Graduate Opportunity Through Plymouth State (PSU) Meteorology

December 20th, 2005 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Through Plymouth State University’s new Master of Science program in applied meteorology, graduate students can learn the latest knowledge and research skills in many core areas of operational meteorology.

Andrew Loconto, one of the new graduate students in the program, spoke about his experience. “I have had an unprecedented opportunity to work over the past summer in Florida with the NASA and Air Force team, responsible for providing forecasts for one of this country’s most important and weather-sensitive operations—the U.S. Space Coast. My thesis research is devoted to providing the forecasters there with improved tools for predicting strong winds associated with thunderstorms.” Andrew and the other applied meteorology graduate students are able to make use of the PSU research facilities, in addition to field experiences, to contribute to the profession through their research.

Current active research projects taking place at PSU include meteorological aspects relating to air quality forecasts, offshore low-level jet winds of the New England seacoast, climatological studies of weather conditions associated with power outages, global positioning system (GPS) water vapor retrieval case studies, and convective wind forecasting improvements for the Kennedy Space Center/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. In addition to all of these current projects, research efforts are just getting under way with the new Road Weather Information System (RWIS) data in order to provide the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) with tools needed to visualize and fully utilize the data in making highway maintenance decisions, especially during winter driving conditions.

Home base for the program is the Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute (JGMI) in Boyd Science Center. The JGMI provides students with some of the finest meteorology facilities in the country, from a large rooftop observation deck to meteorological equipment, automated weather stations, solar radiation detectors and a GPS water vapor unit. The NOAA-funded New England Weather Technology Evaluation Center includes 20 workstations and a large electronic map wall. The student resource room is equipped with computers and reference material. Other facilities include an extensive meteorological archive, an automated weather observing system (AWOS) at the Plymouth Municipal Airport, portable surface and rawinsonde instrument systems and a van to port equipment. New data will also be available from the RWIS observing sites that are part of a collaborative effort between the PSU meteorology program and the NHDOT.

The PSU graduate program focuses on such areas as advanced weather analysis and forecasting, air quality, mesonet/road weather meteorology, aviation meteorology, radar/satellite meteorology, and computer-based programming and meteorological applications. Offered through the University’s department of chemical, earth, atmospheric and physical sciences (CEAPS), the degree program is designed for students with solid undergraduate degrees in atmospheric science or meteorology, and professional meteorologists who want more than just the bachelor’s level education and qualifications. It can also accommodate students with strong math/science backgrounds.

To learn more about the M.S. in applied meteorology, logon to or contact Dr. James Koermer, graduate program coordinator at Plymouth State University,