METEO 497A (Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences)

Course Facilitators: Eugene Clothiaux, Jon Nese, and David Stensrud Course Meeting Time/Location: Fridays 3:35-4:25pm, 124 Walker Building

Meteo 497A (Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences)

Fall 2016, 1 credit 

Course Meeting Time/Location:

Fridays 3:35-4:25pm, 124 Walker Building

Course Facilitators: 

Eugene Clothiaux, Jon Nese, and David Stensrud

Course Designation:


Course Description: Geared towards rising juniors, this one-credit course will offer practical advice and ample opportunity for reflection about one’s standing within Meteorology. The course will help to develop you professionally for a career in the atmospheric sciences and help to put you in the best possible position for your next step after graduation, be it a job or graduate school. You will develop a better understanding of the range of diversities and commonalities in the atmospheric sciences, the value of improving presentation and writing skills, the importance of developing professional references and networks, and strategies for applying to graduate schools and searching for a job. There will be guest speakers, including alumni and university staff whose participation will enhance the value of the class. 

Textbook: None, though there will likely be a few assigned readings 

Assessment: Pass/Fail (based solely on attendance, participation, and one assignment) 

Schedule: Tentative Schedule of Topics (subject to change, including the order) 

Class/Date, Topic / Guest

  1. Aug 26 Introduction (Nese, Clothiaux, Stensrud)
  2. Sep 2 Alumni Guest (Mr. Doug Kruhoffer)
  3. Sep 9 Professionalism – Bloomberg article and employer survey (All)
  4. Sep 16 Alumni Guest (Mr. Edward Mansouri)
  5. Sep 23 Alumni Guest (to be determinded)
  6. Sep 30 Financial Literacy (Stensrud)
  7. Oct 7 More alumni visits (probably … homecoming)
  8. Oct 14 Resumes, cover letters, personal statements (Kimberly Del Bright)
  9. Oct 21 Interviewing skills (Robert Orndorff, 103bc Bank of America CSB)
  10. Oct 28 Career Planning after College (Stensrud)
  11. Nov 4 The Weather Communications Industry (Guest Speaker)
  12. Nov 11 Weather Risk Management Alumni visits
  13. Nov 18 Graduate School (Verlinde)
  14. Dec 2 Student presentations Part 1
  15. Dec 9 Student presentations Part 2 + Close (Nese, Clothiaux, Stensrud) 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY  The academic integrity policy of the College of EMS, described at, governs this course.  

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES   Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. The Office for Disability Services (ODS) website provides contact information for every Penn State campus: ( For further information, please visit the Office for Disability Services website (

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation based on the documentation guidelines ( If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

ATTENDANCE POLICY   This course 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 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.

CANCELLATIONS OR DELAYS   Campus emergencies, including weather delays, are announced on Penn State News: and communicated to cellphones, email, the Penn State Facebook page, and Twitter via PSUAlert (Sign up at: ).

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.