Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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"Western's Meteorology program is small, which allows for more one-on-one interaction with professors. It provides a starting foundation for future careers in Meteorology." -- Gregory Matson (2011)
"During my time at Western I had some really top notch professors in my meteorology courses who truly helped me to succeed as a student. Because of their commitment and hard work, I know I will be successful wherever my meteorology degree takes me." -- Eric Apel (2011)
Meteorology is the study of the physical characteristics of the lower atmosphere & the processes that are responsible for generating the weather.
Based upon National Weather Service requirements for employment as a meteorologist (GS-1340) this major includes courses in:
- Analysis & prediction of weather systems (synoptic meteorology)
- Atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics
- Physical meteorology
- Remote sensing
- Mathematics (through calculus and differential equations)
Students are exposed to concepts, methodologies, and practical applications related to both weather analysis and forecasting. They learn how to forecast weather, use specialized equipment & instruments, and gain proficiency in advanced reporting techniques associated with weather observations, weather radar, and remotely-sensed (e.g., satellite) information.
Career opportunities are found in both public and private sectors, such as;
- The National Weather Service
- News Agencies (television, radio, and web-based sources)
- Research Institutions (graduate schools and government agencies, such as NASA and NOAA)
- Private forecasting firms
- Insurance and risk management corporations
- GIS-related fields
Why Choose Meteorology at WIU
In-depth study of meteorology to serve as the culmination of a science education, preparation for graduate education, and/or preparation for professional employment in meteorology. Students can begin taking courses for the major (Introduction to Weather and Climate) their freshman year, and all the non-introductory meteorology courses have relatively small class sizes (typically 15-25 students).
Low student-teacher ratios allow for a great deal of interaction with the instructors, all of whom hold Ph.D.s. All professors exhibit an open-door policy with strong dedication to student success.
All students are guaranteed valuable research experience. The Senior Thesis project is required of all majors, and students are encouraged to participate in the University-sponsored Undergraduate Research Days exposition.
The department has comprehensive, modern facilities to give students hands-on experience including a weather station, weather radar, a meteorology/climatology linux-based computer laboratory, and a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) laboratory.
The Severe Weather Club is a student organization dedicated to promoting interest and awareness of the discipline of physical geography and meteorology.
The structure of the Meteorology degree meets the requirements for certification as a meteorologist by the National Weather Service.
Some Recent Graduates
- Gregory Matson (2011) is currently a graduate student in meteorology at Iowa State University.
- Eric Apel (2011) recently was hired as an agricultural meteorologist by Mobile Weather Team, Inc. in Washington, Illinois.
At A Glance
- Degree Available: Bachelor of Science
- Minor Available? Yes
- Graduate Degree Available? No
- Campus: Macomb
- Study Opportunities: GradTrac, Honors