REU Site: Interdisciplinary Cutting-Edge Research though the Analysis of Global Data
DESCRIPTION: A Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at Columbia Univeristy's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), which is located in Palisades, NY, will host fourteen undergraduate interns for a 10 week summer research experience from 2018-2020. The title of the program is "Interdisciplinary Cutting-Edge Research through the Analysis of Global Data", and the "global data" theme focuses the experience on a data-driven and solutions-oriented approach to scientific research. Students work in LDEO's lively interdisciplinary research and education communities and are individually mentored by at least one of LDEO's 180 PhD-level scientists. The goals of the program are for students to learn through their own experience what research is like, so they can explore research careers; for students to develop self-confidence in their independent research and communication abilities and scientific identities, by their coming to understand cutting-edge issues and contributing to their solution; and for them to form lasting professional relationships with scientists. Research projects are in all areas of the Earth, atmospheric, oceanic and environmental sciences and follow the diverse disciplinary interests of the students. Professional development efforts include the three day Cutting Edge Workshop, held at the beginning of the program, which has the goal of teaching students to rapidly assess the purpose, methodology and logic of a scientific paper and to think critically about its importance. Students also participate in Fire Safety Training, Lab Safety Training and Title IX training, a Computing Orientation workshop, a weekly scientific lecture series, a Research Ethics workshop, a scientific writing workshop and a career workshop. Students will be housed in dormitories at Columbia University in New York City, but they will work at LDEO, traveling to and from via bus each day. Students will also be introduced to the capabilities of the LDEO computing environment, and especially to data analysis, database access and the display of data (e.g. on maps). Most of the funding provides support for student stipends, housing and student travel to attend the program. The program conducts a national search for applicants and seeks to engage students who are from schools with limited research opportunities. This program supports the national goal of developing the next generation of scientists and the scientific workforce.