We are delighted to share this 2018 edition of Earth,Wind,Sea and Sky, showcasing the summer research of protégés from the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program. Now in its 23rd year, SOARS remains true to its mission of increasing the diversity of the atmospheric and related sciences by engaging students from backgrounds traditionally under represented in our field in genuine research.Their ability to do such excellent work in such a short period of time is a credit to their hard work and dedication, and to the exceptional training, care and attention of their mentors.We are so grateful for their commitment to the program.

While the hallmark SOARS mentoring structure, including up to five types of mentor and supportive learning community, continues to be the heart of the pro gram and remains as relevant as it did when the program began, our field continues to evolve and our scientific challenges change. As such, SOARS continues to adapt and grow to meet the new needs of our community. Now in its third year, the SOARS scientific data and programming workshop recognizes the movement of geoscience literature toward sharing data and code, and prepares our protégés with tools to flourish in an open-access environment.We recognize that new careers in the atmospheric sciences are emerging that make use of weather and climate products, and that there is a need for scientists to translate these products for fields as diverse as insurance, agriculture, emergency management and policy. Our professional development program, highlighted inside, attempts to expose our protégés to the many opportunities available to them, and prepare them to succeed not only in graduate school, but in careers beyond.

Because of the 20+ year history and success of SOARS, we are now also able to tap into the strengths our alumni. This summer, Cindi-Ann Findley joined us from the new SOARS satellite at the University of Central Florida, bringing her work with alumna, co-PI, and professor Talea Mayoto NCAR and build ing a collaborative partnership with scientists here to better understand storm surge. Our alumni also served as mentors, panelists, and graduate-school selection advisors, and served on our 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, helps SOARS to advance and remain a leader and valued partner in our field.

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. Our partnership with Biosphere 2, and revived partnership with Haskell Indian Nations University's Environmental Research Studies Program, continues to expand our community and expose our protégés to different experiences and indigenous ways of knowing. Our network of protégés, alumni,staff,partners, and past and current mentors 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 protégés of 2018!

Rebecca (Bec) Batchelor - SOARS Director

Earth, Wind, Sea and Sky 2018