Recent catastrophic tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and yes: even Springfield, Massachusetts, along with increasingly severe and anomalous weather patterns worldwide, have placed a high premium on weather centers that observe, understand, predict, and respond to hazardous weather with greatest accuracy. The Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere, conceived by Professor McLaughlin and his collaborators, comprises a dense network of small radars that communicate with one another to sense hazardous weather patterns and distribute accurate warnings to people who need them. Not just a collaboration among radar engineers, CASA also represents an interdisciplinary effort by meteorologists, sociologists, geographers, computer scientists, graduate and undergraduate students, and partners from the public and private sectors—all of whom are subject to the weather. Professor McLaughlin will articulate the social, policy, behavioral and technical interface issues around the use of CASA in weather-determined decision making and response.

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