Monday, January 30, 2012

Greetings From Across the Pond

Vice President: Alyssa Hendricks

Writing my first blog post seemed like the perfect reason to procrastinate my first atmospheric physics assignment, right?  I am currently studying abroad at the University of Leeds in Leeds, England and taking classes in their School of Earth and Environment. I am the first to go in the program and it was just recently developed with help from Dr. Lasher-Trapp.

 The transition from Purdue to Leeds has been…interesting.  A lot of aspects are the same, I’m still taking my physics and dynamics courses like a typical second semester junior in EAS and also have some really interesting electives. One is on Earth observations from space and another will take me on a field trip during our month long “Easter Holidays” (fancy way of saying I get a month for spring break!) to develop field skills.  The School of Earth and Environment at Leeds is much larger than the EAS Department at Purdue, they have a fairly new building strictly for the school. Their labs have windows and everything!  The actual meteorology program is still small though, and you can tell all the students are as close with their classmates as we all are. 

The structure of classes in the UK is taking some getting used to.  I only go to one hour of lecture for each class in a week and we have an additional hour of “tutorial” which is what I would compare to recitation.  So far this seems awesome only going to class for 8 hours a week! However, English classes require a lot more independent work and hours spent reading and doing problems.  I do miss having big group homework sessions with everyone then.

Leeds campus is gorgeous, despite the dreary weather all day.  The buildings are a mix of historical old buildings and really modern architecture, all right next to each other. Campus is built on a hill too, so getting from class to class is slightly more of a workout than at Purdue.  The City Centre sits right next to the school, so there is always somewhere to go or something to do in or around campus.

Aside from the terrible food and everything being much smaller than what I’m used to in America, I am having a great time! If anyone would like to know any more or has questions about the program I would be happy to answer them – I need something to do since I’m hardly in class. The program is an exchange so we need as many Purdue students to go to Leeds as they send over to keep the program alive!

With that, I should probably get back to doing physics homework.  I wish everyone the best of luck with their semesters at Purdue and will be excited to return and share even more stories with you all.

School of Earth and Environment Building

Friday, January 27, 2012

First Meeting of 2012!

We will have our first meeting of the Spring semester this Tuesday, January 31st at 6pm in CIVL 4251. We will discuss the recent AMS Conference (so if you went, expect to be called on!), as well as PUMA's plans for the upcoming semester and changes we will be making. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Flying through our lab

Secretary: Juan Crespo

I am currently sitting in the Orlando International Airport waiting for my flight back to Indy as I am currently on my way back from the AMS Conference. As part of my Atmospheric Physics course with Lasher-Trapp, we had to take cloud observations, and I got special permission to do my cloud obs from the plane. I took some neat pictures on my flight from New Orleans to Orlando so I thought I would share some with you (but don't take any if you're in EAS 532! These are my pictures!). Once you are an Atmospheric Science major, it's impossible to view the Earth the same way. Our flight out of NOLA was delayed by a few minutes due to storms earlier that morning. The pilots took the plane south around the line of storms into the Gulf of Mexico, we even had to fly through cirrus clouds just to get out of the system. But once we were over the Gulf, I saw all kinds of clouds, with the exception of cumulonimbus :( What was interesting was when we approached the Florida coast, it was clear over the Gulf but the mainland was covered with cumulus congestus clouds, showing a lovely land-sea breeze interaction affecting the atmosphere above.

Next time you fly, enjoy the view and analyze those clouds! For those who aren't atmospheric science majors, learn what you can about our amazing planet and its atmosphere, and appreciate the planet we have been given.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

PUMA Blog on your phone!

Secretary: Juan Crespo

We are hitting the ground running with our new PUMA Blog! Less than 5 hours into it's young life, and we already created a QR Code so you can view this blog wherever you go! We've added a twitter gadget that will make it easier for our followers and members to stay connected during the busy school year.

Stick around! PUMA's future is looking bright.

Welcome to the new PUMA Blog!

Secretary: Juan Crespo

Greetings from New Orleans! I, along with hundreds of students and thousands of professionals, have been learning about ground-breaking research in our field over the last couple of days. However, with the dramatic weather events from 2011, from Snowmageddon, the Mississippi flooding, Alabama and Joplin tornadoes, it seems that the focus is not so much on improving the forecasting (but it does help), but rather more on communicating with the public effectively in order to save lives. I'm sure the seniors and some of the juniors, including yours truly, will tell you more about our AMS Conference experience on Tuesday at the Spring Semester call out.

Throughout the conference, local chapters had the chance to present a poster showing AMS members what their chapter has done recently. Sadly, Purdue has not presented one in the last 4 years, but I hope to change that for the AMS conference next year in Austin. I've gotten many ideas from chapters that are similar to PUMA, and some of them we might start implementing this semester, one of them is a blog. Since we are a little slow in developing a website, we are going to start a blog since it is easy to use and highly accessible. Us four officers will use this blog, in coordination with our Twitter and Facebook, to broadcast various PUMA events, opportunities, as well as various updates from our officers (like our Vice President, Alyssa Hendricks, who is currently in Leeds, England to study abroad). If any members feel that they want to post something to the blog, please feel free to contact one of us, and we will gladly post it for you.

We hope you find our new blog useful and increase the activity of our members. Boiler Up!