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Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Program Schedule



The REALM Mentorship Council will coordinate welcoming the students upon their arrival. The welcome orientation and luncheon will be hosted on the campus of the University of Utah.  The kick-off lecture introducing the field of Mountain Meteorology will be presented by Emeritus Research Professor C. David Whiteman.   Dr. Whiteman’s distinguished career includes over 70 publications focusing on mountain meteorology and the field’s leading textbook “Mountain Meteorology: Fundamentals and Applications”.  Initial meetings with each student with their research mentor and a member of the Mentorship Council will be used to resolve logistical issues, answer questions and outline student-mentor expectations. Students will receive ID cards, bus passes, and department computer accounts.  Department and campus resources tours and laboratory and field safety training will also be covered at this time.


Active research and professional development will commence during the first week and continue throughout the program. Department and campus resources tours and laboratory and field safety training will be covered during the first week.


Students will travel via two vans in week 8 of the program to Storm Peak Laboratory in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a high elevation atmospheric research facility.  The students will also visit an air quality monitoring site in the rapidly-developing oil/gas fields of the Uintah Basin, maintained by Department researchers, and Dinosaur National Park as part of the trip. 

WEEK 2 - 8


Faculty mentors will help guide the students during the summer to complete realistic research projects that help to develop skills that will contribute to the students’ future academic and employment successes.  A list of faculty mentors and expected project titles is provided here 


Students will participate in weekly hour-long trainings sponsored by the campus-wide SPUR program on topics such as: responsible research conduct; research reproducibility; abstract writing; literature reviews; creating figures in scientific writing; creating effective posters; and translating research to a general audience. The Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) also offers introductions to research computing relevant to some of the projects that students are likely to undertake.  


Students will have individual Department subject matter experts assigned relevant to their research needs. For example, faculty research groups in the Department use a wide range of instrumentation and computer programming languages. While the students will not be expected to become experts on specific sensors or computer programmers after 10 weeks, they will be able to learn why different sensing and programming approaches are used for different needs. Each student will be assigned to a communication mentor (for guidance on writing and creating the final poster) and programming language expert.  The students will meet with both mentors for ~30 minutes every two weeks.   Additionally, each student will be assigned a peer mentor within their cohort and will be encouraged to meet weekly to discuss their progress and challenges. 


Students will meet individually with a member of the REALM Mentorship Council for ~30 minutes every two weeks.   During these informal meetings, student will receive individualized mentorship and career development advice, discuss their progress, and provide feedback regarding program elements.


Students will attend a weekly lunchtime session on a variety of research topics with presentations by faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students within the Department of Atmospheric Sciences.


REU programs on campus rotate weekly to coordinate and lead on- or off-campus optional activities for all REU students. These include barbeques, hikes in the nearby Wasatch Mountains, or attending sporting or outdoor concert events.

WEEK 9 - 10


Students will wrap up their research project and work with their mentor to complete a poster using a format consistent with that used for the Student Conference of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting.


Students will participate in a “draft” poster party at lunchtime on the Monday of week 10 attended by mentors and the REALM Mentorship Council to prepare for the campus-wide poster session for all REU students held later in the week. Informal critique and ideas on how to improve if needed the content of their posters will be the objective of this session.


All department-specific REU students, SPUR, ACCESS, and NARI students will display posters and orally report their research accomplishments on the Thursday of Week 10.  In the summer of 2023, over 150 posters were presented at this exciting event.  The entire department and the Dean of the CMES, students and mentors from across the university are invited to attend.


Immediately following the Research Symposium, students and mentors will attend a luncheon award session where awardees will receive recognition. A panel from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences independent of the mentors and REALM Mentorship Council will identify posters and presentations of distinction.


Last Updated: 11/30/23