IRES ASI-Field Studies of Convection in Argentina Syllabus

Course description:

The primary goals of the Advanced Study Institute (ASI) are as follows:
  1. Introduce students to the primary science objectives and instrumentation platforms for the Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, and Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field campaign.
  2. Provide an intensive field research experience studying a spectrum of convective systems in an international setting.
  3. Provide professional development, outreach, and cultural experiences to enhance the student’s career and international connections.
The ASI will consist of one three-week (21-day) intensive course in Córdoba, Argentina and four sessions of remote course participation (2 hours each) prior to the ASI in Argentina. More specifically, the ASI will have two major components: (1) Field research with research mentors and (2) scientific and professional development lectures. The scientific and professional development lectures will encompass a cumulative ~20 hours of time over the 21-day institute. Course topics are listed below.

ASI Leadership Team:

ASI Expectations:

Students will be expected to participate in all remote class sessions prior to the ASI. During the ASI, students will be expected to work collaboratively with a team of scientists to collect high-quality field observations during the RELAMPAGO field campaign. The students will be provided with training for the instrumentation platform for which they are assigned. On days when no field observations are taken, students will be expected to participate in ASI science and professional development lectures and activities. The students will be encouraged to participate in outreach events to the local Argentine community and in an NCAR/ASP-sponsored NCAR Explorer Series video production to provide outreach to the general American public about scientific research that NCAR supports in atmospheric science. At the beginning of the ASI, students will be encouraged to design a project that they will work on during the ASI. The projects can take the form of a literature review related to their research experience, analysis of an observed case during the campaign, or a different idea from the student that is approved by the mentors. A short report on their project (1-2 pages) and a 5-minute presentation to the group will be given during the last few days of the ASI. Finally, students will be encouraged to work collaboratively to produce a research publication using collected data from RELAMPAGO, as long as their graduate advisor supports this activity.

Course Materials:

Lecture notes and supplemental materials will be available on the course website.

Special Needs:

Please contact the ASI leadership team if you have special learning needs and accommodations.

Course Modules

Course lecture topics and related activities are listed below. Lecture topics that are italicized will be conducted as remote lectures (video conferencing) prior to the ASI.

Module Lecture Topics and Activities Lecturers
Science of RELAMPAGO
  • Introduction to RELAMPAGO science objectives
  • Why Argentina?
  • Satellite studies of convection
  • Lightning in Argentina
  • Mesoscale convective systems
  • Radar studies of convection
  • Hydrometeorology of the La Plata Basin
  • Kristen Rasmussen, Steve Nesbitt, Paola Salio, Rachel Albrecht, Eldo Avila, Adam Varble, Jeff Trapp, Matt Kumjian, Francina Dominguez, Larry Carey, Wiebke Deierling, Russ Schumacher, V. Chandrasekar, and others
    Instrumentation platforms and model simulations in RELAMPAGO
  • NCAR S-PolKa radar
  • Doppler on Wheels mobile radars
  • Atmospheric soundings
  • Lightning Sensors, Electric Field Mills and Electric Field Meters
  • Mesonets and Pods
  • Water Vapor DIALs
  • Hydrometeorological instruments
  • Forecasting convection in Argentina
  • Identifying good vs. bad data
  • Duties for instrumentation platforms
  • Field trip to the DOE CACTI AMF-1 site near Villa Yacanto
  • Josh Wurman, Karen Kosiba, Angela Rowe, Russ Schumacher, Lynn McMurdie, Jeff Trapp, Scott Ellis, Deanna Hence, Adam Varble, and others
    Professional development
  • Research ethics
  • Scientific writing
  • Science communication
  • Developing research identity
  • Writing accountability and time management
  • Field safety and expectations
  • Field conduct and expectations
  • Transitioning from a graduate student to a postdoc
  • Applying, interviewing, and negotiating for scientific jobs
  • Deanna Hence, Melissa Burt, Kristen Rasmussen, Rebecca Haacker, Lorena Medina Luna, Karen Kosiba
    Community and cultural outreach
  • K-12 outreach at local schools with ASI participants teaching the science of RELAMPAGO to the community
  • Field trip to Río Cuarto, the location of the hail maximum in the region, to meet with emergency managers (Defensa Civil) and airport controllers to discuss the impact of hail on their operations and community
  • Students will be interviewed for the NCAR/EO-sponsored NCAR Explorer Series video project
  • Melissa Burt, Deanna Hence, Rebecca Haacker, Lorena Medina Luna, Kristen Rasmussen, Paola Salio