Center, Warning Decision Training Branch and National Weather Service Forecast Office, as well as University of Oklahoma’s School of Meteorology, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, and Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms.

REU participant Brandon Miller, an earth and atmospheric sciences major at the Georgia Institute of Technology from Atlanta, Ga., said his experience has been beneficial.

“The REU program has opened my eyes to a possible future in research that I never considered before,” Miller said. “It's a great experience that I could not get anywhere else.”

The REU program is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms. The 12 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.

Last year, the National Science Foundation awarded a two-year, $330,000 extra grant to expand REU to help participating students network with past participants and build opportunities in other schools for undergraduates.

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.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is a Department of Energy facility managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities. With a diverse array of complementary, and often unique, programs, ORISE is a resource for science education programs; research and training in workforce health, safety and security; emergency preparedness and response; radiological site characterization and cleanup verification; technical training systems; and integrated scientific and technical expertise.

The National Weather Center includes 17 federal, state and University of Oklahoma organizations involved in weather research, forecasting, education and support. Combined, the National Weather Center units employ nearly 650 people and have total annual expenditures of about $50 million.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.

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