March 2009

March was an eventful and exciting month for PSUBAMS. A March 26 meeting featured an informative talk by Paul Heppner, the vice-president of the Philadelphia/Delaware branch of the AMS. Mr. Heppner, a Penn State alum, spoke about his career path in meteorology and his professional experiences as a broadcast meteorologist and IT meteorologist. He discussed his current experiences as co-founder of aviation meteorology company, Spatial Software Solutions, Inc. The talk provided a great opportunity for members to learn about aviation weather, as Mr. Heppner previewed a few of the data workstation products he helps produce at Spatial Software Solutions, Inc.

Also in March, PSUBAMS held its annual movie night. Students treated themselves to a nice break from the semester in the comfort of the newly renovated weather station. Freshly popped popcorn, cookies, and soft drink refreshments were served. Appropriately, the movie Twister was previewed. PSUBAMS Movie Night was a casual and relaxing get-together for members.

The winning t-shirt design was selected for PSUBAMS annual t-shirt design contest. T-shirt orders have been processed and the official 2009-2010 PSUBAMS t-shirt will be on sale throughout the meteorology department in April. PSUBAMS is also gearing up for Weatherfest which will be held on Saturday April 18. Weatherfest, run entirely by PSUBAMS, is an event where local central Pennsylvania middle school students can learn about meteorology through various student-run presentations and demonstrations. PSUBAMS is looking forward to a great April, which will feature the weather station grand opening commemoration and PSUBAMS elections for 2009-2010.

~ Alex Matus

February 2009

PSUBAMS is scheduling several exciting events to be held during the next few weeks. For the first time in PSUBAMS history, a local Weatherfest will be held on Saturday April 18. Weatherfest will provide the opportunity for local central Pennsylvania middle school students to learn about meteorology through various student-run presentations and demonstrations. Currently in the process of coordinating the event, we are holding organizational meetings to discuss planning ideas. Weatherfest will be held in the newly renovated weather station, of which there is a grand opening scheduled for April 8.

Recently PSUBAMS held a t-shirt design contest in which the winning logo will be put on t-shirts and sold throughout the department. PSUBAMS hopes to release the winning t-shirt design within the next few weeks. We are planning a movie night in the weather station for the following week, in which we will show a meteorology-themed film with refreshments. There are a series of speaker that we have planned for the upcoming month, including Paul Heppner, the VP from the Delaware/Philadelphia AMS branch, on March 24. Also tentatively scheduled are several talks from alumni who were former meteorology students at Penn State to offer insights on post-graduate life and career choices.

~ Alex Matus

89th AMS Annual Meeting Recap

The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society was held this year in Phoenix, Arizona. With the help of the AMS, PSUBAMS is proud to have been able to send over 30 Penn State students to the conference, which is the most ever sent to an AMS conference. Events kicked off on January 10th with the start of 8th Annual AMS Student Conference. Members found themselves among a group of hundreds of meteorology students from around the country with similar interests as themselves. Lectures were presented to provide students with knowledge and advice on success strategies after graduation. Student members participated in group activities, networking luncheons, and career fairs throughout the duration of the student conference. On Sunday evening, the AMS held WeatherFest, which is a hands-on weather exhibition for the public that included a raffle giveaway and even a penguin sighting!

During the AMS Annual Meeting, members had the opportunity to attend lectures from speakers on a wide range of meteorology topics. The Career Fair provided students the chance to talk to prospective employers and learn more about employment opportunities in meteorology. A networking reception was held on Tuesday, January 13th with Penn State hosting a reception for all students, faculty, and alumni to attend. The sessions offered at the AMS conference gave students a great selection of talks to learn more about what they are most interested in. Although in past years the AMS Annual Meeting has been met by weird weather conditions, attendees of this year's AMS Annual Meeting enjoyed beautiful conditions every day with sunny skies and high temperatures in the low 70's. We give a special thanks to all who made this trip possible and we look forward to Atlanta in 2010!

~ Alex Matus

November 2008

November was a great month for PSUBAMS. To kick off the month, PSUBAMS hosted its annual Internship Meeting on November 5th. In an informal setting with complementary pizza and soda, members shared their internship opportunities over the past year. Examples of internships include the National Weather Service, NASA, JP Morgan, and Weatherbug. Members enjoyed hearing about the experiences and advice other students had to share. The Internship Meeting was certainly one in which all members could appreciate, as the variety of internships covered a wide range of fields within meteorology.

