American Meteorological Association Recognizes Top PSU Students

January 24th, 2007 by Adam

Plymouth State University’s Meteorological program continues to garner national attention after several PSU students and staff made presentations at the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting in San Antonio, Tex.

Five PSU meteorology faculty and staff and 11 PSU meteorology students attended the week-long meeting in mid-January, making oral and poster paper presentations.

“This event provides a stage to highlight the abilities of our students and the research activity of our faculty and staff,” said Jim Koermer, director of PSU’s Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute. “It helps to foster possible future collaborations. It also provides us a forum to recruit potential graduate students.”

PSU undergraduate students attending the meeting included Bridget Bixby, Kristin Cummings, Heather Dinon, Elizabeth Dupont, Katie Francoeur, Laura Landry, Melissa Payer, Melissa Pierce, and Lindsay Tardif. PSU graduate students included Nicholas Webb and Melissa Wellman. PSU meteorology faculty and staff that accompanied the student contingent included Eric Hoffman, Lourdes Aviles, Sam Miller, Brendon Hoch, and Jim Koermer.

Members of the group presented three oral presentations and seven poster papers.

Elizabeth Dupont and Kristin Cummings worked with Jim Koermer this past summer at the Kennedy Space Center/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and have been continuing the research as part of their senior project. They presented a poster paper at the AMS Student Conference and presented a more detailed oral presentation at a joint session of 16th Applied Climatology Conference and 14th Symposium on Meteorological Observation and Instrumentation. The session chairmen were so impressed with their presentation that they were going to recommend it for a student paper award.

Melissa Pierce, Laura Landry, Bridget Bixby, and Katie Francoeur discussed the development of air quality case studies that they assembled working this summer at PSU with PSU faculty. They were also co-authors with PSU faculty on a more detailed poster paper presented at the 9th Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry.

Brendon Hoch’s oral paper (Lourdes Aviles was a co-author) was on the use of Podcasts for disseminating real-time meteorological data and was presented at the 16th Symposium on Education. Lourdes Aviles also presented an oral paper at this symposium on her development of a severe weather course for non-majors.

Bridget Bixby and Eric Hoffman presented a poster paper, entitled “Weather Influences on Power Outages in New Hampshire: Development of a Web-Based Decision Making Tool,” which summarized their work for Public Service of New Hampshire.

Melissa Payer, a PSU junior, was a co-author of a paper that investigated Lake Champlain lake-effect snow systems from a summer research program in which she participated at Hobart and William Smith College.

Brendon Hoch and Jim Koermer’s poster paper with two N.H. Department of Transportation co-authors won an award for one of the best posters at one of the conferences. The AMS Chapter poster won third place among chapter posters.

“Very few undergraduate students get to present papers and posters at major scientific conferences,” said Koermer. “Students also get to meet representatives from various graduate programs and potential employers. They have the opportunity to see and hear the latest scientific information in their discipline and see how technology is exploited to expand knowledge. The AMS also hosts a special Student Conference that lets them make contacts with many top professionals in the field and they receive overviews of recent developments and job prospects.”

The Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute is home to all educational and research activities relating to atmosphere and weather at Plymouth State University. The Institute’s outreach extends well beyond the state of New Hampshire, since the Institute routinely handles requests for information from all over the nation and the world. JGMI houses the Plymouth State Weather Center, one of the most sophisticated weather centers in the country, and also contains some outstanding state-of-the-art meteorological equipment. Its Web site routinely has well over 500,000 accesses per week and during active tropical events has received over one million hits in a 24-hour period.

For more information, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., 603-535-2775
blyndes@plymouth.edu