Erasmus+ ARTIST project for science teaching innovation at AdMU: An interview with Mr. Ivan Culaba of the Physics Department


The ARTIST partners during the kick-off meeting at University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany on January 2017. In the photo are Dr. Joel Maquiling (back row, 3rd from the left) and Mr. Ivan Culaba (back row, 2nd from the right) of the Department of Physics, School of Science and Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University. Source: Action Research To Innovate Science Teaching (ARTIST)

by Quirino Sugon Jr

Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University-Manila were chosen by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Program as its two partner universities in the Philippines for the ARTIST (Action Research To Innovate Science Teaching) project. The other eight partner universities are University of Bremen (Germany), Ilia State University (Georgia), Alpe-Adria-University (Austria), University of Limerick (Ireland), Gazi University (Turkey), Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University (Georgia), The Academic Arab College of Education (Israel), and Oranim Academic College of Education (Israel). The project coordinators are Prof. Dr. Ingo Eilks of the University of Bremen and Prof. Dr. Marika Kapanadze of Ilia State University.

The ARTIST project aims to innovate science education through classroom‐based and teacher‐driven Action Research–a cycle of innovation, research, reflection and improvement–by forming networks of higher education institutions, schools and industry partners in each partner country. The ARTIST project allows the partner universities to acquire state-of-the art audio-visual and science equipment for teacher trainings and instructions. Training materials on action research will be developed and used in workshops and courses.

Below is an interview with Mr. Ivan Culaba, manager of the ARTIST project in Ateneo de Manila University.

1. What is your role in the project?  Are there other AdMU faculty involved here? 

I am the manager of the ARTIST project in Ateneo. In the Department of Physics, Dr. Joel T. Maquiling and Ms. Johanna Mae M.  Indias are also involved in the project. Joel has accompanied me in the meetings and helped in the presentations. Joel and Johanna helped in the identification of possible industry partners. Johanna also visited the high schools for evaluation as possible network partners. Ms. Via Lereinne B. Chuavon of the Office of Social Concern and Involvement assisted us in the networking with high schools and communications with the Schools Division Office of Marikina City. I also had very constructive discussions with Mr. Christopher Peabody of the Department of Chemistry. Mr. Tirso U. Raza, of the Office of Facilities and Sustainability has assisted us in finding the source of the audio visual equipment and in the preparation of the rooms for their installation. Our technicians, Mr, Numeriano Melaya, Mr. Colombo Enaje, Jr. and Mr. Ruel Agas have been working on making the ADMU ARTIST Network Center and Physics Education Resource Center (F-230, Faura Hall) become functional.



Action Research for the Reflective Practitioner workshop at Ateneo de Manila University, 7 April 2017

3. How did you get involved in the project?


This project was conceived by Prof. Eilks and Prof. Kapanadze after their successful implementation of TEMPUS project SALiS. I met Prof. Kanapadze during the Active Learning in Optics and Photonics workshop at Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia in 2014, where she was the organizer. She invited me into the ARTIST project and I extended the same invitation to Dr. Lydia Roleda of the De La Salle University-Manila.

I became interested in the ARTIST project since we had just started with the NSTP activity wherein our Physics majors were assigned to Sta. Elena High School for the area engagements. While our students were facilitating in the high school students’ physics activities we were also engaged in the Physics training of the science teachers in the same school. We thought that the high schools would immensely benefit from the ARTIST project in line with the university’s thrust for greater social involvement and service learning.

The ARTIST project was approved by the EU commission on October 2016 but the first tranche of the budget was released on January 2017.

4. What were your ARTIST meetings in Europe all about? 

The kick-off meeting was held at the University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany on 18-20 January 2017. It was the first time that we met our collaborators in the project. The objectives of the project, deliverables, work plans, and financial management among other topics were discussed. The second meeting was held at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Vienna, Austria on 14-15 September 2017. Progress reports on the networking with schools and industries, financial status of each partner university, scheduling of the workshops, planning of the e-journal ARISE and other matters were discussed in the meeting. The EU officials were not present in the meeting.


