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Next Generation STEM Leaders

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 1, 2018) – There’s much more to the NYS Mesonet network than just improving our state’s resilience to extreme weather – it’s also promoting career opportunities that rely on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to the next generation of atmospheric scientists.

About 40 middle school-age girls from Schenectady and Albany recently toured the Mesonet’s weather station at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont as part of the Girls Inc. EUREKA! program. The four-week program, hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, invites the girls to campus each weekday from July 9 through Aug. 1 for hands-on learning experiences and field trips.

At Indian Ladder Farms, the girls learned that the soil moisture and temperature data from the Mesonet weather station can help farmers with their agricultural decisions such as irrigation scheduling, frost protection and the planting and harvesting of produce.

Albany’s local NBC affiliate – News Channel 13 – featured the visit on its “STEM13” segment.

“The Mesonet is so unique… we can do the science in our backyard,” said Junhong (June) Wang, who led the tour and is a research associate professor in Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. “Science is curiosity driven. As long as you’re curious about something, you can learn about it.”

Operated by scientists at UAlbany, with support from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the NYS Mesonet is a network of 126 weather stations across the state, with at least one site in every county and borough. Each site provides real-time data on metrological quantities such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, rainfall, solar radiation, snow depth, and soil information.

You can learn more about the network and its weather stations here.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.