A&GS 10th Anniversary Reception
The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences is celebrating 10 years in 2016! To commemorate the event, we will be hosting an alumni reception on Homecoming Weekend. Join us on Friday, Oct. 28th, from 5:30-7:30 in the atrium of the National Weather Center before visiting the Rah Rally! inside Lloyd Noble Center at 8. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Oklahoma Schools Share $6 Million Award to Develop Weather Drones
The University of Oklahoma is one of four universities that are working together on an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that improve weather forecasting. The $6 million funding comes from the National Science Foundation over the next four years.
The University of Oklahoma will be supporting this project through its established strengths in meteorology and radar engineering. Small UAS technology enables researchers to explore the region of the atmosphere immediately above the Earth’s surface called the atmospheric boundary layer. OU has considerable experience in boundary layer meteorology and the addition of small UAS will considerably impact future studies. Additionally, OU will begin to explore the challenging question of how small UAS can be integrated into studying the impacts of climate change on our society. From an engineering side, this project will enable researchers at the University of Oklahoma to continue developing improved methods of detecting and tracking small UAS and efficiently communicating with these aircraft.
“I very am excited to be part of this project because if allows us to fundamentally demonstrate the value of using small UAS to monitor and investigate the lower atmosphere. This research has the potential to be a real game changer for meteorology and weather forecasting.” - Dr. Phil Chilson, professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology & Advanced Radar Research Center.
NASA talks: The Search for Life: Oceans Beyond Earth
NASA researcher Dr. Kevin Hand is coming to the National Weather Center beginning at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 22. Dr. Hand, an expert on the distribution of life in the solar system, is the Deputy Chief Scientist for Solar System Exploration. He will tell the story of the how the exploration of Earth’s oceans is helping to inform our understanding of the potential habitability of worlds like Europa, which is a top priority for future NASA missions.
Immediately before the forum, visitors are invited to attend a complimentary reception accompanying the Galileo’s World exhibits at the National Weather Center.
For more information, click here.
Congratulations Lance Leslie and Mike Richman
On your paper co-authored by Hamish A. Ramsay titled Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Predictions Using Optimized Combinations of ENSO Regions: Application to the Coral Sea Basin reaching #1 in J Climate and #3 in all AMS Journals! We are so proud of you!
Click here for the link to the paper.
NASA talks: Mars in the Age of Space Exploration
NASA researcher Dr. Richard Zurek is coming to the National Weather Center beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 10. Dr. Zurek, an expert on the climate of Mars, the Chief Scientist for the Mars Program Office at JPL. He will tell the story of the three Mars missions and their discoveries, from the possiblilty of habitation to the changing climate.
Immediately before the forum, visitors are invited to attend a complimentary reception accompanying the Galileo’s World exhibits at the National Weather Center.
For more information, click here.
NASA talks: the Saturn System and the Cassini Mission
NASA researcher Dr. Linda Spilker is coming to the National Weather Center beginning at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4. Dr. Spilker, an expert on the planetary ring system, is the Cassini Project Scientist. She will tell the story of the Cassini mission and its discoveries, from the icy jets shooting from the south pole of Enceladus to lakes of liquid hydrocarbons and methane rain on Titan.
Immediately before the forum, visitors are invited to attend a complimentary reception accompanying the Galileo’s World exhibits at the National Weather Center.
SEJ's 25th Annual Conference, Norman, OK, Oct. 7-11, 2015
The Society of Environmental Journalists is the only North-American membership association of professional journalists dedicated to more and better coverage of environment-related issues. SEJ’s mission is to strengthen the quality, reach and viability of journalism across all media to advance public understanding of environmental issues.
Sign up for the conference by clicking here!
Dual-Pol Traing Course offered Fall 2015
REGISTER FOR THE FALL 2015 DUAL-POL TRAINING COURSE AND RECEIVE SOME OF THE SAME TRAINING AS FORECASTERS OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
*Are you a member of the National Weather Association? Save 10% on your registration, and earn five CEU credits toward your NWA Seal re-certification
The University of Oklahoma Office of Weather Programs & Projects is offering a training course in dual-polarization radar technology, using award-winning materials co-developed by The Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies and the Warning Decision Training Branch. This 20-hour Department of Commerce Gold Medal course consists of 12 hours of web-based distance learning and 8 hours of in-residence instruction using real-life weather scenarios. Much of this training is the same as that used by forecasters of the National Weather Service! NWA members save 10% on registration and earn 5 CEU credits toward NWA Seal re-certification.
Distance learning will begin in August, and an in-residence workshop will be held in conjunction with the NWA Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City this October. You will have the choice to attend one of two scheduled workshops for your in-residence portion: 1) Friday, October 16 (4-8 PM) & Saturday, October 17 (8 AM - NOON) OR 2) Wednesday, October 21 (4-8 PM) & Thursday, October 22 (8 AM - NOON). You will be contacted via e-mail for your preferred workshop dates after you register. *Please note: if the workshop capacity is not met, the workshop may be offered during only one of the above times.
NWA Member Reduced Rate: $450.00 Regular Rate: $500.00
**Please note that the registration fee does not include air, ground, meal or lodging expenses during the required hands-on workshop, in conjunction with the National Weather Association's Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City. Non-NWA members are still encouraged to participate in the course.
