NC State CSTAR Projects Deliver Large Numbers of Skilled NOAA Employees

NC State has collaborated with numerous WFOs across the Southeast in several Collaborative Science, Technology, and Applied Research (CSTAR) projects dating back to the late 1990s. These projects have focused on topics such as topographically-forced weather systems, tropical cyclones, warm season precipitation systems, and severe convective weather.

The CSTAR projects at NC State typically include participation from 2-4 principal investigators, 3-7 students, and multiple WFOs. The current CSTAR project includes 4 principal investigators, 5 students, and 11 WFOs. Completing collaborative applied operationally relevant research is the primary goal of the CSTAR program. In addition to the research, these projects also provide support for students to complete graduate and doctoral studies while participating in research and generally contributing to the scientific education of the current and future NOAA workforce.

An examination of the students who have participated in the three NC State CSTAR projects that have been completed shows that 17 former CSTAR students are currently employed in NOAA or as a NOAA contractor. A total of ten of these former students are currently employed at WFOs from Alaska to South Carolina, one at an RFC, three at NCEP, and one at OAR/ESRL. In addition, two former principal investigators are currently employed at OAR facilities.

A recent presentation at a Research and Innovation Transition Team webinar provided an estimate of the number of  current NOAA employees that have participated in a CSTAR project. Across the country, approximately 69 former CSTAR students are now employed in NOAA or as NOAA contractors. NC State compares very favorably with the other CSTAR participants in terms of developing NOAA talent. This is likely a result of recruiting excellent students, including them in operationally relevant research, exposing them to NOAA staff and facilities, and supporting their career development. NC State, collaborating NOAA offices, and our past students should be proud of these accomplishments.

CSTAR research organizations and the number of their students currently employed at NOAA:
NC State University – 17
University of Utah – 11
St. Louis University – 9
Florida State University – 9
Univerity of Albany – 9
Texas A&M – 7
Florida Institute of Technology – 2
Stony Brook University – 2
University of Washington – 1
Desert Research Institute – 1
Oklahoma University – 1

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