ULM logo

Online | A-Z | |

Atmospheric Science students present at national conference, meet with Congresswoman Letlow

Published February 7, 2024

Atmospheric Science

CAPTION: ULM Atmospheric Science students met with Congresswoman Julia Letlow. (Pictured L-R): Haniston Holloway, Emily Allen, Rep. Julia Letlow, Rachael Restelle, Alec Soileau, Isaiah Montgomery

MONROE, LA – Six students from the University of Louisiana Monroe Atmospheric Science program, along with Associate Director of the School of Sciences Dr. Todd Murphy, attended the 104th American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD from January 27 – February 1, 2024. The AMS Annual Meeting is the largest meeting with a direct focus on weather, water, and climate, with thousands of people in attendance, taking part in more than 40 scientific conferences and symposia. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Living in a Changing Environment”.

At the meeting, Dr. Murphy and students Emily Allen, Haniston Holloway, Jake Lambright, Isaiah Montgomery, Rachael Restelle, and Alec Soileau, were able to network with other professionals in the field, attend talks on cutting-edge research, attend career and professional development sessions, and present their own research for community feedback. Each student also presented research they had completed with faculty mentors.

“The AMS Annual meeting is the premier national conference for atmospheric scientists,” said Murphy. “Having an opportunity to present here means our students’ work is seen by world-renowned experts in the field. Being able to receive feedback from these scientists, or just generally interact and network with the other attendees, is an invaluable experience for an undergraduate student. These types of connections often lead to job or graduate school offers in the future,” added Murphy.

While in the region, the students and Dr. Murphy made a special trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with Louisiana District 5 Congresswoman Julia Letlow. They spoke with Congresswoman Letlow about the Louisiana Mesonet, thanking her for supporting the project, and expressing just how critical the additional weather data will be for Louisiana.

“Much of what we do in atmospheric science has such wide-ranging implications for the public, but ultimately, none of the research matters if we can’t get it into the hands of people who actually make real decisions in terms of laws or how government agencies operate,” said Murphy. “Meeting with Rep. Letlow helped to drive home the point that if you want to see policy in action, the people who make policy need to be well informed,” he added.

In January 2023, ULM received approval for $2,000,000 for the Louisiana State Mesonet Network Project. The request was sponsored by Congresswoman Letlow and was approved as part of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2023.

Mesonets are interconnected networks of instrumented monitoring stations across an entire state or region that measure temperature, humidity, pressure, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, precipitation, and soil conditions. The Louisiana State Mesonet will feature 50 sites spread out in a grid across the state and will be managed by the ULM Atmospheric Science program. The program is currently in the process of site selection and construction. Read more about the Louisiana State Mesonet Network Project in the .

ULM AMS 2024

CAPTION: ULM Atmospheric Science students at the AMS Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD. (Pictured L-R): Haniston Holloway, Emily Allen, Rachael Restelle, Dr. Todd Murphy, Alec Soileau, Isaiah Montgomery, Jake Lambright