To register, or for questions, contact Nicole at email@example.com. Space is limited!
Have you heard of #PECAN15?
Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) is a large, intensive field project to collect data before and during nighttime thunderstorms in the Great Plains from June 1 to July 15, 2015. Scientists hope to learn what triggers these storms, how the atmosphere supports their lifecycle, and how they impact lives, property, agriculture and the water budget in the region. PECAN is a research project comprised fourteen universities, eight research groups and three government agencies.
For more information about this project, click here or search #PECAN15 in Twitter
GARY ENGLAND JOINS OU AS CONSULTING METEOROLOGIST-IN-RESIDENCE
At the March meeting of the OU Board of Regents, OU President David L. Boren announced Gary England as OU's consulting meteorologist-in-residence.
Read full story here
GRADUATE STUDENT AWARDED PRESTIGIOUS HONOR
Meteorology graduate student Phillip Stepanian was awarded and accepted a prestigious Marshall post-graduate Fellowship. After completing his Ph.D., he will conduct biological radar research in the United Kingdom. Typically only one of these prestigious Fellowships are awarded annually across the entire US each year. Graduate students in science and engineering are offered to Fellowship to enable American scientists or engineers to undertake post-doctoral research for up to one year at a British university or research institute.
Looking over the award winners of the past 15 years, Stepanian appears to be the first atmospheric scientist to be awarded this honor in that time frame.
Congratulations to Phillip Stepanian and his advisor Professor Phil Chilson!
Annual OU Reception Another Success!
Each year, the University of Oklahoma hosts a reception for alumni, students and others at the American Meteorological Society's Annual Meeting. This year, the conference was held in Phoenix and the OU Reception took place at the beautiful Arizona Science Center. Check out some of the fun had by all!
Kelvin Droegemeier Named 2014 Fellow by AAAS
The American Association for the Advancement of Science recently named its list of Fellows for 2014, honoring them for their contributions to innovation, education, and scientific leadership. Among the six Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences recipients is the University of Oklahoma’s own Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Vice President for Research and School of Meteorology professor.
The AAAS seeks to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people. To fulfill this mission, the AAAS Board has set broad goals including enhancing communication among scientists, engineers, and the public; promoting and defending the integrity of science and its use; strengthening support for the science and technology enterprise; and providing a voice for science on societal issues.
Dr. Jeffrey Basara Presents at International Science Symposium in China
Dr. Jeffrey Basara, Associate Professor of Meteorology, was invited by the National Academy of Sciences to participate in the 16th Chinese-American Kavli Forntiers of Science symposium recently held in Beijing. He presented in the "Extreme Weather" discussion alongside a colleague from the China Meteorological Administration, an incredible honor for Dr. Basara and for all of us at AGS!
According to the National Academy of Sciences, "This symposium series is the Academy’s premiere activity for distinguished young scientists. Unlike meetings that cover a single, narrow slice of science, these symposia are designed to provide an overview of advances and opportunities in a wide-ranging set of disciplines and to provide an opportunity for the future leaders of science to build a network with their colleagues. Attendees are selected by a committee of Academy members from among young researchers who have already made recognized contributions to science, including recipients of major fellowships and awards. Since its inception in 1989, more than one hundred fifty of its “alumni” have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and ten have received Nobel Prizes. Many participants cite the Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium as one of the most significant experiences of their scientific careers."
DGES Dominates Student Awards at SWAAG Meeting
The Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability brought nearly 30 students to the annual meeting of the Southwest Division of the American Association of Geographers, held this year in Albuquerque, N.M.
Students diligently prepared and showcased numerous presentations and posters at the annual meeting to great acclaim! DGES students brought home first place honors in both undergraduate student paper and poster categories!
First place in the poster competition went to Thuso Motselebane, Mantankiso Phooko, and Benjamin Ignac for their poster: Space, Time and Crime: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of Criminal Activities on the Campus of the University of Oklahoma.
First place in the paper competition went to Brooks Heitmeier for his paper: Texas Elections 2014: Mapping Wendy Davis' Prior Electoral Credibility.
Our warmest congratulations to these winners and all who presented at the meeting! What a great honor for our growing department!
Geography Graduate Student Receives Campus Honor
Geography Ph.D. student Angela Person received the Provost's Certificate of Distinction for Outstanding Graduate Student teaching. Recipients of this award represent the top 10% of all graduate student teaching assistants on the Norman campus, based on student evaluations. This is a fantastic honor indeed! Congratulations to Angela!
AMS Accolades for A&GS Faculty and NWC Personnel
Recently, the American Meteorological Society announced its 2015 Award Winners, Fellow and Honorary Members. The National Weather Center is proud to boast that faculty, researchers, meteorologists and organizations within the building were among the recipients of these prestigious honors. See the list of NWC-related winners below:
Dr. Elbert (Joe) Friday
Dr. Joe Friday was recognized as an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Society. Honorary Members are acknowledged as persons of acknowledged international preeminence in the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences. It is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Society.
