March 2008

March was a busy and active month for PSUBAMS.  Pete Jung, a hydrologist from the National Weather Service in State College, PA spoke to PSUBAMS about his career experiences.  He provided both basic and technical information about hydrology.  On the most basic level he stressed the dangers of flooding and provided unnerving statistics.  He explained the various ways flooding can occur; particularly tailoring his discussion to Pennsylvania.  The second portion of his discussion focused on hydrology in the National Weather Service. Mr. Jung discussed the various hydrological positions available including the monetary and scheduling aspects of the positions.  Many PSUBAMS members were pleased to learn that there is a need for hydrologists in the National Weather Service. He concluded his presentation with typical questions and tasks that a hydrologist must answer on a daily basis.  Mr. Jung’s presentation was incredibly informative and beneficial for all PSUBAMS members. 

In addition to the hydrology meeting, PSUBAMS sent four of its members to the Northeastern Storm Conference in Springfield, Massachusetts in mid March.  The conference was hosted by Lyndon State, and many schools from across the Northeast were in attendance. The talks were geared toward storms on all levels, ranging from the microphysics of bow echoes to the impacts the Great Lakes have on convection.  Attendees had the chance to listen to many prominent speakers such as Chris Landsea from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL and Greg Holland from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO.  These two speakers are respected hurricane experts but their views vary on the effects of global warming and hurricane activity.  Since students comprised the majority of the conference, in addition to the lectures, there was a panel discussion with professional meteorologists.  The small setting of this discussion created a personal feel between students and the panel.  The panel consisted of Ken Carey, Garett Argianas, Zack Byko, John Krasting, and Thomas Wasula.  These men represent various aspects of meteorology including private industry, the military, graduate school, television, and the National Weather Service.  We hope to increase the attendance of PSUBAMS members at this conference next year! 

Aside of meetings and conferences, PSUBAMS held a t-shirt logo contest.  The winning design was chosen and PSUBAMS t-shirts will be available soon.  The t-shirts are an excellent way to keep the moral of the department high as well as strengthen the bond throughout the department.  PSUBAMS is gearing up for its annual elections on April 10th, 2008. We have had a wonderful and productive year with our current officers and hope that the next years to come will be just as successful.

~ Maria Zatko

February 2008

February was a month of new opportunities for the Penn State Branch of the AMS. Seven PSUBAMS members attended the first annual StormFest Conference sponsored by the Southwestern Pennsylvania chapter of the American Meteorological Society. PSUBAMS members attended the event on a Sunday at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, alongside students from California University of Pennsylvania, Millersville University, and others. The event was an overall success, numerous and informational student research presentations, as well as speakers from the professional meteorological world. These professional speakers included Severe Weather Expert Dr. Greg Forbes from The Weather Channel®, Jamie Rhome from The National Hurricane Center, Kevin Scharfenberg from the National Severe Storms Laboratory and Bob Hamilton from the National Weather Service Center in Buffalo, New York. Along with the student presentations and numerous presenters, PSUBAMS members were able to learn more about various aspects of meteorology and create networking opportunities between students in meteorology and atmospheric science programs across Pennsylvania. 

PSUBAMS members in Pittsburgh, PA attending the First Annual Stormfest Conference sponsored by Southwestern PA chapter of the American Meteorological Society

On campus, we planned and executed the first annual PSUBAMS movie night as a social event for the PSUBAMS members and Penn State meteorology students. The movie voted on and selected by many members for this event was The Perfect Storm, which attendees watched and enjoyed very much needed study break for those in attendance.

February was also a month of planning for PSUBAMS events in March.  Specifically March will prove to be bustling, beginning with four PSUBAMS members attending the Northeastern Storm Conference in Springfield, MA.  PSUBAMS is also looking forward to many interesting and informative meteorology speakers throughout the rest of the semester. 

~ Maria Zatko

Fall 2007 PSUBAMS Summary

The PSUBAMS Fall 2007 semester provided a wealth of exciting and enriching opportunities for all members of PSUBAMS and the Penn State Meteorology department. Combined with energy, enthusiasm, and a consistently robust attendance rate, PSUBAMS has provided much career growth for its members. The semester kicked off with a PSUABMS/CWS Meet-the-Faculty outing to The State College Spikes minor league baseball game. The first official meeting of the year featured with helpful words from Ken Graham, Scientific Services Division chief at the NWS Southern Region Headquarters. Mr. Graham spoke of opportunities within the National Weather Service and provided tips for students aspiring to become future NWS employees. Dr. George Young, a Professor of Meteorology at Penn State also spoke at the September meeting. Dr. Young presented an overview of his research on synthetic aperture radar.

October proved to be a productive and informative month for PSUBAMS. The featured guest for our graduate school meeting was Dr. Eugene Clothiax, a Penn State meteorology professor and the graduate school admissions officer for the Penn State’ graduate meteorology program. The most crucial elements of graduate school were addressed during this meeting, including application time frame, GPA, and undergraduate research. Our second October meeting consisted of twelve current Penn State undergraduates who spoke of their summer internship experiences. Diverse mixes of meteorological career options were represented by these internships including opportunities from the private sector, government, nonprofit organizations, and the broadcast field. In addition to our meetings, Dr. John G. W. Kelley, a research meteorologist for the Marine Modeling and Analysis Programs at NOAA's Coast Survey Development Laboratory and Penn State Alum, presented a special seminar titled "NOAA's GIS Web Mapping Portal to Real-Time Coastal Observations and Forecasts." This seminar was a great opportunity for PSUBAMS members to learn more about the connection between GIS tools and Meteorology.

The 4th annual PSUBAMS/CWS date auction occurred on November 9th, 2007. 75% of the proceeds benefited THON, a Penn State student-run and organized philanthropy to help in the fight against pediatric cancer. This year’s date auction raised over 1000 dollars. On November 30th, Jim Berman, General Manager from WHP-CBS 21 in Harrisburg came to Penn State to speak to students about the world of television and television meteorology. He focused on the application process for broadcast meteorology in a television station. Also, the PSUBAMS photo contest occurred in November. The winning photographs were featured in this year’s PSUBAMS Weather Calendar. The photos chosen highlight the vast array of experiences had by our PSUBAMS members including a wall cloud, a beautiful sunset over the Delaware River, and an Alaskan glacier.

In early December, Dr. John Scala, both a television and private consultant meteorologist, spoke to PSUBAMS about his current research project involving a case study of the December 1st, 2006 tornado outbreak in Pennsylvania. He was an inspirational speaker for all members since Dr. Scala has had a broad range of meteorological experiences.

Throughout the semester, PSUBAMS planned for the 2008 AMS Annual Meeting in New Orleans. PSUBAMS, in cooperation with the Penn State Department of Meteorology, Campus Weather Service, and the University Park Allocation Committee was able to fully pay for 19 Penn State meteorology students to attend the 2008 event.

PSUBAMS has provided the department with knowledge and opportunities for a successful and productive future in meteorology. We look forward to an equally beneficial and informative spring semester.

Happy Holidays!  

~ Maria Zatko