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July 17, 2015 Week 7 Newsletter

RECCS is a summer research internship in critical zone science for Colorado community college students funded by the National Science Foundation and coordinated by CIRES Education Outreach.
For the most recent RECCS happenings, check out our blog

RECCS Intern Spotlight!

This week our featured RECCS intern is Luca Collins. Luca is teamed up with mentors Mimi Hughes and Michael Mueller of NOAA. Above photo: Luca writing code at the NOAA David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder, CO.
Luca Collins

Watch Luca's "elevator speech"!

Research Project: Multiple Model Investigation of Atmospheric Rivers and Sierra Barrier Jet Controlled Precipitation Processes

Luca was born in Oahu and has since traveled around the United States, living in various different climate regions such as the mountains, desert, and plains, before moving to Las Animas, Colorado in 2007.  Luca graduated with an A.S. in May 2015 from Otero Junior College and plans to go to UCCS to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Game Design and Development. Despite majoring in game design, Luca is interested in more than just computers. She loves nature, hiking, and environmental sciences. Her desire is to find ways to use programming and the visualization of the game world to better understand environmental processes.

Luca aims to find ways to tie these interests into the research being done at NOAA on atmospheric rivers. Her mentors are Mimi Hughes and Michael Mueller at NOAA.
Luca explains how mathematical formulas are used to write the computer model code.
The computer model illustrates the movement of atmospheric rivers.

Intern Tips

  • The powerpoint presentation, poster, and paper are the final program deliverables that you will create to present your research topic in different formats.
  • Refer to Bec's Communication Workshop syllabus for details on the program deliverables. Please reach out to the CIRES RECCS team if you have any questions!
  • Ensure that you have a face-to-face check-in with your mentor in the next week to review the final stages of your research project and program deliverables.

Intern Deadlines

  • July 21: AGU Conference Abstract (final) emailed to mentor
  • July 24: AGU Conference Abstract (final) emailed to Bec
  • July 24: Complete Paper (draft) emailed to Bec
  • July 25: Complete Poster (draft) emailed to Bec
  • July 28, 8 am: Complete Poster (final for printing) emailed to Jennifer
  • July 24: Complete Paper (draft) emailed to Bec
  • July 29: Complete Paper (draft) emailed to mentor
  • July 31, 5 pm: Complete Paper (final) emailed to Jennifer

Communication Update

It's hard to believe we are so close to the end! In this week's scientific communication workshop, we talked about abstracts (both summary and promissory), conclusions and bringing all the pieces of the paper together. We also talked about authorship and the responsibilities of authors and coauthors. Finally, we talked about the AGU Virtual Poster Session ( and began work on an abstract suitable for submitting to this session.  Homework this week includes completing this abstract (in discussion with co-authors), as well as completing a final draft of the paper (both due to Bec by Friday the 24th). It is great to see everyone's papers coming together, and we're excited to see everyone's presentations.

Mentor Tips

  • With only a little over a week left before presentations begin, please encourage your intern to wrap up their data collection and concentrate on analysis, writing and bringing their work to a conclusion.
  • If the work is inconclusive, doesn't get as far as expected, or shows results that were different from expected, please help your intern frame their discussion for their posters, papers and presentations. We all realize that this is the way that science is sometimes - and that the summer is very short - but it can be hard to accept for students new to research!
  • As always, please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns, and have a great week.
CZO Program
CZO Program
Copyright © 2015 CIRES Education Outreach, All rights reserved.

RECCS is funded by National Science Foundation Grant Award Number 1461281

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