Physics Education Resource Center (PERC) and ARTIST Network office Room F-230, Faura Hall

5. How is the Physics Education Resource Center in Faura Hall?  

I am very happy that we now have a Physics Education Resource Center (PERC) where the Physics Education group can meet and hold meetings and where the valuable lecture demonstration experiment set-ups can be displayed and made accessible to the faculty of the Department. A number of the demos have been transferred from F-229 and SEC C labs to PERC. Acquisition and development of lecture demonstration experiments will be a continuing process. The next step is the documentation of the resources so that the faculty may know what demos are available and how to use them.

The room will also serve as the office of the ARTIST project. The science equipment which will be purchased under this project will be placed in this room. We have ordered Physics equipment which are aligned to the Physics topics in Grades 7-10, although they may also be used for senior high school Physics. The list covers mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, waves and sound, optics and electromagnetism. There will also be materials which will be locally fabricated like ticker taper timers, circuit boards and Plexiglass lenses.

6. What are upcoming activities of the ARTIST project for this year?

We have held two seminar-workshops on Action Research. The first one was held on August last year in Ateneo de Manila. Prof. Maricar S. Prudente, who is an expert in Action Research, was the main speaker. The facilitators were Dr. Lydia S. Roleda, Dr. Minie Rose C. Lapinid and Dr. Socorro C. Aguja. They are all from the Science Department, Bro. Andrew Gonzales, FSC College of Education, De La Salle University. There were about ten participants from Roosevelt College, Inc. and some graduate students.

The second seminar-workshop was held recently on 7 April 2018 at Faura Hall, Ateneo de Manila. It was organized by the ARTIST team of Ateneo and De La Salle. The same team of speaker and facilitators from De La Salle University ran the seminar-workshop. A total of 31 participants from the ARTIST network of high schools – Parang High School, Sta. Elena High School, Marikina High School, Colegio de San Agustin, and graduate students in MS Science Education attended the workshop.

Another workshop on Action Research will be held on 15-18 May 2018 at De La Salle University-Manila. The ARTIST partners from Germany, Ireland, Austria, Georgia and Israel will facilitate the workshop. The first three days will be spent on understanding AR and writing AR proposals by selected teacher-participants. There will be an AR symposium, open to other teachers, on the fourth day where AR case studies will be presented.

Come October 2018 the workshop on Action Research and a meeting of the collaborators will be held in Haifa, Israel.

7. Any parting thoughts?

We hope that this project will have a positive impact on the way science is taught in the partner high schools and the lessons learned from these experiences may be adapted by other schools in the country.


Participants of Action Research for the Reflective Practitioner workshop at Ateneo de Manila University, 4 August 2017


Ateneo Physics faculty Dr. Christian Mahinay to receive Php 9 M from DOST-PCIEERD for 2 projects on thin film deposition


Dr. Christian Mahinay, Head of Vacuum Coating and Plasma Physics Laboratory of the Department of Physics, School of Science and Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University

by Quirino Sugon Jr

Dr. Christian Mahinay, Assistant Professor of the Department of Physics and Head of the Vacuum Coating and Plasma Physics Laboratory, shall receive a total of Php 9 million from the DOST-PCIEERD (Department of Science and Technology—Philippine Council for Advanced Science for two projects on thin film deposition. The duration of the projects is from 2017 to 2020:

  1. Development of direct current (DC) magnetron plasma system for carbide-based Ti-Al-C (Titanium-Aluminum-Carbon) thin film synthesis (1 June 2017 to 31 May 2019, Php 2,500,245.60). Description: New advances in surface engineering has had an emphasis in finding new materials for the thin films which have improved properties and low cost. One new kind of material used as a hard coating thin film is the MAX phase. MAX Phase thin films are a new type of material which has unique properties due to its ceramic and metallic attributes. A clean and chemical-free way of depositing these coatings is by using gaseous discharges. For this project, MAX phase thin films are coated using a DC magnetron and an RF plasma sputtering system. The vacuum coating laboratory in the Department of Physics, School of Science and Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University houses a DC magnetron device which will be utilized to synthesize carbide based MAX phase thin films. The Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering (DMMME), UP Diliman, will also be synthesizing MAX phase thin films but in an RF discharge system and the thin films are nitride-based. The Japan-based collaborator for this project is with the Plasma Physics Laboratory in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Doshisha University in Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan. The industrial collaborator for this project is Beta Nanocoating Philippines Inc. which specializes in thin film hard coatings for various mechanical tools.
  2. Fabrication of Metal Oxide Thin Films for Optical Coatings with Plasma Assisted Deposition Using a Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) System (2017-2020, Php 6,568,992.40). Description: This project aims to strengthen the research capabilities of the Vacuum Coating and Plasma Physics Laboratory in the Department of Physics, School of Science and Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University. Although there are plasma systems in the laboratory, these systems are using very old power supplies and are mainly used for educational and training purposes. The laboratory would like to upgrade its research capabilities by adding a brand new system which can provide new technologies and enable publications to esteemed scientific journals. In this project a PECVD system will be designed and manufactured and the direct application for the system is the fabrication of metal oxide thin films, specifically WOx, TaO2 and MoOx, on glass substrates for optical thin film applications such as UV filters.
Below is an interview with Dr. Christian Mahinay by Ateneo Physics News:

