As the entire world takes the necessary step towards a sustainable and greener movement, students are joining in the campaign, standing at the forefront of research and development.
In the Philippines, which sits on the path of a yearly average of 20 storms—cyclones that are getting stronger in recent years—the Rizal Technological University is training future technologists and scientists by being the first state university in the country to offer a course of Bachelor of Science in Astronomy.
The program started in 2007, Rose Ann Bautista, who heads RTU’s Earth and Space Sciences Department, said.
But Princess Tucio, head of the Meteorological Science Coordinator, University Strategic Unit, stressed that RTU is in constant work to improve their astronomy program and provide learners with latest data on the course. They also aim to push RTU students to the spotlight by having them conduct research on local data to an international audience.
Specialized data curated by Komunidad
Access to data, especially in a specialized field such as astronomy, may sometimes be difficult. Relevant weather data aren’t readily available to students and academic staff.
This is equally important as local government units that are tasked to decide on class suspensions and evacuation calls need to refer to several websites to study past data or to check weather forecasts before disseminating critical information.
Educational institutions should also be armed with data to make informed decisions amid severe weather conditions and for universities like RTU with campuses in different locations, school management are tasked to ensure that every student, faculty member and staff are safe in case of extreme weather despite distance between campuses.
Jong Lequiron, Komunidad’s Solutions Development Director and Meteorologist, said they have developed a four-point approach to help RTU achieve its goals.
First, Komunidad started with identifying the data that RTU needs for its programs, and then inquiring into locations that the university wants for monitoring. Through this, Komunidad has built a web application to visualize data sets that will deliver insights in the form of widgets, reports, alerts and maps.
“Through that, we created a highly customized system and application that can support the needs and operations of RTU,” Lequiron said.
Data that can be accessed covers weather, air quality and climate. The platform also provides several maps on smart weather stations, lightning strikes, global radar and even hazard areas—subject matters which students can explore and study.
Tucio said the data system that Komunidad built will be helpful for her department’s students, especially those who are meteorological majors. “We are aiming to present the research papers” on data on the Philippines, to local and international conferences,” Tucio said.
Through the Komunidad platform, students can also learn more about its impacts on communities and the risks these stronger typhoons are bringing to the country but the RTU also becomes empowered to make more informed decisions amid severe weather conditions.
By empowering students to delve deeper into their meteorological sciences studies, RTU and Komunidad help shape the future researchers of the country that will lead the Philippines onto a greener path.
“The partnership with Komunidad has been incredibly advantageous for our students involved in meteorological studies and seminars. The access to valuable data from our communities provided by Komunidad has greatly supported our goal of publishing impactful local and international research papers. The system has been instrumental in enhancing our research capabilities and advancing our scientific contributions.”
– Princess Tucio, Head Meteorological Science Coordinator & University Strategic Unit, RTU