2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 14
Presentation Time: 5:00 PM

Atmospheric Balloon Studies: A Collaboration Between Minority and Traditional Undergraduate and Graduate Institutions

AUSTIN, S.1, JOHNSON, L.1, LEFER, B.2, MORRIS, G.3, MORRIS, P.A.4 and WALTER, D.K.5, (1)Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11225, (2)Department of Geosciences, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77004, (3)Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN 46383, (4)University of Houston-Downtown, 1 Main St, Houston, TX 77002, (5)South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC 29117, blefer@uh.edu

The Minority University Consortium for Earth and Space Sciences (MUCESS), a collaboration among diverse minority institutions dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented students pursuing professional and research careers in Earth and Atmospheric Science and Space Science, were informed that they had been funded by NSF for a faculty and student research opportunity in atmospheric science. Among the institutions only Medgar Evers College, City University of New York had a prior program in ozone monitoring and a bachelor's degree in environmental science. The funding provided an opportunity to strengthen the initial team with the addition of G. Morris, Valparaiso University and B. Lefer, University of Houston as both had an ongoing ozone research program. The grant enabled MEC to continue their activities and the University of Houston-Downtown to increase the number of launches per year. South Carolina State University is able to strengthen their support system and incorporate the activities into both their academic and outreach programs. The opportunity to partner with G. Morris and B. Lefer will enable the institutions to expand their ozonesonde launches to include both tropospheric and stratospheric ozone distribution and transport. Faculty student workshops will be an integral part of the program as the activity will increase the scientific knowledge of the participants.

The program provides an opportunity for minority students to pursue studies in the geosciences and develop the skills and knowledge to pursue graduate degrees in the discipline.