New U.S. Commerce Secretary Judd Gregg Has Ties to PSU

February 6th, 2009 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
There is a reason the new U.S. Commerce Secretary’s name adorns the side of PSU’s Boyd Science Center. It’s a tribute to former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Judd Gregg, who secured $500,000 in funding for the meteorological center that bears his name. Gregg’s actions in 2003 paved the way to further develop a meteorology program that has become one of country’s premier academic meteorological centers. Professor of Meteorology Jim Koermer helped write the grant funding in 2003 that convinced Gregg to lobby for the funding.

“Without this grant funding, we would not have been able to have the facilities needed for providing a first class education in meteorology,” said Koermer. “We also would not have been able to attract an increasing number of students, many of whom are the best Plymouth State has to offer. Plymouth State has been able to stay on the technological forefront of meteorology and the grant certainly helped us to stay there.”

The funding allowed PSU to acquire new computer technology and meteorological observational equipment, computer workstations, LCD displays, associated support computers needed for an electronic map wall, high tech multimedia equipment for use in labs, classrooms, and lecture halls. It also funded major meteorological equipment like the Automated Weather Observing System at the Plymouth Municipal Airport, a portable radiosonde system that allows students to launch instrumented weather balloons which relay upper air data back to a ground site and a portable surface weather station, which can deployed remotely and relay data back to PSU via cell phone.

The initial funding was bolstered by similar grants in 2004 and 2005, which established a new faculty position and technology manager position in meteorology. This money also helped establish a master’s program and to fund five of the N.H. Department of Transportation road weather observation sites.

PSU Meteorology students have gained a well-earned reputation in academic circles as a result of the training provided at the Judd Gregg Meteorological Institute. In 2007, four PSU students received prestigious American Meteorological Society scholarships, the most of any college or university nationwide.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes

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