Cal U’s Meterology Club honored by SWPA Chapter of AMS

Club member Jason Dohoda is teaching children at California Elementary school about the Earth Sciences

Club member Jason Dohoda is teaching children at California Elementary school about the Earth Sciences

Cal U’s meteorology club has added another honor to its portfolio. The Southwest Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Meteorological Society again has been named Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year.

The chapter will be recognized at the 95th AMS annual meeting, set for Jan. 4-8 in Phoenix, “for its long-standing educational outreach, its strong, multifaceted focus on member education, and exemplary interaction with other local chapters.”

The club received AMS Chapter of the Year honors in 2008-2009, and it was recognized as the National Weather Association Chapter of the Year in both 2007 and 2010.

“This honor not only helps our club, but it’s also a great reflection on the entire meteorology program,” said club president Joshua Gebauer, a senior. “Throughout the meteorology community, AMS is a very prominent organization where all the leading research comes through.

“Because students from all across the country see this, they will be excited and want to come to a school that has a successful club being recognized by the AMS.”

Founded in 1919 and headquartered in Boston, with a second office in Washington, D.C., the AMS has a membership of more than 14,000 professionals, researchers, scientists, broadcasters, educators, students and weather enthusiasts.

At the group’s national conference, members of Cal U’s club will join others representing successful student and adult chapters for a panel discussion about how to achieve success.

Cal U students will describe their club’s educational outreach to K-12 schools, meteorology efforts on campus, participation in the annual StormFest educational event and the popular Colloquia Series of speakers, Gebauer said.

Led by educational outreach chair Jason Dohoda, club members regularly visit area schools. They have traveled as far north as Brockway, Pa., to teach younger students about all aspects of earth science.

In addition to weather forecasting for on-campus groups such as CUTV, the club provides a “Weather on the Web” service through its YouTube page.

StormFest, the annual educational outreach event at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, is hosted in part by the club and the Earth Sciences Department, in collaboration with the Science Center. Cal U meteorology students staff the event, along with students from other majors.

Each year the meteorology club hosts talks by professionals in meteorology and related fields. Now in its fourth year, free Colloquia Series presentations are open to the University community and the public.

Club members also comprise the Three Rivers Chapter of the National Weather Association. Last month, students attended that organization’s 39th annual conference, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“We try to get out there and make a positive impact,” Gebauer said.

Dr. Mario Majcen is the club’s faculty adviser. Dr. Chad Kauffman and Dr. Swarn Gill also assist the group.

Information and photos courtesy of California University of Pennsylvania’s Public Relations Department.

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