NWC REU 2011
May 23 - July 29

Boulder/RMNP trip

Flight to Boulder

There was lots of eye candy on the flight there.

Oh.... but there were storms around DEN, too, causing our plane to go tip down and circle awhile.

One of our first views of the storm. Interesting structure.

Small circular base there, and lots of bursts kicking up dust throughout the pic.


First view of Boulder on Thursday morning!

Boulder Day 1

We're welcomed by Raj Pandya. Blurry, but I had to include this!

Our first stop in Jim Greenburg's chemistry lab (see "Laboratory Studies" link here).

They do controlled-atmosphere tests here. One of the current tests was to drought stress a cottonwood tree.

Jenny (SOARS protégé) tells us about her research project.

Hands-on science!

Homemade instrument. Cool.

Next visit was NCAR's Research Aviation Facility!

Cool entry rug.

We learned, among other things, that students can propose projects and Julie and Aaron will help collect the data!

First look at the NCAR Gulfstream V.

Julie starts telling us all about the G5.

Each wing has two pods. If your instrument fits into one, you save lots of time. The shapes of these pods have been vetted. If your instrument is different they have to do tests to make sure the plane will fly.

Gotta get the probe out of the slipstream if you want to sample ambient air.

We got to go inside, ~3 at a time.

Tire treads.

I missed the introduction to these instruments.

That is kitty litter and epoxy on that nose cone to simulate icing.

Looking at the other wing.

(no caption)

Drive up to Table Mesa / NCAR's Mesa Lab.

Group pic outside the NCAR Mesa Lab.

Close up of happy people. It's much cooler here!

After lunch we visited the VisLab.

Travis lookin' coooool.

Oh, yeah.

But this was right after lunch...

What we got to hear about.

What they use to do the visualizations.

I didn't take this through the glasses, as Kevin and Amber both thought to do.

Several visualizations were stunningly colorful.

Newest supercomputer.

Hearing about supercomputing.

I.M. Pei, larger than life.

The model of the campus design (some buildings were never built) in front of the foothills.

Pei didn't design these monastery arches. Some scientists snuck them in by paying off the construction workers. (Or something like that).

Architecture of the building.

There is a fairly large area of self-guided tour displays...

...that you can dial a phone number to hear explanations for.

Clever use of staircase space.

And a great place to hang some sondes.


Then we went to get a few more bites to eat.


Alex suddenly isn't sure he really wanted the peanut butter cheese hamburger.

Peanut butter cheese mixture oozing out.

But Sam was quite happy with his spicy wings.

Boulder Day 2

NOAA Campus

Stacey (REU '10) talks about her summer 2011 Hollings research.

A NOAA scientist came out to greet us and briefly overview the NOAA lab structure.

Space Weather is both operations and research.

Space weather operations floor.

We also heard about tree ring and coral analyses to go beyond the human temperature/precipitation record.

Amber studies the rings of a happy (well hydrated) tree.

Various samples around the table for us to look at while we listened.

After seeing their Science on a Sphere, we took some pics before driving to Foothills Lab.

Wouldn't you like this view as you walk to the parking lot?

After lunch we met up with the SOARS protégés to practice for our joint outreach activity.

Alex and Curtis

Working out the activity.

Carl explains what he has in mind.

Simulating atmospheric circulations.

Circulations, from above.

Close up.

Explaining how this works.

And making sure that it works!

Practicing Bernoulli

Building the tornado chambers.

Working through weather trivia cards.

Adam seems a natural.

Ooo, yeah.

Getting some CCN into the bottle.

As does Eric.

He caught it!

Magnet activity.

Fun to play with!

Giving the tornado some extra umph.

As does Eric.

He caught it!

Magnet activity.

Giving the tornado some extra umph.

Closing remarks.

Time for a good dinner!

Hamming it up.

Give her a hand, please!


Rocky Mountain National Park

There were more bicycles on this road than cars.

Bug-eaten trees.

Our caravan, with the boat in front.

Group pic on the divide.

Playing catch. And yes, that's snow—in July—on the path.

Kevin on the Pac side.

Coming back toward the Alpine Visitor's Center we paused to see the view... and some elk!

Those elk just hung out and didn't seem to mind all the attention.

We couldn't drive up Old Fall River Road because it had snowed recently. This snow is just behind the Alpine Visitor's Center.

We couldn't get to our Arapaho story location because of the recent snows.

So Kevin had to tell us the story from the parking lot, where we could at least glimpse some of the peaks in the story.

Our elevation, and Sarah is entranced by the story.

Referencing our handout.

Next we went by the lava cliffs (not pictured).

After which we got caught in an elk jam.

Then we practiced being lightning rods.

Taking obs while the virga moved in.

So much to see.

Virga moving in. But in the end, it was not a hair-standing experience. Whew.

And it rained shortly after we left this location.


Alluvial fan dramatically illustrates the power of water. And the boys go up.

A keen eye caught this rather depressing slogan on a mirror in the visitor's center.