This workshop will introduce participants to the MPE2013+ activity by preparing them to participate in the workshops (research and education) that we will run. The participants will be graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty, with an emphasis on those in the mathematical sciences and those not yet having prior exposure to topics represented in MPE and in particular in the workshops we plan. We will include an introduction to each of the five research workshop topics, providing needed background in both the mathematics and the subject matter such as natural disasters or global change. The speakers/tutorial presenters will be chosen from among the organizers of the main workshops or from suggestions those organizers make as to people who can best introduce the subject of their workshop. This introduction, together with suggested readings, should allow the participants to be prepared for participation in the following workshops. We will ask them to fill out an application form suggesting which of the workshops they would like to participate in and explaining how they might be able to make a contribution.
One of the goals of MPE2013+ is workforce development, preparing a new generation of mathematical scientists, exposed to and prepared to work in the new multidisciplinary environment of science in the future, as reflected by but by no means limited to the problems we will explore in MPE2013+. We hope that getting grad students involved in MPE will encourage them to stay in grad school and continue in the field, and that getting postdocs and junior faculty involved will excite them to work in MPE but also give them a way to draw in others into STEM disciplines.