St. Cloud State has a group of students who will be participating in two different scientific eclipse ballooning studies in October of this year and April of 2024.  St. Cloud State University Assistant Professor of Meteorology and Scientific Education Dr. Rachel Humphrey and St. Cloud State University President Dr. Robbyn Wacker joined me on WJON.   Rachel is teaching at class this semester called "Introduction to Scientific Ballooning". Students from different disciplines have the opportunity for field work (some for the first time) and do scientific education outreach around the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project:

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Rachel Humphrey and Robbyn Wacker (photo - Jay Caldwell)
Rachel Humphrey and Robbyn Wacker (photo - Jay Caldwell)

Humphrey explains the students will be doing a couple of practice balloon launches this summer.  She says the launch in October will be in New Mexico and in April of 2024 they will be launching in Indiana.  She says they will be launching for 30 hours on both sides of the eclipses.  Humphrey says this project is setup so the students involved don't have to pay to participate and this includes lodging, and assignments.  She says this is great because students who may not have been able to participate in field work now can.  These projects are funded by the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium.

This project will consist of multiple teams throughout the country working under two umbrellas... the engineering team and the atmospheric science team.  The SCSU students are apart of the atmospheric science team.  Humphrey says these students will be conducting data on temperature, pressure and other atmospheric characteristics to see how they change at different levels of the atmosphere before, during and after eclipses.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Dr. Humphrey and Dr. Wacker it is available below.



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