A&M Meteorology Students Broadcast with KAMU | New

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On the 12th floor of Texas A&M’s tallest building, the Oceanography and Meteorology Building, meteorology students spend about an hour each night preparing a weather show to air the next day on KAMU-TV.

During the fall 2019 semester, KAMU approached Professor Don Conlee, Ph.D., to inquire about a student-run show after losing one of their full-time meteorologists. Previously, meteorology students were only able to practice radio with KAMU on 90.9 FM. However, Conlee has assembled a team of over 30 experienced and knowledgeable weather students who spent the last semester planning their first live weather segment, which went live on February 17. Student shows will air Monday through Friday on KAMU 2.

The chief coordinator Mia Montgomery, responsible for meteorology, was the head of the first show. Since meteorology is a relatively small major, there are a lot of connections, collaboration, and leadership opportunities, Montgomery said. However, she said they were missing one thing.

“The only thing we really, really wanted – something we hadn’t really had before – was a TV broadcast club,” Montgomery said. “When it was brought to our attention that we had the option of creating something like this, we knew we had to do it. “

Montgomery said his interest in broadcasting began in Shel Winkley’s hour-long course, most often taken during the junior year of the meteorology major. Winkley, Class of 2007, works as a live meteorologist at KBTX, where he has mentored several students involved in the A&M program through internships.

Winkley said the program is run entirely by students and advises everyone to shift their focus away from phone apps and turn to broadcast programs with trusted meteorologists.

“[The students] have completely, from scratch, figured out what the format will be, how long they’ll last, and they’ve turned it into something that can be broadcast on TV for Bryan-College Station to see, ”Winkley said .

Jeanette Gallardo, junior in meteorology, manages the program’s social media accounts and coordinates on-air talent for broadcasts. Gallardo said she was looking for students who had on-air experience to train other students who had not yet received these opportunities. Gallardo highlighted the importance of this training for students and the benefits that a dissemination program offers to A&M.

“This is a really big deal for A&M because other major meteorological schools, such as OU or the state of Mississippi, all have some sort of television program in their meteorology program,” said Gallardo. “At least for quite some time, we haven’t had any kind of television branch in our program, and that’s what’s most visible to potential students when looking for a meteorology school.”

Grace Leis, a junior in meteorology, said her role as a leader is to interpret the weather to make it easy for everyone to understand. Students use the forecasts they collect from the Weather Prediction Center and the National Weather Service.

Leis has done an internship in broadcast weather before, but said it was the first time many students were exposed to working with a green screen and being on air.

“You can take all of the courses, you can have a 4.0, but experience is really what will get you that first job,” Leis said. “This will allow you to be successful in your first job. Having this every week to practice is invaluable.


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