1. How did you feel about receiving your tenure as faculty?

I was relieved when I was informed that I have been given a permanent faculty position. I was really not so sure if I will become tenured or not since I have heard stories of very accomplished faculty who were still not awarded tenure due to various reasons. I was not sure if my own accomplishments were good enough for that but thankfully they recognized it and gave me tenure.

2. You had two projects approved last year by DOST. How were you able to do it? Were they submitted at months interval or at different years?

Even though these two projects are now being implemented simultaneously, they were actually proposed at different times. Surprisingly, the MAX phase project was submitted at a much later date, around several months, compared to the other project but was the first to get approved.

The MAX phase project was originally submitted for the DOST-JSPS program which searches for scientific research work here in the Philippines that can collaborate with Japanese counterparts. We already have a good working relationship with Doshisha University and we wanted to create a formal research collaboration with them through DOST-JSPS. Unfortunately, DOST only selected one project among all of the submitted proposals and it was not ours. However, DOST recognized that our proposal was still worth investing in so they approved it as a regular DOST-GIA (Grants-in-aid) project instead of the DOST-JSPS program. This was a collaborative project between UP-Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University and Doshisha University so DOST may have been confident that this project can be successfully implemented.

The other project was something that I was not expecting to get approved but it still pushed through. During the start of my second year in teaching, just right after I got my PhD degree in Physics, the Plasma Physics Laboratory in NIP, UP Diliman was unceremoniously shut down. The coordinator of that laboratory, Dr. Henry Ramos, who was also my adviser, retired already but he was eyeing to go back since he applied for a professor emeritus position. Unfortunately, the lab was still shut down and all the equipment was left inside not being used since no one was qualified to take over the lab in Dr. Ramos’ resignation.

Some of Dr. Ramos’ students, including myself, continued his legacy in doing plasma physics research when we settled in different institutions outside UP Diliman. We approached DOST if they can help us recover the equipment inside the lab from NIP and transfer them to our individual institutions. Each researcher was expected to receive one system from the lab. DOST proposed that we should write down research proposals which will make use of those equipment so that there is a rationale in pulling out the equipment from NIP and sustainably utilize those systems in our respective labs. However, during the discussion with NIP and DOST, it was found out that DOST has no control over the equipment inside NIP, hence even if our proposals will get approved, we still cannot recover the equipment.

Thus, DOST advised us that we will have to redo the proposals we wrote to include building our own systems since we can not use the ones from NIP anymore. I was already wary with the whole process but I still submitted a revised proposal and we went through the process of a technical panel presentation. Months went by without any word from DOST and I had already forgotten about that proposal. Just lately, this past July 2017, I had received word that my proposal has passed the initial stage and will now be defended in front of the DOST Governing Council (GC). I had also heard, that among all the proposals of my peers, it was only mine that was invited for the GC presentation. This was not yet a sure sign of being accepted and I was still not optimistic that it will pass through. The GC meeting went well and their major concern was the commercialization of the product made through the research. I told them that it was viable since it has already been done by the industry but not here in the Philippines.

After the GC meeting, a month passed and I was really surprised to receive an email from DOST that they have approved the project and I will just have to wait for the MOA and transfer of funds. The project officially started last October 1, 2017 but I am still waiting for the transfer of funds so we still have not done anything yet.

3. Were the equipment for the PECVD already delivered? Have you already started on this project?

It already officially started last October 1 but since we still have no funds, we have not yet purchased any equipment or materials yet.

