ERC Team Presents Extreme Weather Research at Science Museum

Achievement date: 
2013
Outcome/accomplishment: 

The NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) participated in Extreme Weather Day, an event held on June 11, 2011 at the Museum of Science, Boston.

Impact/benefits: 

The participating CASA team was composed of a pair of professors, three PhD candidates, and four undergraduate students, some of whom were from groups underrepresented in science and engineering. This event gave CASA researchers the opportunity to elucidate the scientific and societal impacts of their work and to reach out to younger audience members.

Explanation/Background: 

Drs. Michael Zink and Stephen Frasier, from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at UMass, presented their work at the event. Dr. Zink’s presentation gave an overview of CASA’s research. His talk emphasized the work done at the University of Oklahoma (OU), a CASA partner in which a CASA testbed was able to detect two tornadoes early enough to allow the National Weather Service to evacuate local residents. Dr. Frasier’s presentation, Severe Storm Research with Mobile Doppler Radar, highlighted the work of the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL) at UMass and its contributions to the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX2) project.

Funding for two of the four undergraduates, Hantz Alvarez and Sean Lopes, came from NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Robert Palumbo, one of the three PhD candidates, was also a Raytheon employee participating in the Raytheon Advanced Study Scholarship Program.