By Joseph A. Puente '14 | Vol. I Issue I
Regardless of the season, weather in Texas is unpredictable.
For the average Texan, experiencing nearly freezing weather one day and a high of 75 degrees the next is common; but in the College of Geosciences, students and faculty from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences are dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of the atmosphere and sharing that information to benefit those who are interested in learning.
Texas A&M University is the only public university in the state of Texas that offers a B.S. in Meteorology, but more importantly the department is one of the largest and most respected in the nation with a student-to-teacher ratio of about 7 to 1.
With an emphasis in weather and weather forecasting, the Department of Atmospheric Sciences helps meteorology students acquire and develop scientific knowledge and critical thinking skills including opportunities for hands-on experience through individual study and participation in faculty research.
In addition to research, students are expected to take courses including Climatology, Atmospheric Chemistry, Cloud Physics and Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere with Radar and Satellites.
“Students will graduate with the ability to analyze, forecast and assess the impact of weather in public and private operational meteorology,” associate professor Dr. Don Conlee says. “They are well prepared for jobs in air quality, aviation support, wind and solar energy and in Metocean support to the offshore energy industry.”
Meteorology graduates may find themselves working for companies such as the National Weather Service, NASA, TV stations, the Environmental Protection Agency, airlines, the Department of Defense or private meteorological consulting and forecasting firms.
Conlee says many students know from an early age that meteorology is what they are meant to do. “Sometimes we say that ‘Meteorology chooses you!’ Others like science in general and are attracted to the way that meteorology applies science in such a tangible way. Either way, a degree in meteorology is both challenging and rewarding. Although large by national meteorology program standards, our program offers students a small college feel even in the midst of all the awesome experiences that A&M offers to its 50,000+ students. Here students know each other, faculty know the students and we look out for one another. It’s a great way to experience A&M!”
TEXAS AGGIE STORM CHASERS
With the help and supervision of faculty advisors, the Texas Aggie Storm Chasers get the opportunity to observe severe thunderstorms and tornadoes out in the field. Chasing storms not only serves as a learning tool for these weather-loving Ags, their efforts are also used to aid the National Weather Service.
Texas A&M gives its students ample opportunities to get involved with a student organization that develops their career interests. Texas Aggie Storm Chasers are not only sure to get a thrill out of driving into the heart of the storm, they’re also certain to gain an invaluable education outside of the classroom.