Congratulations to Joe for a lifetime of achievements, including being an instrumental. Joe is currently an emeritus faculty within the School of Meteorology. He served as WeatherNews Chair and Professor of Applied Meteorology within the School from 2003 to 2006. He was also a former Director of the National Weather Service. Congratulations to Dr. Friday as he joins Dr. Sasaki, another Emeritus Faculty of the School, as Honorary Members of AMS.
Dr. Evgeni Fedorovich
Professor Evgeni Fedorovich received recognition with the Editors Award for Journal of Atmospheric Sciences for Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences for insightful, timely, and thorough reviews and re-reviews of several manuscripts during the last two years. Incredibly, this award is Federovich’s second Editor's Award that he received from AMS. He is the Co-chief Editor of Boundary Layer Meteorology.
Dr. Robert Palmer, Associate Vice President for Research
Professor Robert Palmer was named a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Fellows are those persons that have made outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years. Fellows represent the top 0.2 % of the membership of the society. Palmer joins Drs. Bluestein, Carr, Droegemeier, Leslie, Moore, and Parsons as active faculty members who are Fellows of the Society.
Dr. Paul Markowski
Dr. Paul Markowski a professor of Meteorology at Penn State who received his Master’s and Ph.D from the School of Meteorology was honored by being named the winner of the Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award for advancing knowledge about the genesis of tornadoes through a rich mix of observations, theory, and numerical modeling. This award is given to promising young or early-career scientists who have demonstrated outstanding ability.
Dr. Kevin Kloesel
Dr. Kevin Kloesel has been named the recipient of the 2015 Charles E. Anderson Award. Dr. Kloesel is a faculty member within the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences who actively teaches for the School. He received this award for over two decades of dedication to engaging minority and under-represented groups in the atmospheric sciences through community outreach and academic leadership.
Dr. David Jorgensen
Dr. David Jorgensen was also awarded by AMS by receiving the Charles Franklin Brooks award for over two decades of substantial contributions to, and visionary leadership of, the Society’s all-important scientific publication process, including tireless service as Publications Commissioner from 2007 to 2012. David is a scientist within NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory and an affiliate faculty member of the School of Meteorology.
NOAA/NWS Forecast Office, Norman, Oklahoma
The NOAA/NWS Forecast Office, Norman, Oklahoma received the Award for Exceptional Specific Prediction for detailed, life-saving forecasts provided days through hours leading up to the EF-5 tornado that struck Newcastle, Moore, and Oklahoma City on May 20, 2013. Congratulations to this team for their outstanding service to the community.
THE FRANCIS W. REICHELDERFER AWARD
Richard (Rick) D. Smith
For vision, long-standing dedication, and the use of innovative technologies to enhance public safety in preparing for, and responding to, severe weather.
Drought Research Grant Awarded to A&GS Assistant Professor
Congratulations to DGES Assistant Professor Mark Shafer on the receipt of a $810,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for his research project titled "Drought Risk Management for the United States."
OU Adds University Meteorologist Role
NORMAN, OKLA. – Each year, the University of Oklahoma campus experiences potentially life-threatening weather events ranging from snow and ice storms to lightning and tornadoes. These weather events can directly impact sporting events, summer camps, commencement and dozens of day-to-day campus activities. There is a need to provide technical weather expertise to campus officials and to meet these needs, OU created the position of University Meteorologist.
Lightning Experts from Around the World to Meet in Norman June 15-20
NORMAN, OKLA. – About 200 national and international lightning experts from countries including England, France, Brazil, China, Russia, Poland and Japan as well as the United States will gather next week in Norman for the 15th Annual International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity. Co-hosted by the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory and the University of Oklahoma’s College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, the conference will feature the latest research on lightning and other electrical phenomena in the atmosphere.
Two University of Oklahoma Faculty Contribute to National Climate Assessment
NORMAN, OKLA. – Two University of Oklahoma researchers were among a team of authors from across the nation that produced the National Climate Assessment released today. The report shows that climate change is affecting Americans now and presents the challenges that our society is likely to face in coming decades.
The report contains 30 chapters covering climate change science, its effect on the economy and the region, and options for reducing its impacts. Authors of the Great Plains chapter were OU faculty Mark Shafer and Renee McPherson. Shafer is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability and associate state climatologist at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. McPherson is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability and director of research at the South Central Climate Science Center. Together, they spent more than two years reviewing materials, preparing a summary, and responding to comments from the public, agencies, and National Academy of Sciences.
Director for Advanced Radar Research Center
The University of Oklahoma seeks an exceptional, dynamic leader to serve as Director of its Advanced Radar Research Center (ARRC).
The ARRC builds upon a university, government and industry alliance that leads the world in the development, testing, operational deployment, and support of advanced weather radar systems. Through a recent strategic initiative, the ARRC has expanded capabilities in radar and other electromagnetic technologies, with applications in surface, airborne and space-based defense, security and intelligence. Principal capabilities of the ARRC include design/prototyping of large and small, fixed and mobile radar systems; phased array technology; digital signal/array processing; automated algorithms; decision support tools; data assimilation; and end-user training. Multi-functional, dynamically adaptive radars are now being evaluated in the field and more than two-dozen radars are located across Oklahoma, including both operational and research systems for weather, air surveillance, and security applications. The ARRC currently consists of 16 faculty members, 16 post-doctoral scientists, 7 staff members, and over 60 graduate students, across the disciplines of engineering and meteorology.