4. How is the MAX Phase thin film deposition project going on now?

That project is doing fine and still on track with our timeline. We have already started depositing copper and aluminum on glass and silicon substrates and we are still waiting for the titanium targets so that we can deposit that one as well. The project is still in its second quarter so we are still not fabricating thin films on tools, which is the ultimate goal of the project.

5. How many students do you have in your lab right now. What projects are they working on?

I have eight undergraduate students and two graduate students. I have three additional students who are not my advisees but are part of the project staff.

Paz Ramos, my PhD student, is working on the MAX phase project. Charmiene Zafra, my MS student, is working on the atmospheric plasma jet system with her research regarding plasma treatment of polycarbonate materials. There are four more undergraduate students working on the same machine and they have different research projects such as plasma polymerization, plasma pyrolysis, and plasma treatment of corn and rice seeds. Two undergraduate students are working on the Low energy ion beam setup where they are characterizing and analyzing the properties of the plasma and ion beam generated by that plasma. Lastly, one student is doing computational theoretical ion beam physics as his research project.

6. Are you going to Japan soon or one of your students for the project? Is Prof. Wada going back again in the Philippines?

Yes, actually just recently, seven of my students got their abstracts accepted for the ISPlasma 2018 conference which will be held in Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan this coming March 4-8, 2018. One of them, Krystel Iris de Castro, even landed an oral presentation for her work. They will all be going to Japan and I will of course accompany them on their trip. We will definitely visit Doshisha University again and might even stay there for a few days.

Wada-san recently visited the Philippines to attend the 2nd International Symposium of the Vacuum Society of the Philippines (ISVSP 2018) last Jan 9-12, 2018; I was co-chair of the event. Wada-san and I had some talks regarding a MOA between the Dept. of Physics and Wada-san’s laboratory in Doshisa University.

7. Any parting thoughts?

For new assistant professors like myself, do not be afraid in applying for research projects, especially from the DOST. Even though it might seem slow and hopeless at times, in the end, if you are patient, you will get what you waited for.

Also, it helps when you have a clear agenda and a strong conviction of your work when you present it in front of your possible funding sources.

Thank you.


Dr. Christian Mahinay (2nd from the right) and the students of the Vacuum Coating and Plasma Physics Group of the Department of Physics, School of Science and Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University. From left to right: Franulfo dela Cruz (PhD Physics), Paz Victoria Ramos (PhD Physics), Paolo Edward Tan (BS APS-MSE), Oliver Streeter (BS APS-MSE) (sitting in the photo), Raphael Carreon (BS APS-MSE), Christian Lorenz Mahinay, and Miguel Hilario (BS APS-MSE).

Generating and communicating future climate projections from multiple models to inform resilience building in the Philippines: a talk by Dr. Joseph Daron (UK Met Office) at Manila Observatory


Dr. Joseph Daron, Science Manager of the International Climate Services Team, UK Met Office

The Manila Observatory wishes to invite you to the talk, “Generating and communicating future climate projections from multiple models to inform resilience building in the Philippines,” by Dr Joseph Daron, Science Manager of the International Climate Services Team, UK Met Office. The talk will be held on 5 February 2018, 1:00-2:00 p.m. at Heyden Hall, Manila Observatory.


Future climate model projections are an important source of information to guide long-term planning decisions. To meet the needs of society, the climate science and services community is producing an increasing volume of future climate data using a range of modelling approaches. However, there is a significant methodological challenge in how to best compare and combine information produced using different models and methods. Based on the findings of a recently submitted paper, written with colleagues in the Philippines, this talk will discuss the conceptual and practical challenges in distilling information from multiple sources (e.g. global models, dynamical and statistical regional downscaling) and communicating it to different audiences. The talk will also discuss findings from a collaboration with PAGASA to investigate future changes to typhoon activity in the Philippines. The simulations, using different models and spatial resolutions, show a range of possible future changes, with a tendency for fewer but slightly more intense tropical cyclones by the mid-21st century. Finally, the talk will reflect on the broader implications of this work, and related Met Office projects and collaborations in other regions, in the strategic development of climate services to support society in addressing the challenges of climate variability and change.

