PASI Workshop

PASI Workshop

2013 Pan American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) - Atmospheric Processes of Latin America and the Caribbean: Observations, Analysis, and Impacts

Cartagena, Colombia
27 May - 7 June 2013

Workshop Overview

This short course is intended to foster a community of early career scientists who are interested in atmospheric processes that are important to Latin America and the Caribbean. This two-week course will provide a comprehensive summary of the state of knowledge of the key processes that are important to the region including global tele-connections, regional monsoon systems, regional sources of moisture and its transport, hurricanes, ocean-air interactions, and small scale convection.

This course is also intended as a way of introducing researchers to the Continuously Operating Caribbean Observational Network (COCONet). COCONet is a regional network of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) instruments and surface meteorology stations that will provide continuous total column precipitable water vapor, surface pressure, temperature, relative humidity, horizontal winds, and precipitation measurements across the Caribbean and Latin America.

Because both the lecturers and students will be comprised of a broad collection of international scientists, we expect an environment that will allow for the advancement of partnerships and initiation of collaborations that might not otherwise be made. It is intended to provide the next generation of scientists in the Americas the opportunity to gain professional experience beyond their nation's borders.

Workshop Details


Class activities will be held at "Almirante Padilla" Naval Academy in Cartagena, Colombia.

Escuela Naval de Cadetes Almirante Padilla
Bosque, Isla de Manzanillo
Cartagena, Bolivar Colombia 130000

Cartagena is located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and is the country's fifth largest city. Its rich history has made it a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site. This location is expected to provide a culturally diverse experience for all participants.

The conference hotel will be the Hotel Almirante. If you are receiving lodging support from UCAR, your hotel reservation will be made for you. Lecturers will stay in single rooms and participants will share double rooms.

Hotel Almirante, Cartagena, Colombia
Bogota: (57+1) 747 0333


This PASI is focused on improving the regional knowledge, capabilities, and communication between atmospheric scientists in the United States and their counterparts in the Caribbean and Americas. The course has the following objectives:

  • Contribute to the broader knowledge of atmospheric processes of the Americas through lectures, open discussions, and dissemination of electronic learning modules.
  • Promote the use of and access to freely available model, observational, and visualization tools for use within the international geoscience community.
  • Promote the development of early career scientists through interaction with a diverse collection of internationally recognized lecturers.
  • Facilitate international collaborations through group and individual discussions and planning.

Participation Support

The application for participation, and requests for support, closed on February 18, 2013. All applications were reviewed by a subset of the PASI lectures. Each individual was judged on his or her academic qualifications, research interests, computing/analytical skills, early career status, and English proficiency. The evaluations of each committee member were then combined, with the composite score ranked. Selections were made primarily from the overall ranking, with some additional consideration given to ensure there was diverse international participation. Due to both financial and class size limitations, we are only able to extend invitations to 36 applicants representing 12 countries. Invitations to participate were mailed between March 20, and March 27, 2013.

Organization and Structure

This two-week short-course will have five distinct elements: including lectures, computer labs, both group and small-group discussions, a group writing project, and a research colloquium. The preliminary schedule includes lectures or discussion periods in the morning, followed by computer labs or small group breakout sessions in the afternoon.

We expect that the members of the PASI will leave the event with a clear understanding of the essential atmospheric processes of the region, be able to acquire observation and model data to conduct independent investigations, and have access to software tools to support these investigations.

Course Agenda

Organizing Committee

  • John J. Braun, COSMIC Program, UCAR
  • Olga L. Mayol-Bracero, Associate Professor Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies (ITES), Department of Environmental Science University of Puerto Rico
  • Héctor Mora-Páez, Coordinator of the GNSS GEORED Project Center for Processing and Analysis of Geodetic Data, Colombian Geological Survey
  • Ángel G. Muñoz, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia University

Workshop Contact Information

Please feel free to contact us with any questions at:

Phone: +1.303.497.8018 (John Braun)

Important Dates

  • Application process opens: 15 December 2012
  • Application deadline: 18 February 2013
  • Applications acceptance notifications: 15 March 2013
  • Lecturers and participants arrive in Cartagena: 26 May 2013
  • Course begins: 27 May 2013
  • Course concludes: 7 June 2013

Travel Information

General information about Cartagena can be found at various on-line web sites. Links to Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet are provided.

The U.S. State Department has a Colombia specific travel info page at For those traveling from outside the U.S., check your country's State Department equivalent for information.

Shuttle/Transportation Info: The Hotel Almirante is approximately a 10-minute taxi ride from the Rafael Núñez International Airport. Transportation information on arrival to Cartagena will be provided via email.

Weather: Weather in Cartagena will likely be hot and tropical. Rain would not be unexpected so packing a light rain jacket would be wise. We suggest checking prior to packing.

Money: Currency is the Colombian peso. Current exchange rates can be found at

Time Zone: Cartagena is UTC-5 hours.

Visas: To determine if you require a visa for your travel, please check with the Colombian Embassy (

Dress Code: Participants are asked to not wear sports-shoes (sneakers), sandals, or jeans to the naval academy. In general, Cartagena is a tropical environment cooler clothing is suggested. The lecture rooms may be cool, so a light sweater or jacket may be needed at times.

Travel Adapter/Voltage Info: Outlets in Colombia are the type B style, 110-120V.

Insurance Info: UCAR-supported participants (including lecturers) are covered by Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance. More information on this can be found here.

Sponsors and Acknowledgements

This short course is funded by the United States National Science Foundation under grant OISE-1242281. NOAA (award #NA06OAR4310119) and the Colombian Geological Survey provides additional support.


NOAA DIMAR UNAVCO Colombian Naval Academy

The above image shows the total column precipitable water vapor (PWV) derived from COCONet overlaid upon a GOES infrared satellite image on October 23, 2012 at 20:15 UTC as Tropical Storm Sandy was increasing in intensity in the Caribbean Sea.