Friday, March 30, 2012

Your 2012-2013 PUMA Officers!

President: Kayla Hudson
Junior from Patoka, Indiana
Vice President: Juan Crespo
Junior from South Bend, Indiana

Secretary: Bryce O'Neill
Junior from Plainfield, Indiana

Treasurer: Austin Pearson
 Junior from Kokomo, Indiana

Saturday, March 17, 2012

2012-2013 Officer Elections

Interested in being an officer for the 2012-2013 school year?  Here is your chance!

PUMA will be holding elections for officer positions in the next few weeks.  (Time/Date TBA.  We expect it to be either Thursday, March 29th or Thursday, April 5th at the normal meeting time)

We will have elections for all positions-- President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer

You must be nominated by at least one person to run for a position.  Don't worry, nudge someone and have them nominate you.  We care more about the job you do, it's not a popularity contest!

Please don't run for office if you just want to "boost your resume."  PUMA is a small organization with room to continue growing, and we want dedicated and passionate people leading the way!

Here are some FAQ's to think about when deciding if you want to run:

Do I have enough time to be an officer?
-Being an officer for PUMA does require a reasonable amount of time.  Plan to have at least one event a month.  If you are an officer you can't just "show up" for the meetings.  Careful planning and behind the scene work is required to have an event!  Depending on the position, you may be posting things on Facebook, Twitter, sending emails, making flyers, etc.  Don't overwhelm yourself by taking on too much.

Who can run for an officer position?
-Anyone currently in PUMA or in the EAS department can run for a position, however, we ask only students who will be juniors or seniors next year to run for President and Vice President.  Freshman and Sophomores may run for Secretary and Treasurer (and are encouraged).  That way, you could essentially hold an officer position until you graduate.

What are the responsibilities for each position?
-Although everyone works as a team, each officer as certain "general" responsibilities:
President:  Planning/booking events, makes final decisions
VP:  Assisting the president with planning/booking
(on top of the previously listed duties, the President and VP usually run errands for supplies, design/order/pick up tshirts, appoint committees, make food, and various other duties)
Secretary: Maintaining the PUMA Twitter, Facebook, networking/contacting
Treasurer:  Keeps track of money, makes budget, collects dues, paperwork, issue refunds

What other things might help me become an officer?
-Things that are not required, but are helpful, include personal transportation and kitchen/cooking space.  Officers typically run errands and provide supplies for PUMA meetings and this is very helpful!

Anymore questions, please contact me!
Good luck!


Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

President: Layc Brock

I just flew into Texas today for the 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.  I assume many of you haven't heard of this conference, because I didn't even know of it myself. Most of the atmospheric science students go to the AMS conference which is normally in January.  There are opportunities for undergraduates at Purdue in planetary science though too, so don't forget that!  I'll let you know a little about planetary science and the conference in general.

So, what is planetary science you might ask?  Well, it is basically a combination of EVERYTHING.  There is really something for every branch of science:  chemistry, physics, geology, biology, and of course atmospheric science!  This field is really up and coming and there are so many opportunities.  It's great because there are still a bunch of unanswered research questions.  For atmospheric science majors, you can study the weather on other planets, jovian planets, and soon (hopefully) we will have the technology using spectroscopy to examine the atmospheric composition of exoplanets.

Anyway, I'm attending this conference to present my research that I do with Jay Melosh, a distinguished professor here at Purdue.  I'll be presenting my poster Sunday, March 18th at the undergraduate portion of the conference and then again on Tuesday night at the main conference.  Not only will I get to network with other students and scientists, I get to attend several panels and talks.  On Monday, I have a "mentor" for the day who will take me around the conference.  Her name is Amy Simon-Miller and she is the Associate Director for Strategic Science at NASA Goddard.  Her research focuses on Jovian atmospheres (think Jupiter and the Great Red Spot!).  On top of all of that, my abstract is one of the featured abstracts for the whole conference which is exciting/scary/crazy.  I'll let everyone know how it goes!

If you are someone who is still trying to decide what to do, you might want to check out planetary science!  There are research opportunities for you to do at Purdue which will really help you out in the long run.  You won't know if research is right or wrong for you until you give it a try.  

More informations and pictures to come!
Look under "highlighted abstracts" 


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why I am NOT excited about severe weather tomorrow

Secretary: Juan Crespo

I have seen many posts about some of my friends getting excited about the chance for storms tomorrow, and I don't blame them. As at atmospheric science major, it is exciting to see Mother Nature put on such a show for us. And even though I will be on a retreat this weekend and won't be able to even follow these storms, I was starting to get excited myself too, then I took the SPC Outlook and overlaid it with a population map:

In the purple shaded area, I can easily see 3-4 major cities, like Cincinnati and Louisville, even on the edge of that area I see larger cities, like Columbus and Indianapolis. Other major cities like Northern Atlanta and Southern Cleveland have a good chance of experiencing bad weather, which could lead to tornadoes like those seen in Harrisburg, IL just a few days ago.

Personally, I can't get excited about severe weather when I see such large populations at risk. Ever since last year, with the Alabama and Joplin tornadoes, to even the Indiana State Fair accident and the Harrisburg tornado, severe weather worries me and its affect on local populations. When more people die in 1 year from tornadoes than the amount of deaths combined the couple years before, it just sickens me the risk our population is at, and it sickens me more that even with the advances in meteorology, people still do not heed warnings and end up dying because of it.

Now, this doesn't mean I condemn storm chasing, we need storm spotters on the ground to help track the storm and observe properties that we may not be able to observe with modern day technology. Many of us get excited about the possibility of storm chasing, and I don't blame you or hold anything against you. It's just personally, I can no longer get excited when so many people are at risk at losing their lives.