The ARRC Director provides intellectual leadership in a multidisciplinary environment. The Director works in collaboration with private industry and federal agencies and carries out a vigorous program of teaching, research, and service that attracts exceptional students and prepares them to become future leaders in the development and application of advanced radar technologies. The ARRC Director reports to the Executive Board, consisting of the Dean of the College of Engineering, the Dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, and the Vice President for Research. The successful applicant must be an internationally recognized scholar with a science or engineering doctoral degree and an outstanding record of professional achievement, commensurate with appointment to a tenured position at the Associate or Full Professor level within the School of Meteorology (College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences) or the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (College of Engineering). Demonstrated ability of working collaboratively with private industry and eligibility to obtain a security clearance is highly desired.
Dr. Karl Offen Published in Progress in Human Geography, a Top Industry Journal
Abstract - In my second report discussing the state of historical geography, I review some of the ways historical geographers have made use of digital technologies and digital media. I also highlight how digital data, research, and presentation are affecting related humanities disciplines and inspiring their practitioners to engage more fully with geographic concepts of space, place, and cartography. I argue that information technologies and digital media can deepen the place of historical geography in the academy and in the public's eye.
OU Offering Master’s Degree in Environmental Sustainability
NORMAN, OK – To meet the growing need for professionals with advanced knowledge of environmental sustainability who can guide Oklahoma and the world in the effective management of the natural environment, a new master’s degree has been launched at the University of Oklahoma.
The addition of a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sustainability completes a curriculum restructure and organization begun nearly four years ago in OU’s College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability.
The new degree program will allow students to explore the integration between the Earth’s physical system and the social and economic institutions responsible for its management as well as to receive a thorough grounding in research methods.
“The new M.S. in Environmental Sustainability is an important milestone for OU and the state of Oklahoma,” said Berrien Moore III, dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences. “It places OU in a position to contribute meaningfully and competitively to educating the next generation of business leaders, researchers, decision and policymakers who will be critical in assuring the sustainability of our high standard of living.”
Professionals who have completed this education at the graduate level will be well-positioned to use their expertise in responsible positions in the private sector, the nonprofit sector, government and education, Moore said. He added that the M.S. program in Environmental Sustainability will build upon OU’s strong institutional commitment to environmental sustainability and will draw upon and enhance the university’s well-established research expertise in sustainability, natural science and environmental management to educate professionals whose work will be essential in the creation and maintenance of a sustainable natural environment.
“With this new degree offering, we are able to tackle complex and emerging environmental challenges and support new environmentally conscious industries and jobs,” said Aondover Tarhule, chairman of the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability. “The Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability is delighted to be on the leading edge of this emerging discipline.”
The degree will contribute to OU’s educational mission by training qualified graduates with advanced education in environmental sustainability to meet the demands of the state in the public and private sectors. Graduates of the environmental sustainability degree programs will be trained to become leaders in research, decision-making and policies that guide the governance and management of the country’s environmental resources now and for the future.
2013 AMS Scholarship Recipients
The University of Oklahoma is proud to boast five 2013 AMS Scholarship recipients, more than any other university! The students are listed below with their scholarship and sponsor:
Austin A. Alford, 2013 AMS Named Scholarship, sponsored by the Naval Weather Service Association
Samuel K. Degelia, 2013 AMS Named Scholarship, sponsored by David S. Johnson
Hunter L. Luna, 2013 AMS/Industry Minority Scholarship, sponsored by AMS 21st Century Campaign
Julien D. Benjamin, 2013 AMS Freshman Undergraduate Scholarship, sponsored by Baron Services, Inc.
Kelton T. Halbert, 2013 AMS Freshman Undergraduate Scholarship, sponsored by the Naval Weather Service Association
A full list of scholarships and recipients can be found here: https://www.ametsoc.org/amsstudentinfo/scholfeldocs/2013recipients.pdf
Passion for Geography Translates into Prestigious Award for Geography Alumni Dr. Mark Micozzi
Geography is a passion for Dr. Mark Micozzi. In fact it’s his life.
The East Central University professor of cartography and geography will be honored for his lifelong passion on Aug. 3 in Denver, Colo., as he will be the 2013 recipient of the National Council for Geographic Education’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
He is the only professor in the country to receive the award at the higher education level by the National Council for Geographic Education. He was nominated for the honor by the Oklahoma Alliance for Geography Education (OKAGE), in which he has closely worked with since 1995.
Micozzi received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Oklahoma in 2001.
“I was ecstatic to hear about the award. To know some of the past recipients and their stellar accomplishments, I’m honored to be in their company,” said Micozzi.
He was nominated and achieved the award by virtue of criteria, including classroom teaching effectiveness, curriculum development and service to the discipline. Letters of recommendation were made on his behalf by current students, former students, colleagues in geography education and teachers at the secondary level, whom he often works with closely.
“Geography is not just a job it’s my life,” Micozzi said. “I always try to find new ways of doing things and keeping abreast of new techniques.”
