Broadening participation in atmospheric science through a program needs assessment
Rockwell, Alison B.
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) Educational Deployment Program is a short-term facilities deployment program designed to strengthen STEM-related education. It provides access to eight separate research facilities for authentic instruction in the field of observational meteorology and engineering. Facilities are available for graduate, undergraduate, and K-12 education, and can be deployed to a College or University for up to three weeks. Anomalies were found in the diversity of requested facilities and requesting Principal Investigators (PIs) in the 46 education deployments from the calendar years of 2008-2015. A needs assessment was conducted to determine actual program performance, identify performance gaps in the program, and to determine the desired program performance. The needs assessment resulted in a data-driven recommendation action plan to close the gaps that when implemented, will increase the diversity of requesting PIs and the requested facilities, thereby increasing diversity within the education program.