I spent last week at the 2018 joint 14th international Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP)/15th International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) conference in Takamatsu, Japan. I'll post more about the conference at a later date, but wanted to give an update on Category 2 Typhoon Trami currently affecting Japan.
I am very thankful that the iCACGP/IGAC conference regularly updated attendees about the status of the typhoon. We had several days to think about changing our travel plans, contact airlines or railways, or extend hotel reservations. These regular updates were very appreciated as I considered altering my personal travel plans after the conference.
After leaving Takamatsu on Saturday, Sept. 29, I arrived in Hiroshima. The original plan was to visit the Itsukushima Shrine on the island of Miyajima, but I decided to stay in Hiroshima since a ferry ride did not seem smart or fun in high winds. Hiroshima was expected to experience less severe weather than Kyoto or Tokyo.
Saturday night in Hiroshima was extremely dark and rainy. I walked around the Peace Memorial Park and was absolutely drenched by the time I returned to the hotel. However, it was not windy at all and did not observe any flooding in the areas I walked.
Hiroshima on Sunday, Sept. 30 was much more windy and rainy. At times, I needed to close my umbrella or it would have been blown away. However, I still was able to visit two art museums during the day, including Hiroshima Museum of Art and the Hiroshima Prefecture Museum of Art.
By the afternoon, winds began to pick up and rainfall was more heavy. Japan Rail suspended services so I decided to stay another night in Hiroshima. I will depart early tomorrow for Kyoto once the trains resume service.
Hiroshima will continue to experience high winds and heavy rain over the next several hours. However, compared to islands in Japan or areas in the direct path of the storm, the potential for severe damage is less. I'm hoping Typhoon Trami or other severe weather will not affect the rest of my trip.
With the end of the fiscal year looming, appropriators have made fast progress, with eight bills approved by the House and nine by the Senate. However, none of these bills have been finalized by legislators from both the House and the Senate.
Science funding is essential for supporting basic scientific research that makes scientific and technological advances possible. In an effort to engage my community at the University of Maryland with elected representatives, I hosted a congressional letter writing event asking representatives for strong support for science in FY19.
Undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of departments attended the event in the STAMP Student Union. In total, 40 letters to 8 different state's congressional representatives were written about science funding in FY19 including Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
It was really exciting to see University of Maryland students participate in contacting their congressional representatives since many had never done so before. Students wrote about how basic science has impacted their life, as well as important data sources influential in his/her own research. Participants also learned about the federal budget process.
Special thanks to University of Maryland's Graduate Student Government and the American Geophysical Union for support that made this event possible.