Micozzi actually prepares everything from scratch in his classroom setting, including creating his own lectures by using PowerPoint and movie clips as well as coming up with his own labs, quizzes and tests.
“I view my job as a part of who I am. I just don’t go to work 8 to 5, it’s a lifetime of learning for me,” said Micozzi.
Case in point is his annual summer retreat to Kenton, Okla. in the far most western point of the Oklahoma panhandle. Kenton is three miles east of the New Mexico state line and six miles south of the Colorado state line. It is the only town in Oklahoma in the Mountain Time Zone and is at Oklahoma’s highest point, with an elevation of 4,973 feet. It is also near the Black Mesa Nature Preserve.
“I come up here to work on my curriculum and professional development,” Micozzi said. “It allows me to get out of the classroom with a little twist. It all relates to what I teach.”
It obviously pertains to the way Micozzi lives as well.
"I am extremely proud to have Dr. Micozzi as a friend and colleague,” said Dr. Gregory Plumb, professor and chair of the ECU Department of Cartography and Geography. “He richly deserves this award, which nationally is one of the most prestigious in geographic education. His dedication to student and teacher learning is unsurpassed at the university level."
Former OU Professor and Longtime NOAA Employee Receives International Honor
Dr. Ken Crawford, former Regents' Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, received the Order of Civil Merit from the Republic of Korea in a ceremony on May 13th at the National Weather Center. LEE Ilsoo, Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), presented the award. The award, also known as the Dongbaek Medal, is the primary series of honors for Korean civilians. Since its inception in 1975, the Dongbaek Medal has been given to 10 Koreans and 6 foreigners.
This award is given to Crawford for his meritorious contribution to the development of the nation and the society through improving the quality of the meteorological services. Crawford served as the Vice Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration between August 2009 and February 2013. He was appointed by the 17th President of Korea, LEE Myung-bak. In his role as Vice Administrator, Crawford was charged to advance the meteorological capabilities of the KMA. His comprehensive activities involved improved training and tools for KMA forecasters, an upgrade to the world's most advanced weather radar network, more effective use of computer graphics, and a revamping of the human talent used to produce accurate forecasts.
3,000 miles in 10 days
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) - When 19 students and two professors from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., descended on Kingman recently, they were looking for something specific.
And while they didn't find the actual Flying A gas station that once stood at 2610 E. Andy Devine Ave., their search yielded something more important.
They got plenty of information from the site - sounds, photographs, history, mapping and interviews - to add to their collection for Road to Ruscha, a first-time, two-week course at the university offering three college credits and a road trip along Route 66 from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles and back.
The students were following the trail of pop-culture artist Ed Ruscha, 75, who was named in April as one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world for 2013.
The group traveled about 3,000 miles in 10 days in late May to locate the 26 gas stations Ruscha photographed in 1963 for his book "Twentysix Gasoline Stations."
Ruscha lived in Oklahoma City from 1941 to 1956, then moved to Los Angeles to attend Chouinart Art Institute, but frequently drove Route 66 to visit family back home.
"This is part of a project to figure out what gas stations are still there on Route 66," said Gary Gress, a professor in the school's Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability. "We went to each site, whether it was still a gas station or a field, and did investigative research.
"We were detectives looking for clues. We wanted to see how the landscape along Route 66 had changed and get a sense of community. We found Kingman to be one of the strongest, friendliest and most open communities with ties to Route 66."
Gress said he spent hours on the telephone before the trip, trying to confirm the existence and location of each site along the drive.
Jim Hinckley, manager of Penske Truck Rental at Martin Swanty Kia, said he received a call from Gress asking if he knew anything about Flying A, which had been situated at that site and photographed by Ruscha.
The students and teachers met with Hinckley when they stopped in Kingman on their return trip to Oklahoma City.
"It was a bizarre thing," said Hinckley, who has written several books about Route 66. "A gentleman called and said he had found the book 'Twentysix Gasoline Stations' and asked if I knew where the Kingman gas station was located.
"I remembered it as Hobbs Truck Stop, and I always stopped there when I came in off the ranch because I loved the food at the café. But it was torn down a few years ago when Swanty bought the place and the gas tanks have been removed."
The class and road trip also served as a chance for the students and teachers to draw attention to "No Man's Land," one of Ruscha's paintings on loan to the university's Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
The work, which dates from 1990, outlines the territory of Oklahoma before it became a state and recalls the artist's youth in Oklahoma and his perceptions of the world beyond it. The museum is trying to purchase the painting, which costs about $430,000.
As part of the class, the group recorded video and sounds, interviewed locals, took photographs and mapped each site with real-time Global Positioning System tracking. All are available on an interactive board near the painting in the art museum, as well as online at roadtoruscha.com/2013.
The idea to replicate Ruscha's trip with students originated with Todd Stewart, associate professor of photography and associate director of the OU School of Art and Art History.
"The museum is trying to buy Ruscha's painting, and it got me to thinking of ways to raise visibility for that cause," said Stewart. "As a photographer, I've always been interested in Ed's work, especially his older books.
"I thought it would be great to use the book about gas stations and design a class centered on a road trip. So we decided to give it a shot."
The trip merged students and teachers from the School of Art and Art History and the School of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, with academic disciplines including art, art history, geography, meteorology, geology, film and media studies, and advertising.
