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Howard University
GK-12 Interdisciplinary Science Research Experiences for Middle Schools

Location of International Experience
Senegal, West Africa, and Sal, Cape Verde

Description of Partners and Discipline/Research Focus
Tamara Battle, a second year GK-12 fellow and graduate student in Howard’s Program in Atmospheric Sciences worked in connection with national and international scientists, including Dr. Gregory Jenkins, GK-12 project Co-PI, who coordinated ground measurements in Senegal, Africa, research differences in precipitation processes over West Africa.

They participated in the 2006 NASA-African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses Field Campaign 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. Meteorological measurements, including radiosonde deployment, radar reflectivity, and assessment of the rain gauge network were also part of the campaign.

Outcomes
Linkages between Saharan dust and tropical cyclone formation (hurricane formation) were determined as well as identifying the vertical structure of the Saharan air layer and 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 also presented some of this work at national meetings, including the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society and are currently working on several publications of their findings. During the 2006-07 academic year, Ms. Battle presented the research she did in Africa to middle school students.

Challenges
During the field campaign, most challenges were connected to the lack of equipment and resources for follow-up and continuing long-term measurements.

Future Plans
In June 2007, Ms. Battle and Dr. Jenkins returned to Senegal to identify and engage local primary and middle schools to work with colleagues at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal to teach research skills in atmospheric sciences to students. The next phase will include bringing U.S. teachers to Senegal in 2008 to share in the research and teaching experiences and to address issues such as long-term drought, precipitation characteristics in a coastal environment, and linkages to hurricanes. In addition, they will explore the differences in cultural and societal needs regarding K-12 students in Senegal and the United States.

Profile date: July 2007





 
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