Note validates brilliant forecast for UO meteorology students

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A team from the University of Oklahoma’s Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies takes position near the “hail core” of a storm in May 2019. (Photo by Christiaan Patterson, OR CIMMS/NOAA NSSL)

NORMAN — Budding meteorologists, storm chasers, and researchers studying climate change and other critical weather sciences for the future might find no better place to study than the University of Oklahoma.

It should come as no surprise that the OU School of Meteorology has been on meteorologists’ radar for years. Housed in the university’s College of Atmospheric and Geographical Sciences, the school is the largest of its kind in the nation, with approximately 250 undergraduate students and 95 graduate students.

It should at least be noted, however, that the school was recently identified as the #1 program in the nation by OutstandingColleges.com. In a statement, the organization cited the school’s extensive portfolio of academic and research offerings dealing with weather and climate research topics “from the tropics to the poles” and how UO students and scientists study matters critical not just to the daily forecast, but to the long-term health of the environment, the national economy, and indeed the future of the people of Oklahoma and around the world.

“For more than 60 years, the OU School of Meteorology has provided students with a world-class education that fosters collaborative, innovative, and inclusive academic and research opportunities,” said college dean Berrien Moore. “We are very proud of the work we do to prepare the scientists of tomorrow, and it is an incredible honor to be recognized as the best program in the country.”

The OU School of Meteorology is located on the fifth floor of the National Weather Center, which also houses a number of local and federal agencies, including the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the National Weather Service Forecast Office for the region, the Storm Prediction Center, Radar Operations Center and Warning Decision Training Division, all under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Additionally, the building houses the NOAA-OU Cooperative Institute and the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.

“Because of the School of Meteorology’s proximity to more than 500 meteorologists, climatologists, scientists, engineers, researchers and technicians of the National Meteorological Center, the school offers students a unique opportunity to learn and interact with leading experts in the field,” the release notes. “The school also has a strong research program that provides undergraduate and graduate students with a wealth of opportunities to work with members of the body professor on cutting-edge projects.”

Students in the School of Meteorology are regularly recognized as recipients of the NOAA Hollings Fellowship, and many have received awards for presentations at professional conferences. About 90% of OU students who earn meteorology degrees earn internships within months of graduation, with many working in positions with private companies ranging from airlines to insurance companies. Some join the army. Others teach, enter the media, or hold positions with the National Weather Service.

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