The trip was funded by grants from the Kirkpatrick Foundation, the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
The group also visited Ruscha at his studio in Los Angeles, where they described their trip and findings. Gress said Ruscha was easy to talk to and was fascinated by their time on the road and what they had accomplished.
Angela Rodriguez, 22, a senior in the School of Art, said she took the class because she was familiar with Ruscha's work and wanted to travel and visit with the artist.
"I think the class and trip were cool," said Rodriguez. "I love the idea of collecting information and documenting an experience that people normally wouldn't find exciting. They're just old gas stations. And it was very exciting to go to the artist's studio, see him and his dog and view his current work. There are a lot of art projects I'm going to be working on because of this trek."
Robbie Wing, 24, a senior in the School of Geography, said he learned a lot on the road trip, especially since he had never heard of Ruscha or his work.
Wing said he was responsible for gathering most of the sound data along the trip, and in the case of Hinckley, Wing recorded the television playing at Penske, noises from each room and Hinckley talking on the telephone and to the group.
The data will be part of the interactive board and website, Wing said, and available for people to hear.
"I feel like we've done this trip in a way Mr. Ruscha didn't," said Wing. "When you look at the photos in his book, there's no narrative with them. I went to each place and got the history of Route 66.
"The landscape is changing, and we're documenting that and having a blast doing it."
A&GS students came together to help with relief efforts for the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma. They have been collecting items to help victims of the devastating severe weather including food, clothing and home goods, as well as assisting with clean-up efforts.
Congratulations, A&GS Students!
Kim Klockow, 2013 recipient of the Charles Standley Memorial Award.
Toni Klemm, 2013 recipient of the Ralph and Margaret Olson Scholarship.
Becky Steely - OU 2013 Staff Merit Award Winner
Becky Steely was chosen as a winner of OU's Distinguished Performance Award! Her nomination was reviewed by a committee of the Hourly Employees Council and she was chosen based on Superior Job Performance, Service and Dedication to the department and university, and on community service and outside activities. Congratulations and well deserved!
Congratulations, Maggie Holleman!
Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability MA Student Recipient of the 2013 Masters Level Student Research Grant from the Association of American Geographers' Cultural Geography Specialty Group and the 2013 Group Field Study Award from the Association of American Geographer's Latin America Specialty Group
Congratulations to our Fall 2012 A&GS graduates! We are proud of you and all of your hard work!
Some of the A&GS Fall 2012 graduates at convocation, Friday, December 14, 2012.
Bachelor of Arts in Geography
Andrew Barrett Gering
Caitlin Lillian Hill
Dora Jo Ann Tipton
Bachelor of Science in Geography
Shawn Marcellus Maroney
Jacob Robert Wallenine
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sustainability
Hozenat A. Adegbuyi
Olivia Celeste Coleman
Robert Lawson Crout IV
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sustainability
Brandon Russell McWilliams
Bachelor of Arts in Geographic Information Science
Janelle Lois Crook
Travis Matthew Minto
Master of Arts in Geography
Ana Ivanova Todorova
PhD in Geography
Haya Nasser Alhusainan
Master of Science in Meteorology
Kristen Taylor Bradford
Matthew S. Elliott
Scott Michael Ganson
Erica Michelle Griffin
Larissa Joy Reames
Mason Douglas Rowell
Jordan Douglas Schleif
Timothy Aaron Supinie
College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences has a Dozen National Merit Scholars
The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences is home to 328 undergraduate students, making it one of the smallest degree-granting colleges at the University of Oklahoma. Even though the college is quaint, it is home to an impressive twelve National Merit Scholars. These twelve students come from a variety of backgrounds and are all hosts to remarkable resumes.
Paige Riley of Mansfield, Texas, is majoring in Meteorology. She, like many of the other NMS students, chose the University of Oklahoma specifically because of its renowned Atmospheric and Geographic sciences program. After she graduates, Riley hopes to minimize the inaccuracies in forecasting by utilizing both her major in meteorology and minor in computer science in order to create more accurate programs.
Daniel Reese traveled all the way from Harrisburg, Penn., to major in Meteorology at OU. Reese also hopes to improve the accuracy of forecasting, and he aspires to move back to Pennsylvania to work at Accuweather or at the National Weather Service in State College.
Becky Wood is from New Mexico and chose this college because of her campus visit. This Environmental Sustainability student keeps busy with a second major in Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Environment, along with two minors, one in English Literature and another in French. Wood’s interest in climate change has inspired her to pursue a career in a national geosciences organization.
Lara McLellan was drawn to the College of A&GS because of the opportunities provided here for her. She has chosen to follow in her mother’s footsteps and major in Environmental Sustainability. McLellan is currently researching the impacts of heat waves on vulnerable populations in Oklahoma City. After she graduates, McLellan desires to be part of a non-profit organization.
Madeline Dillner is from Rockford, Illinois. Though she only chose OU because of scholarships the university offered her, Dillner has made the College of A&GS her home as she studies environmental sustainability. This subject has interested her since she first joined an environmental group at age five. Dillner hopes to use her career as an inspiration for people to achieve sustainability globally.
