ESSIC Celebrates Maryland Day for 19th Year

Last weekend, ESSIC once again participated in Maryland Day, University of Maryland’s day-long open house event that gives the local community a chance to connect with the university through exhibits, workshops, performances, and more.

ESSIC volunteers gave out freebies including colorful frisbees and educational booklets and posters about the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), a series that provides advanced imaging and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s Western Hemisphere in near real-time for more accurate forecasts and warnings.

“Lots of kids were interested in clouds and hurricanes, so those hand-outs were nearly depleted,” said Maureen Cribb, ESSIC Senior Faculty Specialist and co-organizer of the day’s events.

Volunteers also ran a virtual reality activity in which participants could view imagery from the NOAA GOES-16 satellite, including footage of Hurricane Florence hitting Florida in 2018.  This was especially popular with children, who marveled at the realism.

Also featured was Lieutenant Commander Michael Gonsalves, the chief of NOAA’s Hydrographic Surveys Division, Operations Branch.  He spoke about the work that NOAA Corp does on the sea, on land, and in the air to assist in NOAA’s environmental science and stewardship mission.

ESSIC Research Scientist William Lau had a table where he gave out autographed copies of Monsoon, his manga produced by NASA in partnership with Hayanon, a Japanese science cartoonist.  The manga features Mol, an elementary school girl enthusiastic about science, and Mol, her robotic dog, who are educated about monsoons by Dr. Lau.

“All in all, the day was busy with a steady stream of visitors,” noted Cribb.