I think I’m safe in saying that each of our group members have earned their 2021 winter holiday for conquering the Fall ’21 semester, which brought many challenges and many firsts. Grad students Emily and Theresa conquered their first semester of grad school, in what is still an abnormally challenging situation due to the pandemic.

And for some shameless self-promotion, I conquered my first full instructional duty as an assistant professor, where I led 45 enthusiastic students on a journey of developing the equations of motion in METR 3113: Intro to Atmospheric Kinematics and Dynamics. I only get to claim this first once, so I’m not missing the opportunity! Below is a snapshot of one of the interactives we brought into the classroom, a rotating tank (thanks DIYnamics!).

I’m also very excited to welcome two new undergraduate researchers to our team: Emily West and Andrew Muehr. Emily is studying the interactions between mesoscale atmospheric slope flows and upwelling in Lake Tanganyika (working also with Mike Soreghan of OU/Geosciences). Andrew is exploring the influence of vertical wind shear on supercell thunderstorm behavior through idealized model experiments.

With gratitude that I get to call this my job and to have the phenomenal people of OU/SoM as my colleagues, students, and friends, looking forward to what 2022 will bring!

—James