Andrew Wade decided to move from West Virginia to major in Meteorology at the College of A&GS after recruiters visited his high school. He is minoring in Environmental Sustainability and hopes to one day work in a geospatial analysis position.
Lauren McGraw is originally from Medina, Ohio. She chose OU because of the A&GS program. McGraw is pursuing a second major in geology, along with three minors: Russian, math and astronomy. With this combination of majors and minors, she hopes to eventually research extraterrestrial planets and their atmospheres.
The other five National Merit Scholars include geography students Alexandra Browning and Brooks Heitmeir, environmental sustainability student Laura Combs, geographic information science student Martin Koch and meteorology student Joseph Patton.
These twelve scholars are only snapshots of the impressive students who have chosen to study at the University of Oklahoma’s College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences. The college’s program is preparing each undergraduate for the ever-changing A&GS field in a way that few other colleges do.
Dr. Kirsten de Beurs Wins 2012 Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence
Dr. Kirsten de Beurs was named as the recipient of the 2012 Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. de Beurs will receive a $1,500 cash award along with an appropriate certificate and acknowledgement on a plaque displayed outside the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences (AGS) Dean’s Office.
Recipients of this award are named for their exemplary dedication to students, teaching and the scholarship of teaching. They are recognized for their willingness to share teaching knowledge with other faculty thus helping others to become more effective teachers. Each academic year, teaching scholars initiative awards are offered by the Colleges of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering.
Dr. de Beurs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability joining the faculty in 2010. She has taught several courses about the analysis of remotely sensed data. Most recently Dr. de Beurs led an upper-level course on digital image processing that served to merge her expertise in remote sensing and digital data management with her teaching giving students an entirely new perspective to learning.
“Dr. de Beurs has demonstrated an admirable dedication to the use of various pedagogies in teaching and an unstinting attention to her students. In a department well known for its excellence in teaching, Dr. de Beurs consistently receives student evaluations that are always in the top tier.” said Dr. Aondover Tarhule, Chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, who nominated de Beurs for the award.
The AGS Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence is awarded each academic year in conjunction with the OU Teaching Scholars Initiative (TSI), a faculty-centered teaching colloquium. Started in 2003, the TSI provides faculty the opportunity to share teaching experiences aimed at improving student learning at OU.
Cynthia Barnett Presents a seminar on the water-ethic idea and sneak peek at her new upcoming book, ‘Rain: A love story'
Cynthia Barnett is a long-time journalist who has reported on freshwater issues from the Suwannee River to Singapore.
In Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis, she calls for a water ethic for America.
Congratulations American Meteorological Society (AMS) Award Winners!
Congratulations to our colleagues who have won prestigious national awards from the American Meteorological Society (AMS). These awards will be presented at the AMS annual meeting in January 2013!
The Kenneth C. Spengler Award will be presented to Dr. John Snow "For exceptional foresight and leadership in melding a diverse group of people in designing a new Commission of the AMS to meet ever expanding weather and climate enterprise needs." This award is presented to an individual, team, or organization whose efforts have contributed to the growth of the weather and climate enterprise while materially fostering a sense of community and creating synergistic linkages between the public, private, and government sectors as well as the user community.
The Editor's Award for the Journal of Hydrometeorology will be presented to Dr. Jonathan J. Gourley "For insightful, timely, and thorough reviews." Dr. JJ Gourley is an NOAA/NSSL scientist who is also an Adjunct Faculty member of the School.
Dean Berrien Moore, Chesapeake Energy Corporation Chair in Climate Studies, will be named a Fellow of the AMS. Another new Fellow will be Dr. Russell S. Schneider, Director of the NOAA's Storm Prediction Center here in the National Weather Center. New Fellows are elected each year and the number of Fellows in the AMS is restricted to be not more than two-tenths of 1 percent of all Members. These two new Fellows join 7 current and 5 emeritus School of Meteorology faculty members who are already Fellows of the AMS!
Three Meteorology MS degree graduates have also been elected to AMS Fellow status. Congratulations as well to our successful alumni and alumna.
Shuyi Chen, MS 1985; now a Professor at the University of Miami
Mike Eilts, BS 1981, MS 1983; Founder and CEO, Weather Decision Technologies
Pat Phoebus, MS 1981; Deputy Superintendent of the Naval Research Lab in Monterey
2012 A&GS Dean’s Awards
Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 A&GS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship and the 2012 A&GS Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service!
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship recognizing an exceptional accomplishment in research or scholarship in the previous calendar year:
Dr. Karl Offen, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability (DGES) and Dr. Xuguang Wang, Assistant Professor, School of Meteorology (SoM).
Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service recognizing an exceptional accomplishment in service (well beyond that expected in normal duties) in the previous calendar year:
Ms. Celia Jones, Coordinator of Academic Student Services and Dr. Brian Fiedler, Professor both from the School of Meteorology (SoM).
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship: This annual award recognizes an exceptional accomplishment in research or scholarship in the previous calendar year.