During the following week, on November 13th, Matt Glazewski of NOAA Corps came to Penn State to speak about the opportunities available to young men and women in the NOAA Corps. Matt, a 2005 graduate of Penn State Meteorology, shared examples of the types of projects he has been working on since graduating just a few years ago. Now a commissioned officer corps, Matt works on board research ships and travels to exotic places around the world. Matt spoke about how to become involved in the exciting assignments offered at NOAA Corps, including piloting a P3 'Hurricane Hunter' aircraft.

On November 17th, Penn State graduate Zack Byko, along with coworker Greg Harnish, discussed the sweet rewards for working as a meteorologist at Mars candy company. Both presented a unique perspective on weather purchasing decisions, by guiding the audience through an interactive case study of a real-life weather risk scenario. As an added incentive, chocolate bars were periodically tossed to members of the audience throughout the presentation. Overall this meeting was a terrific opportunity to learn about careers in weather risk. As the fall semester draws to a close, PSUBAMS is extremely proud of its successes over the past year and looks forward to great times in 2009!

~ Alex Matus

October 2008

October was a successful month for PSUBAMS. On October 16th, PSUBAMS held its annual graduate school informational meeting for students wishing to learn more about the application process for graduate school. Dr. Eugene Clothiaux, the graduate school advisor for Penn State's Department of Meteorology, along with a panel of Penn State graduate students, answered a wide array of burning questions students had about the application process. From GRE's to letters of recommendation to personal statements, the guest speakers provided an informative discussion of the most important points any prospective student should consider when applying to graduate school. Valuable advice from seasoned veterans proved to be extremely helpful to all PSUBAMS members in attendance.

After the meeting, PSUBAMS officers discussed general travel information about the AMS Annual Meeting to those interesting in attending the conference in Phoenix this January. Members were informed of important dates and requirements to consider in order to be eligible to receive organizational funding to attend the conference. Many members expressed interest in attending this year's AMS conference. Also discussed at the meeting was this year's photo contest, in which students and faculty members alike submit and vote on their favorite weather-related photographs. The most popular photos are then compiled into a PSUBAMS calendar, which is available for purchase around the time of the holidays. PSUBAMS has many planned events in the upcoming month and looks forward to great things ahead in November!

~ Alex Matus

September 2008

September was a month full of exciting activities to jumpstart a fresh new year of PSUBAMS. Our first outing was set for the Friday after the first week of classes. On September 1st, PSUBAMS held its annual 'Night Out at the Ballpark'. Old members and new members alike enjoyed an evening at a minor league baseball game hosted by local team State College Spikes. Over 30 students and faculty attended the event, which featured truly picture perfect weather. A hot air balloon even floated over ballpark at one point during game as conditions were simply as good as could be asked for on a summer evening in central Pennsylvania. Even though the home team favorite eventually lost the game, a good time was had by all who came out to the game. A night out at the ballpark was a great social event and a fun way to kick off the start of a brand new year.


PSUBAMS had its first organizational meeting of the semester on September 11th. Members enjoyed fresh local ice cream at an ice cream social held before the actual meeting. With the start of the meeting new PSUBAMS officers introduced themselves and laid out a proposed schedule of events for the upcoming year. New student officers for the 2008-2009 year include President Maria Zatko, Vice President Chris Nowotarski, Treasurer Kevin Bowley, Secretary Alex Matus, and Community Outreach Leader Katie Jablonski. Overall the meeting had an excellent turnout. The meeting was highlighted with an introduction of the brand new PSUBAMS student mentorship program. In this mentorship program, older experienced undergraduate students (and graduate students) are paired with other students who have common interests in meteorology. PSUBAMS was fortunate to have many students volunteer to become involved in the program, either as mentors or mentees. The rest of the meeting was dedicated for mentors and mentees to get to know each other and exchange contact information.

On September 25th, PSUBAMS members had the privilege of hearing a talk by Ken Carey from Noblis entitled 'A Lifetime of Growth and Success through Mentorship'. A pizza social was held shortly before the start of the meeting. Mr. Carey spoke about the importance of establishing professional relationships through networking and emphasized the benefits of becoming involved in mentoring. As Mr. Carey said in his speech, you can never be too young to be a mentor. The take home message of the talk was to dream big and not be afraid to make mistakes. Mr. Carey peppered his talk with several insightful anecdotes about his own life, in which he spoke about challenges he faced in his career and how he has overcome them. After the meeting Mr. Carey joined a handful of PSUBAMS members for a trip to the campus creamery to get an ice cream cone and chat in a more informal setting. PSUBAMS is glad to have had so many events so early in the year and is excited to host other great events planned for the near future!

~ Alex Matus