UIW Meteorology Students Present at Annual Meeting of American Meteorological Society

February 9, 2024

Four UIW Meteorology majors, Sabrina Gonzalez, Fatima Hernandez, Christian Schnell and Katelyn Simonsen, recently had the privilege of attending the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The AMS is the world’s largest annual gathering for the weather, water and climate community. It brings together great minds from a diverse set of scientific disciplines, helping attendees make career-long professional contacts and life-long friends while learning from leading experts in the atmospheric sciences.

The students participated in a special student conference at the national, annual meeting where they presented their undergraduate level research about atmospheric science. Their research explored topics such as the impact of flood and drought pattern fluctuations, enhancing preparedness for rare weather conditions for travelers, comparing environments for severe and non-pulse thunderstorms and how the Saharan air layer impacted the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

“Attending the American Meteorology Society student conference was an incredible experience,” remarked Hernandez. “I had the opportunity to connect with meteorologists from all over the country who shared their expertise in the field and make friends with different students.”

The four Cardinals impressed attendees with their work and engaging presentation skills. They noted that after their presentation, they were approached by professionals in the field who wished to keep in contact with them as they continue to advance in their education and careers.

“There were some professionals in the field who requested a copy of my poster and exchanged contact information so I could stay in contact with them,” shared Simenson. “There were two professors specifically, one from the National Center of Atmospheric Research and another from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, who wanted to follow any research I do in the future.”

All of the attending students expressed excitement over the number of meteorologists present from across the nation and the community of people who share their passion. They credit UIW’s Meteorology program with helping them be part of that community.

“Our meteorology circle at UIW is small, but it is something I have never taken for granted since it has allowed for more interpersonal relationships with my educators and has presented many opportunities,” noted Gonzales.

Tim Springer, UIW meteorology lecturer and member of the AMS, helped to provide some advice and recommendations to the students, but ultimately, he acknowledges that they were the ones who took the initiative of presenting their research at a national conference. As an educator, he enjoys watching his students develop their skills and advance their knowledge in meteorology throughout their four years in the program. Gonzales, Hernandez, Schell and Simenson made him proud, but he is not surprised at the work and drive they exhibited.

“I have been watching these students grow and build confidence,” he shared. “We have many very sharp students who work at a very high level. I love when I hear other professors or meteorologists comment on the abilities of our students. It shows our students are doing it right.”

Now, the four students, and their peers at UIW will be able to continue their work as members of the AMS. Dr. Vinay Kumar, assistant professor of Meteorology, introduced the idea of creating an AMS student chapter at UIW. This group's members will meet to provide professionals, students and enthusiasts with the opportunity to network, connect and discuss everything about the weather. “This will begin the stages of establishing more of a weather community at UIW as well as more of a student life expanding our atmospheric science program,” said Schell, with excitement about the future of UIW’s Meteorology program.

Learn more about UIW Meteorology here.