Undergraduates: Announcements, Deadlines, and Congratulations from the Director

Posted: 12/15/2010 | PDF

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Dear SoM undergraduate students-

Hello and happy holidays. Hopefully finals are going or have gone well. A few important announcements, some deadlines and some congratulations from the Director.

Summer Opportunities: T'is the season for thinking about some excellent opportunities for undergraduates. These programs and their deadlines include:

  • The application deadline for the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program is 4 February 2011 (see http://www.oesd.noaa.gov/Hollings_info.html). This program provides for a 10-week ($6500) paid internship during a 10-week period where you are match to a NOAA mentor and up to an $8000 scholarship award for two academic years. Conference travel is also provided. The program is quite competitive, but it is a great opportunity, especially for research.

  • The Real-world Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) at the NWC is another great program that enables summer research under the supervision of talented mentors. Housing, travel and a stipend are provided. See http://www.caps.ou.edu/reu/. The program here has been going in some form since 1998. The National Science Foundation notes that these active research experiences are one of the most effective techniques for attracting talented undergraduates to and retaining them in careers in mathematics, science and engineering. Too few such experiences are now available. Their web site states that the 2011 applications will be posted by 22 December 2010.

  • The NCAR SOARS (Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Sciences) is a research mentoring program dedicated to broadening participating in the atmospheric and related sciences. The students spend 10 weeks in Boulder during the summer. It is an undergraduate to graduate program built around a summer research internship, mentoring by top scientists, and a supportive learning community. The deadline is 1 February 2011. Two little known gems about this program are: a) A mechanism exists to provide financial aid for some SOARS students for up to two years of undergraduate or graduate studies. b) The common perception is that this program is for minority students in the traditional sense, it also extends to females, first generation college students, LBGT students, students with disabilities, students who have overcome significant educational, economic, personal and family disadvantages/circumstances. See http://www.soars.ucar.edu/apply/.

  • Other internship opportunities exist can be found at

For those interested in part-time student employment in their field, please pay attention to email announcements and job postings on the 5th floor bulletin board. This month a mailing went out for an Oklahoma Mesonet Operator at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. This position requires a two-year commitment. In November, a student position was advertised at the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. See the board for more information.

  • The Oklahoma Daily ranked the NWC as the 3rd best place to study on the OU campus. This award is nice, but it has had unintended consequences such as inundating the NWC with OU students. In many cases, these non-METR students are in the building into the late night and have been in rooms that are suppose to be secure. In response to METR student complaints, I have discussed this issue with the Dean's staff. Since the NWC hosts federal govt, state and OU institutions our rules are somewhat different than for OU and access to the NWC is restricted between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am. The Dean's Office will remind security not to let OU students into the building if they do not have a working swipe card between 7 pm and 7 am. So please make sure your card is in working order. If you see non-METR students in restricted areas after these hours or notice restricted areas doors propped open, please contact security.

  • Happy holidays. On behalf of the faculty and staff of the NWC, we wish you a happy holiday. I thought that I would share a Christmas present given to me by the staff (http://sendables.jibjab.com/view/opgIuihMZDvpJe51).

  • Best technology careers: The US News and World Report rated Meteorologists are one of the 50 best career options of 2011. See http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2010/12/06/best-careers-2011-technology-jobs.html . The rating is high due in part to promising career growth, although the comment section is interesting.

Congratulations! The School has swept the recent college awards:

  • Meteorology juniors Stacey Hitchcock and Brian Squitieri for winning the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Outstanding Junior Award and Lloyd Noble Family Trailblazer Scholarships.

  • Meteorology senior Elizabeth Rockwell has been named the Colleges Outstanding Senior Award and Nichols Trailblazer Scholarship. She was honored, along with other OU's other winners, by President Boren at a Special Recognition Ceremony. The two alternates for this award were Keith Sherburn and Nicole Ramsey.

Finally, congratulations to our undergraduates for their overall outstanding quality. For example -- 47% of our 2009-10 graduating seniors were admitted to graduate schools, over 75% minored in mathematics, and nearly 40% graduated with special distinction, distinction, Summa cum Laude or Magna cum Laude. When this assessment was completed in the fall of 2010, less than 10% of the 2009-10 graduating class had either not found employment, gone on to graduate school or had not responded to our survey request (a low number especially given the current state of the economy).

Oh well, that is all for now.

Have a good holiday break

Best regards,

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