Earth System Science grad student Weigel wins ESIP’s Raskin scholarship


Amanda Weigel is the winner of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners 2016 Robert G. Raskin scholarship.


Before Amanda Weigel makes her invited talk next month at the biannual meeting of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), she has to decide what she wants to talk about.

She could choose her almost finished Earth System Science master's research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), which looks at the potential effects of surface roughness on tornado genesis. She could choose the hurricane hazard risk research she did as one of the first students in UAH's Human Dimensions, Discovery and Decision Making Lab.

She might choose to talk about the hurricane storm surge product she helped develop with Baron, although it's a good bet she will want to talk about her new gig as a UAH Information Technology and System's Center science research associate working with the Global Hydrology Research Center's Data Active Archive Center.

"It's a really different perspective," said Weigel, whose work includes writing guiding documentation for datasets, such as those generated during NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement instrument's ground validation, or by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 instrument.

"It gives you a wider perspective of all the data that's out there and how you might leverage it for different research," she said. "It's a completely different way of thinking about ways to do things at a larger scale."

Whatever topic she chooses, Weigel will be presenting her talk as the winner of ESIP's 2016 Robert G. Raskin scholarship, which includes travel support to the July meeting in Durham, N.C.

"Amanda's diverse skill set and research experience have given her unique and valuable insights into the needs and uses of Earth science data," said Emily Law, ESIP president. "Her interest in interdisciplinary research and her passion for promoting collaboration among Earth science professionals align well with the mission of ESIP."

Weigel was involved in NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's work on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy-led Climate Data Initiative, where she supported the collaborative development of data models and a faceted classification scheme for the human health theme. She also supports NASA/Marshall's Data Science and Informatics Group's ongoing research to design knowledge graphs that improve the search and discovery of data and resources within atmospheric science.

Weigel has received funding from the NASA DEVELOP program, the UAH Master's Competitive Internship Program and the UAH Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development-funded Industry/University Cooperative Graduate Student Research Program. She plans to pursue a doctorate in atmospheric science.