Congratulations, Students, for Another Successful El Dia del Agua y la Atmosfera!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

EarthWeek 2017 started off with a bang, as the students from the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences organized another successful El Día del Agua y la Atmósfera. The annual student research conference, held in the Student Union Memorial Center's Grand Ballroom, was bigger and better than ever!

This year's event featured HAS graduate and undergraduate students who made 13 Oral Presentations--including our HAS department representative for the EarthWeek Plenary oral competition--and 22 Poster Presentations, including several from local high school students representing The Gregory School, Tucson, and the Immaculate Heart High School, Oro Valley.

A robust and invigorating Round Table Discussion, focused on the broad topic of communicating the science of climate change, had four breakout groups and was moderated by Chris Castro, Peter Troch, Jennifer McIntosh, Hoshin Gupta, Tom Meixner, Ty Ferré, Martha Whitaker, and Brittany Ciancarelli. The smaller groups discussed four subtopics:

Should we be moving towards more applied sciences to better address societal changes?  Do we need to change the way we, as scientists, are educated by broadening or adding more soft skills/social science?  To what extent do scientists need to be involved in decision making?  How much responsibility do scientists hold for increasing public understanding and awareness of scientific/environmental issues?

Our luncheon speaker, Amber Sullins, Chief Meteorologist with ABC15 in Phoenix, Arizona, and our afternoon keynote speaker, Scott Denning, Monfort Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, inspired the audience--truly--with their talks on the urgency and the profound importance of better communicating the science we do

Following all talks and poster sessions, this year's student and faculty awards were presented:

Montgomery Prize Winner - Allissa White

Best oral presentation - Certificate and Award $2000 - Legacy Sponsor: E.L. Montgomery & Associates, Inc.
Judges: Jon Whittier, Martha Whitaker, Austin Carey

Hargis Awards - Neha Gupta (1st) & Nicole Weber (2nd)

Best technical presentation via visual communication (poster) - Certificate and Award $1000 (1st) and $400 (2nd) - Legacy Sponsor: Hargis+Associates, Inc.
Judges: Leo Leonhart, Dennis Scheall, Tim Corley

Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences Awards of Excellence - Tyler Rockhill (oral) & Furrukh Bashir (poster)

Best oral and poster presentations (excluding Montgomery and Hargis awardees) - Certificate and Award $400 each
Judges: (Oral) Hsin-I Chang, William Holmgren, Dick Thompson & (Poster) Matej Durcik, Suzy Stillman, Yang Cao

Donald R. Davis Undergraduate Distinction Award - Erin Gray

Outstanding undergraduate award (academic or research) - Certificate and Award $400
Judges: James Washburne and Thomas Galarneau

Eugene S. Simpson Undergraduate Poster Award - Mekha Pereira

Best undergraduate poster in hydrogeology, subsurface hydrology, or groundwater - Certificate and Award $400
Judges: James Washburne, Thomas Galarneau

High School Student Poster Presenters

Certificates of Participation for all winning entrants
Evaluators: Rachel Tucci, Rodrigo Valdés-Pineda

Aqua Person Awards - Jennifer McIntosh, Thomas Meixner, & Ave Arellano

HAS Outstanding Faculty Instructor Awards selected by entire HAS student body:  Trophy Figures of Storm (X-Men), AquaMan (DC Justice League), and Captain Planet (Turner/DIC Entertainment) awarded to Dr. Jennifer McIntosh, Dr. Tom Meixner, and Dr. Ave Arellano, respectively. The figures denote their awesomeness, not necessarily their areas of expertise.

Scholarships and Fellowship Awards

John W. Harshbarger Doctoral Fellow - Alissa White

Chester C. Kisiel Scholar for Applied Statistics in Hydrology - Rodrigo Valdés-Pineda

Sol D. Resnick Graduate Scholar - Yi Nan

Donald R. Davis Undergraduate Scholars - Jack Anderson, Nicole Weber, Mekha Pereira, Erin Gray

A huge THANK YOU to all our wonderful and generous sponsors, the organizers (students, faculty, and staff), and to our experienced judges. We could not have a successful event without your continued encouragement and support.

Congratulations, again, to all of our student and faculty winners.  Well done!