Starlette Williams selected as I’M Meteorology representative

Starlette Williams is our latest I’M Meteorology (Inclusivity in Meteorology) representative. Originally from Kansas City, MO, Star grew up with a terror of storms, particularly thunder and lightning. However, as a child she loved the brightly colored radar images and how they moved across the screen in different shapes. From there, a lasting passion for Earth Science with a focus on water developed. As a meteorology student, Star began to develop an additional interest in the implications of climate change, which she has narrowed down to focusing on the role water in any phase will play. In recent years, she’s become increasingly interested in the fast-changing Arctic and Antartic regions and would like to pursue polar research some day. Star’s interests are also interdisciplinary, with intersections of climatology and geology capturing her mind.

We asked Star to tell us a little about why inclusivity in STEM matters to her: “As I continue experiencing life and the people I come across, I come to understand that brilliant people are everywhere. To put it into perspective, scientific advancements and innovations can only be achieved if someone out there asks the question to get the ball rolling. Even though I am a biracial woman, I am not diverse. Individuals cannot be diverse. However, a group of individuals can be, and with them, they have the ability to bring every single question they have, especially when science continues to grow to be a collaborative and interdisciplinary process.”

In addition to meteorology, Star has what she calls her “holy trinity: dogs, water, and art”. She has two dogs of her own, Stratus and Virga, who are never far from her side. She’s also an active advocate for clean water locally and across the glove, serving with campus and international organizations. Lastly, she holds tightly to her love and appreciation of art, never missing an opening day of local exhibitions or a chance to interact with artists on and off campus.

Star’s goals can be separated into two categories: first, she plans to achieve a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, and from there would like to “continue research focused on the polar regions of Earth, specifically the interactions of this region with climate change, and get into the oceanography community.” She’s open to the many possibilities that are before her, and as more doors continue to open up, she wants to keep her future open for whatever may come. Some of these doors have opened recently; in the spring, Star was selected for the Elbert W. “Joe” Friday Scholarship in Atmospheric Sciences, and she earned a position in the NCAR SOARS program this summer. According to their website, SOARS is “dedicated to broadening participation in the atmospheric and related sciences. It is an undergraduate to graduate program built around a summer research internship, mentoring by top scientists and a supportive learning community.” Star is spending the summer in Boulder, CO, researching with a mentor and learning about coding, presenting for a scientific conference, and all that it takes to succeed in atmospheric science research. She has shared some photos of her adventures with us below. Congratulations, Star!

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.


[Photos of Colorado??]