Enlightenment strikes! broadening graduate school training through field campaign participation

Kristen L. Rasmussen, Melissa A. Burt, Angela Rowe, Rebecca Haacker, Deanna Hence, Lorena Medina Luna, Stephen W. Nesbitt, Julie Maertens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article provides an overview of the Advanced Study Institute: Field Studies of Convection in Argentina (ASI-FSCA) program, a 3-week dynamic and collaborative hands-on experience that allowed 16 highly motivated and diverse graduate students from the United States to participate in the 2018–19 Remote Sensing of Electrification, Lightning, and Mesoscale/Microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field campaign. This program is unique as it represents the first effort to integrate an intensive Advanced Study Institute with a field campaign in atmospheric science. ASI-FSCA activities and successful program outcomes for five key elements are described: 1) intensive field research with field campaign instrumentation platforms; 2) recruitment of diverse graduate students who would not otherwise have opportunities to participate in intensive field research; 3) tailored curriculum focused on scientific understanding of cloud and mesoscale processes and professional/academic development topics; 4) outreach to local K–12 schools and the general public; and 5) building a collaborative international research network to promote weather and climate research. These five elements served to increase motivation and improve confidence and self-efficacy of students to participate in scientific research and field work with goals of increasing retention and a sense of belonging in STEM graduate programs and advancing the careers of students from underrepresented groups as evidenced by a formal program evaluation effort. Given the success of the ASI-FSCA program, our team strongly recommends considering this model for expanding the opportunities for a broader and more diverse student community to participate in dynamic and intensive field work in atmospheric science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1987-E2001
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Deep convection
  • Education
  • Field experiments
  • Mesoscale systems
  • Orographic effects
  • South America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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