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December 2, 2011

ULM atmospheric sciences students present at conference

University of Louisiana at Monroe atmospheric sciences students presented at the Third Annual Triple Ex Conference for Undergraduate Research on Nov. 4, hosted on the Louisiana State University campus.

Justin Pullin, a senior from New Iberia; Dylan Cooper, a junior from Shreveport; and Brody Bourque, a senior from New Iberia, all presented their work during the conference.

The conference is an annual event promoting undergraduate research at universities and community colleges and is held in the following categories: life sciences, math and physical sciences, computational technology and engineering, and social sciences.

Dr. Anne Case Hanks, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, and physics, mentored the students.

"This symposium was a great opportunity to highlight the exciting undergraduate research that is going on in atmospheric sciences," said Hanks.

Pullin presented "An Analysis of MCS-Associated Supercells in Southwest Louisiana on 24 December 2009."

For Pullin, the conference was held to excite students about learning, and to allow them to learn through exploration and experimentation in their respective fields.

According to Pullin, the results of his presentation showed that organized severe weather outbreaks including tornadoes can happen in the late fall and winter months in the southeastern United States when the right thermodynamic and dynamic processes coexist in a particular area.

"This has inspired my current research," said Pullin. "The conference at LSU was a very rewarding experience for me and it gave me an opportunity to refine my research and presentation methods by presenting my research and receiving constructive criticism from experienced researchers and my peers."

Cooper placed second in his category with his presentation titled "The Historic Yazoo City, Mississippi Tornado: A Case Study."

Cooper's work primarily concentrated on the overall evolution of the storm that produced the EF-4 Yazoo City tornado which stayed on the ground for approximately 149 miles.

Specific topics covered were the overall synoptic setup, the regional thermodynamic environment, and the effect of a pronounced dryline boundary on the storm.

"The experience was extraordinarily rewarding," said Cooper. "It allowed me to go somewhere new and present to people I had never met or seen before. The most challenging aspect was the actual judging and answering judge's questions, but that proved to be a wonderful lesson on how to stay focused, concise, and demonstrate proficiency with the particular subject."

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