Department of Atmospheric and Earth Science at the Trash Panda Stadium for Education Day 2023
Department of Atmospheric and Earth Science at the Trash Panda Stadium for Education Day 2023

The Department of Atmospheric and Earth Science (AES) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, part of the University of Alabama System, actively participated in the 2023 Education Day at the Toyota Field with the Trash Pandas team. This collaborative effort served as a platform to showcase the university's cutting-edge Mobile Atmospheric Profiling Network (MAPNET), funded by the National Science Foundation.

At Education Day with the Trash Pandas, the gates open for schools from all over Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi to join early games and delve into the fascinating world of baseball. The UAH College of Science seeks to integrate science education with the ballpark experience.

In partnership with the Trash Pandas, the AES team, and with the participation of graduate students Joshua Huggins, Zeb Leffler, and Melissa Gonzalez-Fuentes, skillfully highlighted the capabilities of MAPNET during the Education Day event. The outreach initiative presented dynamic demonstrations of MAX, the mobile radar vehicle, and the M3V, the mobile meteorological mesonet vehicle. The weather balloon launch provided an interactive experience for children, allowing them to engage with UAH's atmospheric science experts and gain valuable insights into severe weather safety.

Dr. Kevin Knupp, Professor of Atmospheric and Earth Science, who provided extensive support in coordinating the Education Day, has been an invaluable asset to the Department of Atmospheric and Earth Science. With a noteworthy career at UAH spanning several decades, Dr. Knupp has made significant contributions to both the department and the field of atmospheric science. As a dedicated researcher and educator, his work was key in establishing the AES department and witnessing its growth and evolution.

Dr. Knupp's research endeavors have focused on severe weather phenomena, and his instrumental role in developing crucial projects like MAPNET highlights his commitment to advancing scientific knowledge. Beyond his academic pursuits, Dr. Knupp's mentorship and leadership have left an indelible mark on students, colleagues, and the broader scientific community, reflecting a legacy of excellence within the department.

Looking ahead, the College of Science is committed to educational outreach with another promising participation on Education Day at the Trash Pandas stadium event scheduled for April 2024. Anticipating a broader impact, the team envisions incorporating diverse activities and collaborating with multiple departments to deliver a more immersive and engaging science experience for the community. Stay tuned for further updates on this extraordinary event, and brace yourselves for a captivating exploration of science in the field!