ERAU CBREESE 2 Deployment Assessments & Summary

PI assessment

Overall, the 15-day educational deployment was an immense success for ERAU Meteorology and its students. ERAU C-BREESE 2.0 was designed to be more scientifically rigorous than ERAU C-BREESE, and we generally achieved our data collection objectives. The collected data will be used by ERAU Meteorology PIs and students for numerous research projects, presentations, and publications in the months and years to come. The IOP 4 meso-low was an unexpected yet unique aspect of the deployment and we look forward to further investigating the characteristics of and mechanisms responsible for its formation and maintenance.

Most importantly, ERAU students involved in ERAU C-BREESE enjoyed a once-in-an- undergrad-career opportunity to actively participate in a real-time field campaign involving hands-on field observation equipment. The meteorological, forecast, data analysis, and outreach skills they gained through these experiences are invaluable and will serve them well in their career endeavors.

Student Retrospectives

Comments from the nine students who participated were very positive and complimentary of the ERAU C-BREESE 2.0 experience. Anonymous post-course student comments included:

  • “The overall class really helped me learn.”
  • “DOW, MM, and balloon training, the descriptive leadership by the professors, and the outside vs. traditional classroom experience all helped me learn.”
  • “I loved the hands-on experience.”

Summary and Future Work

Lessons learned during ERAU C-BREESE 2.0 included:

  • Students work best and collaboratively when everyone has a specified task. Dividing students into DOW and MM teams with rotating roles allowed all students to feel consistently involved during the deployment. In addition, it helped to diversify students’ skills and make them feel involved in the decision-making process.
  • The student worksheets were an enormous help both during the field campaign and in post-deployment research. Using Google Docs allowed students to more easily complete them by using their mobile devices.
  • Hands-on experiential learning results in considerably more engaged and motivated students. Although field campaigns are relatively sparse and expensive, the experience can result in a large positive change in how an individual student feels about atmospheric science.
  • Establishing strong scientific objectives prior to the educational deployment allows for a smoother field campaign. We found that this aspect was greatly improved from ERAU C-BREESE in 2015.
  • Data transfer and processing in the post-deployment period remains a challenge. Specifically, DOW data must be rotated and formatted properly so that students can view it in software such as IDV that has background geography. It would be helpful in the future if CSWR could establish a canned process to facilitate data transfer and manipulation. While it is not a big issue for graduate students or large field research projects, educational deployments, especially those during summer terms, require data to be ready for analysis immediately after the deployment ends.

Our immediate plans at ERAU Meteorology are to continue data analysis and research, especially for the IOP 4 meso-low case. In consultation with CSWR, we believe this to be the first meso-low ever observed by a CSWR DOW. Two undergraduate students are already conducting research during the 2018 Fall semester using the data collected during ERAU C- BREESE 2.0. By the end of 2019, we hope to have two research publications in AMS journals, as well as numerous student conference presentations. Data analysis may also be conducted as part of our undergraduate Meteorology Capstone course during the next few years.