Meteorology professor tapped to co-chair NSF committee to steer STEM research

September 20, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jose D. Fuentes, professor of meteorology and John T. Ryan Faculty Fellow, has been appointed to serve as a co-chair of a National Science Foundation external advisory committee tasked with assessing and envisioning the future of the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which was created by the NSF.

Fuentes is one of 19 experts asked to review efforts of the NSF’s EPSCoR, which is a subcommittee to the NSF’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE). Fuentes is the chair of CEOSE.

The group, which is composed of a wide array of experts from across the nation, will participate in a year-long exercise to understand the historic and the current impacts of EPSCoR. It will seek input from stakeholders across the United States and will identify new areas for success and impact. Ongoing updates will be available online and a final report of the findings will be submitted to CEOSE to approve and pass onto the NSF leadership.

The committee will work to gauge the effectiveness of EPSCoR’s research investment efforts while identifying novel strategies or changes to current strategies that would allow EPSCoR to more effectively achieve shared goals in the context of the nation’s changing STEM research landscape.

“I am excited about the opportunity to contribute with ideas that can impact the national STEM research agenda,” Fuentes said. “This is a rare opportunity for me to scale up some of the activities I have been doing with Penn State on matters related to diversity and inclusion in states where the research infrastructure is limited.”

This is Fuentes’ latest effort to impact STEM fields. He is chairing a new diversity and social justice committee through the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, which is focused on Penn State’s research institutes. He was also director of Penn State’s Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program in climate science.

Fuentes mentors underrepresented students and works with student clubs and organized workshops designed to attract and retain more underrepresented students in science.

“The work of the advisory committee will offer advice and guidelines on future investments in EPSCoR states remain competitive in STEM related fields,” Fuentes said.

The American Meteorological Society awarded Fuentes the Charles E. Anderson Award in 2016 "for outstanding, sustained efforts to promote diversity in the atmospheric and environmental sciences through education, research and community service." He has served on panels and committees for NASA and the NSF. Before joining Penn State, he was a founding member of the University of Virginia Excellence in Diversity program, designed to attract and maintain underrepresented faculty.

Fuentes is an expert in climate science and air quality. His research focuses on physical, biological and chemical processes that control trace gas, particles and energy exchanges between Earth and the atmosphere. His most notable work exposed that air pollution decreases bees’ ability to find food.

  • Jose D. Fuentes

    Jose D. Fuentes

    IMAGE: Photo provided

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 22, 2021