About the Speaker:

Dr Joseph Daron is a Science Manager in the International Climate Services team at the UK Met Office. He leads a small team to deliver and develop climate services in Africa and Asia. Joe graduated in 2007 with a degree in meteorology from the University of Reading, with a further year in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. He obtained a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2012. His thesis, titled “Examining the decision-relevance of climate model information for the insurance industry” explored fundamental concepts of predictability in the climate system, particularly in relation to the use of initial condition climate model ensembles, as well as the application of climate projections to the insurance sector. He then worked for three years as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Climate System Analysis Group at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. His research focused on the development of climate services and the interpretation of climate information by decision makers involved in climate change adaptation in Africa. He joined the Met Office in January 2015 and since then has worked on a range of projects, including a DFID funded project to inform resilience building to typhoons in the Philippines and a DFID/NERC funded project focusing on climate risks in southern African cities. He is currently the scientific lead on a project to integrate seasonal forecasts into adaptive social protection programmes in the Sahel in West Africa.

Ateneo Physics faculty Clint Bennett attends UN/USA Workshop on International Space Weather Initiative at Boston College

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Clint Dominic Bennett of Manila Observatory and Ateneo de Manila University during the poster session of the “UN/USA Workshop on the International Space Weather Initiative: The Decade after the Heliophysical Year 2007” held at Boston College last July 31 to August 2, 2017

by Quirino Sugon Jr

Last July 31 to August 2, 2017, Ateneo Physics faculty Clint Dominic Bennett attended The United Nations/United States of America Workshop on the International Space Weather Initiative: The Decade after the International Heliophysical Year 2007, which was organized jointly by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Boston College. The workshop was hosted by Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA.

ISWI is a “program of international cooperation to advance the space weather science by a combination of instrument deployment, analysis and interpretation of space weather data from the deployed instruments in conjunction with space data, and communicate the results to the public and students. ISWI is a follow-up activity to the successful IHY 2007, but focusing exclusively on space weather.” On the other hand, IHY 2007 is an acronym for the International Heliophysical Year held in 2007, which was held 50 years after the International Geophysical Year (IGY 1957). The aim of International Heliophysical Year (IHY) is to gather scientists and engineers to make a global coordinated observations of the heliosphere to study its effects on the Earth. Just like winds in the the Earth’s atmosphere, the Sun also blows charged particles known as solar wind, creating a bubble called the heliosphere that extends far beyond Pluto until the solar wind is overpowered by the pressure from the hydrogen and helium gas that permeates the Milky Way galaxy: the solar wind then abruptly slows down forming the sheath known as the termination shock.

The ISWI 2017 workshop is divided into 12 topical sessions: (1) International recognition of space weather risks, (2) Building on today’s space weather foundation, (3) Developing an international framework for space weather services, (4) IHY+10: The origins of ISWI, (5) Scientific results on the interplanetary medium and geospace, (6) Scientific results on the ionosphere and thermosphere, (7) Space weather instruments, (8) Space Weather Modeling 1: From Sun to Geospace, (9) Space Weather Modelling 2: Near-Earth Radiation and Plasma Environment, (10) International Outreach and Capacity Building, (11) Coordination of Space- and Ground-Based Data Resources and ISWI, (12) Final Discussion: Observations, Recommendations and the Way Forward.

During the last day of the workshop, representatives from 58 countries presented posters on how their respective countries progressed in ten years after the International Heliophysical Year in 2007. As the representative from the Philippines, Clint presented a poster entitled, Space Weather Activities in the Philippines: 2007-2017, which was co-authored by scientists and researchers from Manila Observatory, Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Davao University, University of San Carlos (Cebu), National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), and the International Center for Space Weather Science and Education (ICSWSE) of Kyushu University. The poster highlighted several key ISWI-related events in different years, such as the establishment of Kyushu University’s SERC (Space Environment Research Center–now known as ICSWSE) Subcenter at the Ionosphere Research Building of Manila Observatory in 2011, Manila Observatory’s 150th anniversary international conference with space weather presentations by Dr. Keith Groves of Boston College and Dr. Akimasa Yoshikawa of Kyushu University in 2015, the launch of Philippines’ Diwata-I satellite in 2016, and the research fellowship of Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr at Kyushu University in 2016-2017.

