HU GK12 International

Tamara L. Battle, a 2nd-year fellow with the NSF GK-12 Fellowship and graduate student in the Howard University Program in Atmospheric Sciences (HUPAS), worked in conjunction with several national and international scientists during the 2006 NASA-African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (AMMA) field campaign. The international research experience occurred from July – September 2006 and was based in Senegal, West Africa and Sal, Cape Verde. The mission was designed to study several areas of the atmospheric sciences, including hurricane genesis, the Saharan air layer, and precipitation processes over West Africa during the monsoon season. Dr. Gregory Jenkins, Associate Professor at Howard University, is a Co-PI with the NSF GK-12 Fellowship and participated in the campaign as a coordinator for the ground measurements in Senegal, Africa, researching differences in precipitation processes over West Africa.

Meteorological measurements, including radiosonde deployment, radar reflectivity, and assessment of the rain gauge network were also part of the campaign. During the 2006-2007 academic year, Ms. Battle was able to develop presentations for middle school students on research activities conducted in Africa. Ms. Battle and Dr. Jenkins returned to Senegal in June 2007, with the goal of identifying and engaging local primary and middle schools to work with colleagues at Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal teaching research skills in atmospheric sciences to students. The next phase will include bringing teachers from the United States to Senegal next year to share in the research and teaching experience, as well as to address various issues such as long-term drought, precipitation characteristics in a coastal environment, linkages to hurricanes and other studies, and differences in cultural and societal needs regarding K-12 students in Senegal vs. the United States.

Despite the challenges faced during the field campaign, including lack of equipment and resources for follow-up and continuing long-term measurements, outcomes from this research experience included determining linkages between Saharan dust and tropical cyclone formation (hurricane formation); identifying the vertical structure of the Saharan air layer, and identifying precipitation characteristics in Senegal. Most importantly, these measurements are the first of their kind for West Africa and the extreme eastern tropical Atlantic. Dr. Jenkins and Ms. Battle were also able to present some of this work at national meetings including the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society, and is currently working with Dr. Jenkins on several publications of their findings.