Atmospheric Science Major
From planning backyard barbecues to air strikes on enemy targets, weather plays a role in almost everything we do. The fact that the weather is the world's longest running news story only serves to reinforce its importance in our daily lives.
If you're interested in providing the public with accurate weather forecasts, developing systems that protect people from nature's most extreme conditions, and modeling climate change, then a career in atmospheric science is right for you.
A bachelor's of science degree in soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences from the School of Natural Resources will provide you with all the skills you'll need to succeed in a wide variety of atmospheric science careers.
You can individualize your degree program to fit the career field that most interests you. Some atmospheric
science careers you might consider include:
- Broadcast meteorologists arguably have the highest profile position of all meteorologists. They work for radio and television stations, and are responsible for producing weather forecasts for on-air broadcasts. Often broadcast meteorologists are asked to cover environmental stories. They interact heavily with the community and frequently are called upon to visit local classrooms and talk about weather and forecasting.
- Weather forecasters are employed in both the public and private sectors. They are responsible for providing timely information about climatic conditions on local, regional and even global scales. This might include predicting severe weather for the National Weather Service; forecasting weather conditions for a U.S. military operation; or providing tailored weather predictions for the agriculture, aviation or shipping industries.
- Consulting meteorologists provide meteorological services to a specific client. They may offer their expertise to agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency in cases of air quality assessment and environmental compliance; to law enforcement and judicial agencies in cases where weather played a role in a crime or other legal matter; or to software companies to assist in the development of new meteorological applications and systems.
As an atmospheric science student, the sky truly is the limit when it comes to your chances to gain real-world
field experience through research and internships.
Opportunities exist for internships with regional National Weather Service offices where you'll receive hands-on experience with climate modeling and weather prediction. Local radio and television stations also offer internships, providing you with on-the-job training that prepares you for future broadcast positions.
If you're interested in research, many of the faculty members hire undergraduate students to assist with their projects. With access to state-of-the-art computer workstations running today's most advanced weather data software, you'll soon be presenting your own research findings at local and national conferences.