Below is an interview with Clint Bennett by Ateneo Physics News:


Clint Dominic Bennett (rightmost) with other participants in the UN/USA ISWI Workshop in Boston College (2017). (Photo credit: ISWI Newsletter)

1. What is your current role at Manila Observatory?

I am currently working with the Upper Atmosphere Dynamics research group of the Manila Observatory. Part of my work is to coordinate the maintenance and transmission of data of the MAGDAS and AMBER magnetometers in the Philippines. I also coordinate with the station managers about their internet connections. I have attended conferences and workshops to keep the group updated and connected with the ISWI community.

2. How were you invited to the conference? Who are the persons you met there?

Originally, Dr. Quirino Sugon, Jr., as ISWI coordinator of the Philippines, was originally invited to attend The United Nations / United States of America Workshop on the International Space Weather Initiative: The Decade after the International Heliophysical Year 2007 which was held last July 31 to August 4, 2017. However, some circumstances prevented him from being able to attend and he asked me to attend on his behalf and in behalf of the ISWI community in the Philippines.

I met a lot of the people the UAD has worked with in the past including Dr. Patricia Doherty, Dr. Endawoke Yizengaw and Dr. Keith Groves of the Institute for Scientific Research in Boston College and Dr. Akimasa Yoshikawa and Dr. Akiko Fujimoto of ICSWSE. Also there were the people who have always played a big role in advancing Space Weather research and keeping the Space Weather community organized and coordinated such as Dr. Nat Gopalswamy of NASA/GSFC and SCOSTEP, Sharafat Gadimova, Co-chair of UNOOSA, Katya Georgieva of SCOSTEP and VarSITI and Terry Onsager of the International Space Environment Service.

3. What was your poster presentation about?

My poster was about the Space Weather Activities in the Philippines for the years 2007 to 2017. In it I reported about the Space Weather Instrument Hosting done by research, academic and government institutions in the Philippines, the international conference organized by the Manila Observatory, the international conference and workshop attendance and presentations from the Philippines, and the space weather research reports and publications from the Philippines.

4. Where did you stay?

For the duration of the workshop, I stayed at Stayer Hall in the Boston College Chestnut Hill campus. Walking around, I met some former Ateneo faculty now working in Boston.

5. How was the weather in Boston College? Did you get to travel around? Any memorable experience?

It was summer time in Boston and the Weather was perfect. In my free time, I traveled around downtown Boston and did my own historical walking tour. As part of the workshop excursion, I was able to go to Boston’s famous Museum of Science were I saw the original Van de Graaff machines made by the American Physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff. After the museum tour, we had the conference banquet just outside the museum by the Charles River. I also got to watch a Major League Baseball game at Fenway park where I enjoyed Fenway franks and conversations with Americans from other walks of life.

6. What important things have you learned at the conference?

This conference was one of the major conferences for the Space Weather community, with over 150 participants from 50 countries. It marked the 10th Anniversary of the International Heliophysical Year, which led to the genesis of the International Space Weather Initiative. It was organized to highlight the achievements of ISWI over the past ten years and to show-case the worldwide development of Space Weather science, capacity building and outreach. Among the important topics were the International Framework for Space Weather Service, International Recognition of Space Weather Risks, Improving Research for Operational Services, Scientific Results on the Interplanetary Medium and Geospace, Scientific Results on the Ionosphere and Thermosphere, Space Weather Instrumentation, Space Weather Modeling, International Outreach and Capacity Building, and Coordination of Space- and Ground-Based Data Resources.

The Conference also included a meeting of the Space Weather community about Observations and Recommendations that will be forwarded to the United Nations and which will be part of the UN’s policies on Space Weather. On the role of a coordinating body to prepare for severe space weather events and mitigate their impacts, presentations and discussions by a wide range of space weather stakeholders, service providers and users illuminated an extensive network of space weather services and capabilities, underpinned by an increased understanding of space weather science, impact and risks. Workshop participants agreed that international coordination was essential to mitigate the threat posed by space weather to the modern interconnected and interdependent society.

On recognizing and building on prior and continuing work by space weather stakeholders, participants recognized that there were many steps that could be taken to develop improved international space weather coordination. The guidelines for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities relating to space weather, namely, sharing operational space weather data and forecasts and developing space weather models and tools and collect established practices on the mitigation of space weather effects, provided the initial basis for examining the implementation of some of the necessary coordination and actions within Member States and their national and international organizations.

