New Inclusivity in Meteorology Rep Elizabeth Smith Wins Poster Award
Elizabeth Smith is our latest I’M Meteorology (Inclusivity in Meteorology) representative. Elizabeth was born and raised in the small town of Clendenin, West Virginia, which was heavily damaged in a historic 1000-year flood after training rain storms (https://www.climate.gov/news-features/event-tracker/thousand-year-downpour-led-deadly-west-virginia-floods) during the summer of 2016. Elizabeth attended the California University of Pennsylvania (CalU) to study meteorology, where she participated in several undergraduate research opportunities including the NOAA Hollings program, spending a summer at the National Weather Service office in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Elizabeth graduated from CalU in 2014 with her Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology. Soon after, she relocated to Norman, where she began work on her Ph.D. Elizabeth works as a graduate research assistant for the University of Oklahoma and the Cooperative Institue for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS). She is part of the OU-BLISS (Boundary Layer Integrated Sensing and Simulation) research group, which focuses on observing and simulating the boundary-layer using state-of-the-art methods. Her advisers are Dr. Petra Klein and Dr. Evgeni Fedorovich, and they supervise her work in studying nocturnal low-level jets over the Great Plains using high-resolution observations and simulations. As part of the direct-track Ph.D. program, Elizabeth is set to defend her dissertation by the end of the Fall 2018 semester. Throughout her time at OU, Elizabeth has participated in a number of field campaigns including PECAN, mini-MPEX, and Perdigão, which took place in Portugal. She says field work is her favorite part of her work, and that by accepting a post-doctoral research position with CIMMS, she will get to continue doing field work as she works on developing and deploying boundary layer observation platforms for convective weather.
Elizabeth communicated that she is a female scientist from a small town with a blue-collar upbringing, and a first-generation college graduate. She believes that opportunities to participate in STEM should be available to everyone, including girls and members of poor or rural communities. As part of this philosophy, Elizabeth serves as a volunteer docent at the National Weather Museum and Science Center and participates in Skype A Scientist. Elizabeth recently had an opportunity to meet other women in STEM at the Oklahoma Women Impacting STEM and Entrepreneurship conference. OK-WISE is a two-day conference highlighting the scientific, economic, and societal impacts being made by Oklahoma women, according to their website. Elizabeth attended the conference with Briana Lynch, a fellow OU Meteorology graduate student, and presented a poster over her research. She was ultimately recognized at the conference with an outstanding poster award – Elizabeth and Briana shared pictures from the conference with us below! Congratulations, Elizabeth!
I’M OU Meteorology (Inclusivity in Meteorology) is the School of Meteorology’s campaign to help celebrate the accomplishments and diversity of our community. The School recognizes that the contributions of scientists from diverse backgrounds enrich and improve the overall mission of the School, helping us to reach our educational and scientific goals. Indeed, we hope that these images are the start of a campaign that will help us reach our critical goal of providing a more inclusive environment for all of our students, staff, faculty members, and affiliates. We want to make sure that everyone has an excellent and productive environment for their work, education, and research, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, gender identity, economic background, or differing ability.