Earth, Wind, Sea, and Sky 2020
We are excited to share this 2020 edition of Earth, Wind, Sea and Sky; showcasing the summer research of the
Protégés from the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) Program. SOARS
began in 1996, and remains true to its mission of increasing the diversity of the atmospheric and related
sciences, by engaging students from historically underrepresented communities in STEM, in genuine
research. The Protégés’ ability to do excellent work in such a short period of time and in a virtual environment
is a credit to their hard work and dedication; and to the exceptional training, care, and guidance of their
Mentors. We are ever so grateful for the Mentors’ commitment to the Program.
The hallmark of the SOARS mentoring structure, which includes up to five (5) types of Mentors and a supportive
learning community, continues to be the heart of the program and remains relevant. The Geoscience
community continues to evolve and our scientific challenges change. As such, SOARS continues to adapt
and grow, meeting the new needs of the field. Now in the fifth year, the SOARS computation and scientific
data workshop (CDW) recognizes the movement of geoscience literature toward sharing data and code;
preparing Protégés with tools to flourish in an open-access environment. This year’s CDW complemented the
scientific communication and writing workshop (SCW) with weekly classes. We recognize new careers in the
atmospheric sciences are emerging that make use of weather and climate products; and there is a need for
scientists to translate these products for fields as diverse as agriculture, emergency management, insurance
policy, and space weather, to name a few. Our professional development series, highlighted inside, exposes
our Protégés to the many opportunities available to them, and prepares them to succeed not only in graduate
school, but in careers beyond as well.
Because of the 24+ year history and success of SOARS, we are able to tap into the strengths of our Alumni.
Our Alumni also serve as Mentors, panelists, graduate-school selection advisors, and on the SOARS Steering
and hiring committees. Beyond SOARS, our Alumni are filling leadership roles in our national societies
government, industries, and universities. Their perspective and leadership, along with that of our Mentors
sponsors, and partners, help SOARS to advance and remain a leader and valued partner in the geoscience
As the geosciences continue to evolve and our planet and climate face rapid change; the need for diverse
voices has never been greater, particularly those who can connect science, leadership, and community. SOARS
has an ongoing role and responsibility in helping develop these voices. The network of Protégés, Alumni, staff
Mentors—current and former, and partners continues to grow; and their voices and leadership are making
vital contributions to the science, and safety of our planet. We are grateful for your ongoing support and are
extremely proud to be part of this amazing community.
We hope you enjoy this edition of Earth, Wind, Sea and Sky. Please join us in congratulating the 2020 Cohort of Protégés!
SOARS Program Lead
UCAR Center for Science Education