BLISS Team Welcomes Local Summer Weather Camp

The BLISS (Boundary Layer Integrated Sensing and Simulation) research team recently had the exciting opportunity to welcome a group of K-5 students from Norman’s First Baptist Church summer weather camp. This visit, organized by Emily Lenhardt, a PhD Candidate at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Meteorology, was part of the first weather camp hosted by Norman First Baptist.

On a warm June morning, our team members gathered outside the National Weather Center to provide young campers with a hands-on experience in weather research and science. The event featured an impressive array of equipment, including:

  • NSSL’s NOXP mobile radar
  • NSSL Doppler lidar truck
  • OU UAS (Uncrewed Aerial Systems) truck
  • Coptersondes

Interactive Learning Experience

Campers had the opportunity to explore each piece of equipment up close, engaging directly with our researchers and asking thoughtful questions. The highlight of the day was a live weather balloon launch, where every student participated in either holding the balloon or supporting the radiosonde package before its release.

The group of campers stuck out the heat to experience many OU/NSSL research equipment platforms.
The group of campers stuck out the heat to experience many OU/NSSL research equipment platforms.

Fostering Future Scientists

At BLISS, we believe that educational outreach is crucial for building a strong, diverse pool of future scientists. Visits like this allow us to:

  • Spark curiosity in young minds
  • Showcase real-world applications of meteorology
  • Provide hands-on experiences with cutting-edge technology
  • Encourage diverse voices in the scientific community

We’re grateful for the enthusiasm and joy the students brought to this event, and we look forward to continuing our educational outreach efforts.

Special thanks to Emily Lenhardt for organizing this visit and to Norman’s First Baptist Church for bringing their campers to learn about our work. We also appreciate the contributions of NSSL’s Addison Alford and all the BLISS team members who made this event possible.

Dr. Elizabeth N. Smith
Dr. Elizabeth N. Smith
Research Meteorologist

Elizabeth joined NSSL as a research meteorologist in January 2020, where she focuses on boundary-layer processes relevant to near- and pre-storm environments and convection initiation.

Dr. Tyler M. Bell
Dr. Tyler M. Bell
Research Scientist

Tyler is a Research Associate in CIWRO working on using ground-based remote sensors and WxUAS to advance the understanding of various boundary layer processes. He is acitvely exploring ways to optimally combine data collected from WxUAS and ground-based remote sensing.

Lydia Bunting
Lydia Bunting
Research Associate

I joined CIWRO as a research associate in July 2022, where I assist study of the atmospheric boundary layer through processing, analyzing, and organizing data collected by the instruments contained in the Collaborative Lower Atmospheric Mobile Profiling System (CLAMPS).

Dr. Antonio R. Segales
Dr. Antonio R. Segales
Research Engineer

My research centers around developing small unmanned aircraft systems for adaptive atmospheric sampling which involves CAD modeling, systems optimization, hardware and software integration, and control theory. I have led the design of the CopterSonde series of vehicles, which is used to perfrom controlled and targeted weather sampling at high temporal and spatial resolutions. I am also advising other projects in which sensor integration or new UAS are required.