NOAA-CREST Day Celebrated at the CREST Center, CCNY, NY
21 April 2010 - The 9th Annual NOAA-CREST Day continued CREST's ongoing tradition of enthusiastic participation. Over 300 high school and college students, guests, and CREST family members attended the event. It was a day full of informative events and activities mostly for our young audiences and students from all across the five boroughs of the NY metropolitan region. The day began with the meet-and-greet session at the Presidents' conference room for our guest Ms. Mary Kicza, NOAA NESDIS Assistant Administrator, CUNY Administrators Dr. Gillian Small, Vice Chancellor for Research, CCNY President Dr. Robert Paaswell and other NOAA dignitaries and CREST members, followed by a tour to CREST facilities.
More than 200 high school students attended CREST Day this year and learned about various opportunities that CREST offers to incoming students as they prepare to embark on their college education. This event is one of the largest and most important recruitment events for NOAA-CREST each year.
The students' days began with a poster session in the lobby by students from CCNY, LaGCC and Bronx High School of Sciences. The events in the auditorium began with welcoming remarks by the CCNY President, Dr. Robert Paaswell and presentations by our guest speakers, high school students and CREST faculty members and students. Ms. Mary Kicza spoke on the broader perspective on sciences and services that NOAA offers to the American people and society both nationally and internationally, and she also described various opportunities at NOAA for students who wish to build a career as a NOAA professional. Dr. Jingli Yang, CEO of Earth Resources Technology, spoke on the industrial perspective. ERT is the latest industrial partner to join the NOAA-CREST consortium. Dr. Yang's talk emphasized the growing demand for environmental engineers in general and discussed expanding opportunities in both active and passive remote sensing. Dr. Franco Einaudi, formerly a NASA / NOAA scientist, gave an inspiring talk on the incredible progress made in remote sensing from the early days of TIROS and single VIS photography through present day hyper-spectral imagers. Dr. Martin Yapur, a CREST alumnus and currently a NOAA scientist presented on his career growth from CCNY to NOAA and also motivated the students to follow the same path as he did.
An exciting talk by the students from Bronx High School of Sciences on their recent experiences as National Ocean Science Bowl 2nd runner-up was very popular with the young audience. Gary Bouton (Undergraduate) and Lilybeth Colon-Perez (Graduate) from CREST also presented on their research work and their experiences as CREST scholars. Dr. Fred Moshary spoke on various fellowship opportunities that are available for students through CREST and its affiliated program and also spoke about various internship opportunities available at NOAA's Educational Partnership Program, while Dr. Barry Gross gave an overview on the CREST research and thematic areas.
Other activities included raffles, drawings, and congratulations to the Bronx High School of Science NOSB team members for their excellent performance at the Regional Competition, held on March 6, 2010 at Stony Brook University, NY.
Other guests included; Dr. Alfred Powell, NESDIS/STAR; Dr. Priti Brahma of NOAA/EPP; Ms. Nina Jackson, NOAA/NESDIS; Dr. Patrick McCormick, Hampton University; Dr. Raymond Hof, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Dr. Hamed Parsiani, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez; and Dr. William Lawrence, Bowie State University, MD.
The CREST Students Association [CSA] also conducted an "ECO-RACE Challenge" for our HS students in honor of the EARTH DAY week. Several quizzes pertaining to Eco-Friendly Lives; Environment and Conservation were given out to the participating students from Bronx High School of Sciences, and the winners were given eco-friendly prizes. The winners of the Eco-race Challenge were: Kezi Cheng, fourth place; Carissa Ho, third place; Brandom Sim, second place; and Eric Blum, first place. As a result of this successful recruitment and open house event, several HS students have applied for our CREST-HS Summer Internship [SHIP] program, and we look forward to their active participation in this summer enrichment program and a fruitful summer 2010!!