This year the award goes to two individuals:
Dr. Karl Offen, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability (DGES). Dr. Offen’s research expertise is in political ecology, specifically of Latin America. Dr. Offen’s academic accomplishments during the past academic year included serving as co-editor as well as writing three chapters of Mapping Latin America: A Cartographic Reader. Dr. Offen also completed a second book, published three peer reviewed articles, wrote three book reviews, was editorial board member for two journals, served as a member of the Fulbright National Screening Committee, was chair or co-chair on seven graduate student advisory committees, and was elected Vice Chair of the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers. Dr. Offen is also an outstanding teacher as evidenced by his teaching evaluations which were among the highest (as they consistently are) in the DGES.
Dr. Xuguang Wang, Assistant Professor, School of Meteorology (SoM). Dr. Wang’s research expertise is in data assimilation and probabilistic forecasts from global to storm scales weather forecasts and are extended to hydrological data assimilation and prediction. Dr. Wang’s accomplishments during the past academic year included six publications appearing in refereed literature including one for which she was the lone author, serving as PI/co-PI on six grants with funding sources including the NASA New Investigator Program, NOAA THORPEX, and NSF/ASG, serving as an undergraduate advisor in the NWC REU program, serving as advisor or co-advisor to nine students, six of which were at the Ph.D. level, serving on nine other graduate student committees in areas outside the SoM, supervisor to four post-doctoral researchers, and mentor of the MS student winner of the Yoshi Sasaki Award for the Best Paper by an MS student in the SoM.
Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service: This annual award recognizes an exceptional accomplishment in service (well beyond that expected in normal duties) in the previous calendar year. For the purposes of this award, “service” is taken to be activities or duties performed by a member of the faculty or staff that advance the interests and/or increase the capabilities of the individual’s unit, the College, the University, or the State of Oklahoma, and may include outreach, extension, and economic development activities.
This year the award goes to two individuals:
Ms. Celia Jones, Coordinator of Academic Student Services and Dr. Brian Fiedler, Professor, School of Meteorology (SoM). These two were the leaders in the design and implementation of new and creative graduate recruitment and acceptance procedures for the SoM. Dr. Fielder and Ms. Jones were integral in the development and administration of an on-line rapid response graduate application which saw over 130 students apply to the program. Dr. Fiedler served as the chair of the Graduate Admission Committee (GAC). Additionally, both Ms. Jones and Dr. Fielder led other graduate recruitment activities including the Visiting Student Weekend, utilizing social media to track and recruit applicants, matching faculty needs for applicants with applicant interest, working with the Associate Director of SoM to determine the number of available teaching assistant slots, and helping with housing and obtaining visas for incoming graduate students. Due to their efforts, the School has seen a marked increase in the academic quality and research potential of graduate students.
Each of the four individuals named above will receive a $500 prize, an appropriate certificate with a citation, and permanent recognition on plaques located outside the A&GS Dean’s Office (NWC suite 3630), as well as recognition at various college functions.
Congratulations, Drs. Fedorovich and Palmer!
Two of our faculty members received honors at the OU Faculty Award Ceremony April 5th. Dr. Fedorovich received the Presidential Professorship and Dr. Palmer received the Vice President for Research Award for Outstanding Research Engagement. We are very proud of our stellar faculty.
A&GS Monday Memo
Articles: Student Awards Reception, David J. Shellberg Memorial Scholarship, Arc User Group Scholarship Recepients, and the OU/SPC Career Experience Program. (read full memo)
Student Awards Reception: You are all invited to attend the annual College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Student Awards Reception, which takes place next Thursday, April 19, from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM in the NWC Atrium. Students receiving scholarships and awards will be contacted by their academic unit. Everyone is encouraged to attend and cheer on your fellow students while enjoying refreshments. It’s a great time to gather as a group before finals – hope to see you there! (read more)
Nationally Noted Environmental Scientist Named Director of State Water Survey
CONTACT: OU Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701
OKLAHOMA CITY – Robert W. Puls, a nationally noted environmental scientist with ties to Oklahoma, has been appointed as the first director of the newly established Oklahoma Water Survey.
"Dr. Puls is the best possible choice to launch the vitally important new Oklahoma Water Survey," said OU President David L. Boren. "He is a top national expert who also has experience in our state."
"We are delighted that Dr. Robert Puls has accepted this important position," said Paul Risser, chair of OU’s Research Cabinet. "He brings more than two decades of experience as a nationally recognized hydrologist with broad experience in the south central region." (read more)
University of Oklahoma Selected to Host One of Eight Regional Climate Science Centers Nationwide
Jana Smith, Director of Strategic Communications for R&D
Norman, Okla.—The University of Oklahoma has been selected by the U.S. Department of the Interior as the site of one of only eight regional climate science centers nationwide, OU President David L. Boren announced today. The Center will link weather and climate projections with on-the-ground decisions about how best to manage federal lands, natural resources and fish and wildlife. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar initiated a department-wide climate change strategy in 2009 and today announced the South-Central Regional CSC at Oklahoma along with two others. The Center increases to six the number of federally-funded centers on the Norman campus. (read more)
OU wins $75M for weather research
Laney Ellisor, The Oklahoma Daily
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected OU for a research agreement worth up to $75 million, President David Boren announced at a news conference Monday.
The federal funds will go to the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies through 2016 to advance weather radar research, improve severe storm forecasts and increase understanding of extreme weather and short-term regional climate, according to a press release. (read more)