And on, UNISPACE+50 and the international framework for space weather services, the participants in the Workshop noted that space weather has a global impact, which necessitates a global response through improved coordination. The Workshop participants agreed that additional coordination was essential at the Member State level, with a view to promoting international coordination and cooperation towards meeting future needs for space weather services. It was noted that UNISPACE+50 represented a unique opportunity to provide input to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in relation to future requirements for improved space weather services through ISWI. One can read more about UNISPACE+50 at the UNOOSA website.


Group photo during the “UN/USA Workshop on the International Space Weather Initiative: The Decade after the Heliophysical Year 2007” held at Boston College last July 31 to August 2, 2017

MO and AdMU scientists join NASA’s Cloud, Aerosol and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment (CAMP2Ex) 2018


From left to right: Dr. Gemma Teresa T. Narisma, Dr. Obiminda Cambaliza, and Dr. James Bernard O. Simpas

by Genie Lorenzo and Quirino Sugon Jr

A team of scientists from the United States an the Philippines will perform an airborne and ground-based field campaign (The Cloud, Aerosol and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment:  CAMP2Ex) from July to August 2018 to study tropical weather and aerosols in the South East Asian Region.  The CAMP2Ex project was initiated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States of America. The operations will be based in Subic Bay in the Philippines.

The CAMP2Ex Mission Management Team is composed of 6 scientists: Hal Maring (Program Science), Vidal Salazar, and Jhony R. Zavaleta (CAMP2Ex Project Manager) of NASA; Jeffrey Reid (Mission Science) of Naval Research Laboratory; and Gemma Teresa Narisma (MO Science) and James Bernard Simpas (MO Project Manager)  from Manila Observatory. Dr. Narisma is the Program Manager of the Regional Climate Systems (RCS) and Associate Director of Research at Manila Observatory. Dr. James Bernard Simpas, on the other hand, is the Program Manager of Urban Air Quality and Instrumentation Technology Development (UAQ/ITD) of Manager. Both scientists are faculty members of the Department of Physics of the School of Science and Engineering of Ateneo de Manila University.

The other members of the Manila Observatory Team are composed of scientists and staff of Manila Observatory’s Urban Air Quality, with some students from Ateneo de Manila University: Dr. Obiminda Cambaliza (Co-Principal Investigator), Sam Ajoc (Collaborator), Paola Bañaga (Student), Grace Betito (Student), Melliza Cruz (Collaborator), Genievieve Lorenzo (Collaborator).

The Philippines and the South East Asian region are at high risk to Climate Change and hydro-meteorological hazards.  More studies are needed to shed light to the meteorological processes that are affecting the region, but these have been limited because of the persistent cloud cover in the region that makes satellite-based investigations difficult. So CAMP2Ex wishes to study clouds and the regional atmosphere in South East Asia where Philippines belong.

Clouds are fluffy cotton-like puffs in the atmosphere in warm sunshine; but they can also become heavy with water, darkening our days with heavy rain. The formation of clouds, particularly the cumulus and congest clouds, are affected by aerosols—fine solid particles or liquid droplets from fog, dust, air pollutants, and smoke. CAMP2Ex wishes to examine how aerosol particle concentration and composition affect the optical and microphysical properties of these cloud types, and how these in turn impact the three dimensional heating rates and fluxes that serves as feedback on the evolution of aerosols, clouds, and rain.

According to Dr. Obiminda Cambaliza, Dr. Jeff Reid and Dr. Hal Maring (principal investigator of CAMP2Ex) will be in the Philippines from December 4 – 9, 2017.  They will go to Subic to check out the hangar, accommodation, and other things. Dr. Reid already visited the country before when he gave talk entitled, “Introspection on the past, present, and future of aerosol remote sensing,” last 20 Sep 2016 at Heyden Hall, Manila Observatory. He also gave a talk on “Biomass Burning Observability and Predictability in the Maritime Continent” last 10 August 2015 in celebration of Manila Observatory’s 150th anniversary.

Below is the global simulation of clouds and aerosols by NASA for 2005-09-01 to 2005-12-31.