When Christina Speciale (SEBS’11) was majoring in meteorology at Rutgers University, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the atmospheric sciences. But she wasn’t sure what to focus on until she attended the Undergraduate Leadership Workshop (ULW) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the summer before her senior year.
The ULW connects students in the atmospheric and related sciences with scientists, engineers, educators, and top managers, exposing them to research areas and career options while training them in leadership and professional skills.
Speciale is one of about 270 undergraduates from across the country who have attended the ULW since its inception in 2002. And Rutgers undergraduate meteorology program has sent a student there every year because of the value it provides.
At the week-long event, Speciale enjoyed the connections she made with fellow students as well as the talks by leading NCAR scientists. But one presentation in particular made a big impact: social scientist Julie Demuth spoke about the research she does on better communicating the uncertainty of weather forecasts to the public.
“That’s a huge problem in our field,” said Speciale, now a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany, NY “NCAR planted the seed for me on this issue, and to this day it’s a big research interest of mine.”
Read more about the Undergraduate Leadership Workshop.