March 27, 2010 to April 10, 2010
Project Location: 
Lincoln, NE
Funding Type: 
NSF Funded
Project Description: 

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA DOW EDUCATION AND OUTREACH PROJECT-2 :: UNDEO-2

Principal Investigator :: Dr. Adam Houston
Where :: University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
When :: 27 March - 10 April 2010
Facility :: Doppler On Wheels

The University of Nebraska requested a 14-day on-campus deployment of a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) for classroom-instruction and hands-on experience with a cutting-edge radar system. The 2nd University of Nebraska DOW Education and Outreach (UNDEO 2) project has two principal objectives:

  1. Education: To provide undergraduate and graduate students in Radar Meteorology an opportunity to use a sophisticated research radar to collect data for student research projects
  2. Outreach: To exhibit a new and valuable platform in the NSF deployment pool to a broad audience of current and future scientists and members of the general public.

The principal component was to provide the ~15 students enrolled in Radar Meteorology, an upper-level course for undergraduate majors and graduate students in the University of Nebraska - Lincoln (UNL) Meteorology/Climatology program of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, the opportunity to use the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) and analyze the data collected. Students were trained to operate the DOW and data will be collected during at least one intensive operations period (IOP) somewhere in the US Central Plains. Students will then use these data in research projects that culminate in a final term paper. Graduate students in the Meteorology/Climatology who took a radar meteorology course as an undergraduate (~3-5 additional students) were also invited to receive training in DOW operations. Read the complete UNDEO 2 Facility Request.

Differences between UNDEO 1 and UNDEO 2

The first UNDEO took place in November 2008. While the principal objectives of UNDEO 2 are the same, there are several significant differences between the two projects that are summarized here:

  • One of the lessons learned from the first UNDEO was that the principal outreach event needed to occur on a weekend to maximize the turnout. The Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium is an ideal forum for the outreach portion of the project not only because it occurs on a Saturday but because it has an established audience.
  • Another lesson learned from the first UNDEO was that limiting the primary IOP to southeast Nebraska too severely restricted the options for data collection during a 14-day on-campus deployment. One solution was to increase the project length from 14 to, say, 21 days. However, the more economical and possibly more effective strategy is to expand the target area to include more than just southeast NE. In UNDEO 2, the IOP will be executed anywhere within ~800 km of Lincoln that targetable meteorological phenomena are predicted for the predetermined date of the IOP.
  • The date of the IOP was to be set prior to the beginning of the semester which, in contrast to the first UNDEO, to ensure full class participation in the data collection.
  • Dr. Wurman's presentation to all Meteorology/Climatology undergraduates was replaced by a presentation to the entire Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
  • The ad hoc elementary school visit that occurred during the UNDEO 1 was formalized in UNDEO 2 and, with advanced planning, was extended to more grade schools.


UNDEO 2 Final Report

The second University of Nebraska DOW Education and Outreach (UNDEO-2) project was conducted in the spring of 2011. Both UNDEO (in 2008) and UNDEO-2 were supported as educational deployments” of the NSF Lower Atmospheric Observing Facilities. This support enabled a 14-day deployment of a Center for Severe Weather Research Doppler on Wheels (DOW) to meet the following two principal objectives:

  1. Education: Provide undergraduate and graduate students in Dr. Adam Houston’s Radar Meteorology course an opportunity to use a sophisticated research radar to collect data for student research projects
     
  2. Outreach: Exhibit a platform in the NSF deployment pool to a broad audience of current and future scientists and members of the general public.

During UNDEO-2 students deployed DOW 6 near Kansas City, MO where data on multiple airmass boundaries along with “training” supercells were collected. The DOW was also exhibited to the nearly 1,000 visitors of the 11th annual Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium. Read the complete UNDEO 2 Final Report.


UNDEO 2 Images