Weather Communications III

Meteo 483 (Weather Communications III) - Spring 2020   

Course Meeting Time/Location: M/W 9:05-9:50am: Walker Studio

F 9:05-9:50am: 126 Walker

Marisa Ferger:, 865-5873
Office Hours: By Appointment 

Available Support:  see Chi Epsilon Pi for assistance 

Weather Delays/Cancellations (you can hope): 

Course Designation:  This is an elective course for the Weather Communications option 

Prerequisite:  Meteo 481 (C grade or better), Meteo 411  Corequisite:  Meteo 482 

Course Description: 

The main objective for this course will be to hone your presentation skills while using your meteorological knowledge.  We will also have class discussions that relate to the current state of the television industry.  Each student will be paired up with a Penn State graduate who is currently working in television news in order to get a better understanding of what the business is like. Each student will also produce packages for Up in the Air or Weather or Not and Weather World. 

Textbook:  None 

Supplementary Readings:  As designated by Instructor 

Internet Materials:  See  (Canvas) 

Assessment:  This class will consist of weekly quizzes, the production of packages for on-air use, interviewing and presenting information on a Penn State graduate currently working in the broadcast field, and critiquing yourself and others in the class.  There is no final exam. 

  1. Key work – 25% (evaluations of yourself and others)
  2. Package(s) for UPA, WON, and WW – 40%
  3. Quizzes – 25%
  4. Presentation on the PSU grad you have been paired up with and that person’s assessment of your interview/communications skills – 10% 

Grading Scale:  A standard grading scale will apply to the course. The “+” and “-“ system will be used as well. For example, a grade just below 90 may receive a B+. Also, I may curve the grades, so it is possible that the thresholds will go down (for example, the boundary between A and B may be less than 90). I will never curve up, so if you have a 90.00 you will score at least an A-.                       

  • A  90-100%
  • B  80-90%
  • C  70-80%
  • D  60-70%
  • F  <60% 

Academic Integrity: See the university policy: 

Academic Access: The University's Commitment to Persons With Disabilities.  The Pennsylvania State University encourages academically qualified students with disabilities to achieve full participation and integration of its educational programs. It is Penn State's policy not to discriminate against qualified persons with disabilities in its admissions policies and procedures or its educational programs, services, and activities.

Achieving full participation and integration of individuals with disabilities requires the cooperative efforts of all departments, offices and personnel of the University. To this end, the University will continue to strive to achieve excellence in its services and to assure that its services are delivered equitably and efficiently to all of its members. 

Other Sometimes Useful Information… 

Course Copyright

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor’s express permission is strictly prohibit-ed. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University’s Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws. 


Since this course replicates the career of broadcasters, attendance is mandatory. You will lose a letter grade for every three classes you miss.  You are also expected to be on time to each class.  For every five times you are tardy to class, you will lose a letter grade for the course. Think about it, if you are late to a live shot or weather hit during a news broadcast, you will be fired. 

This course also abides by the Penn State Attendance Policy E-11:, and Conflict Exam Policy 44-35: Please also see Illness Verification Policy:, and Religious Observance Policy: Students who miss class for legitimate reasons will be given a reasonable opportunity to make up missed work, including exams and quizzes.  Students are not required to secure the signature of medical personnel in the case of illness or injury and should use their best judgment on whether they are well enough to attend class or not; the University Health Center will not provide medical verification for minor illnesses or injuries. Other legitimate reasons for missing class include religious observance, military service, family emergencies, regularly scheduled university-approved curricular or extracurricular activities, and post-graduate, career-related interviews when there is no opportunity for students to re-schedule these opportunities (such as employment and graduate school final interviews).  Students who encounter serious family, health, or personal situations that result in extended absences should contact the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs (AVPSA) and Student and Family Services for help:  Whenever possible, students participating in University-approved activities should submit to the instructor a Class Absence Form available from the Registrar's Office:, at least one week prior to the activity. 

Weather Delays

Campus emergencies, including weather delays, are announced on Penn State News and communicated to cell phones, email, the Penn State Facebook page, and Twitter via PSUAlert (Sign up at:

Recommended Policies

Syllabus and Paper Acknowledgement Forms

In addition, the new recommendation from the college is that all students sign and return the Syllabus Acknowledgement Form during the first week of the semester. In addition,. The College also recommends the attached Paper Submission Form as a way to have students take responsibility for papers/labs/homework done as part of group work. 

Penn State E-mail Accounts

All official communications from Penn State are sent to students' Penn State e-mail accounts. Be sure to check your Penn State account regularly, or forward your Penn State e-mail to your preferred e-mail account, so you don't miss any important information. 

Deferred Grades

If you are prevented from completing this course within the prescribed amount of time, it is possible to have the grade deferred with the concurrence of the instructor. To seek a deferred grade, you must submit a written request (by e-mail or U.S. post) to your instructor describing the reason(s) for the request. It is up to your instructor to determine whether or not you will be permitted to receive a deferred grade. If, for any reason, the course work for the deferred grade is not complete by the assigned time, a grade of "F" will be automatically entered on your transcript. 

Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Technical Requirements

For this course, we recommend the minimum technical requirements outlined on the Dutton Institute Technical Requirements page (, including the requirements listed for same-time, synchronous communications. If you need technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the ITS Help Desk ( 


The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and bulletin board postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions, but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of forum messages. Please review some general Netiquette guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course. 

Disruptive Behavior

Behavior that disrupts normal classroom activities will not be tolerated, in accordance with Items 9 and 14 in the Student Code of Conduct. 


In the case of an emergency, we will follow the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Critical Incident Plan (  In the event of an evacuation, we will follow posted evacuation routes and gather at the Designated Meeting Site.  Evacuation routes for all EMS buildings are available at  For more information regarding actions to take during particular emergencies, please see the Penn State Emergency Action Guides. 

Disclaimer Statement

Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus can be changed at any time, and you will be responsible for abiding by any such changes. Changes will be posted as an update to the syllabus. 

To receive a grade for this course and to ensure that you have read the entire syllabus and understand the course policies, please sign this form and return it by Friday, January 17, 2020. 

I have read the syllabus for Meteo 483 which meets in Walker 527 on Monday/Wednesday and Walker 126 on Friday during spring semester 2020.  I understand and agree to adhere to the policies explained in this syllabus. 


Name________________________________________________ (print full name)

Student Number ______________________________________

E-mail Address:  _____________________________________