Each year, about 12 to 15 undergraduate students work on the CASS research team. They fill roles ranging from aerospace engineering students providing recommendations on designs for a launcher for an aircraft to computer engineering students swapping out autopilot systems in one of the planes to mechanical engineers doing structural design and welding.
Morgan Schneider, a meteorology senior from Chicago, Illinois, joined the research team during the spring semester of her sophomore year.
Schneider, this year’s outstanding senior for the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, has loved weather ever since she was a little kid. Her dad was also a weather lover and a trained storm spotter, and Schneider recalled sitting on the porch with him and reading books he had related to severe weather storm spotting.
“I remember being 5, 6, 7 years old and getting really excited whenever storms started coming through,” Schneider recalled. “We don't get a lot of tornadoes in northern Illinois, but we do get a lot of squall lines. During the summer when these squall lines would come through, my dad and I would sit on the porch and just watch the lightning and listen to the thunder for hours.”
Now, with CASS, she takes a closer look at this topic that has interested her since childhood as she analyzes data collected by the drones in the boundary layer of the atmosphere. One specific project Schneider contributed to was looking at turbulent motion in the layer and using temperature measurements from various distances to form an idea of the intensity of the turbulence.