There is no place on campus like the weather center on the fourth floor of Caputo.
Computers line the walls, well-placed couches offer solace to those who enter. For those who are not scientifically inclined, the room may seem like a foreign territory, but for those who study meteorology, it’s home.
Recently, Millersville’s student chapter of the American Meteorology Society hosted Public Weather Awareness Day; it featured several vendors, hands-on demonstrations and Doppler on Wheels, a mobile radar unit used on storm chases. The weather team at Millersville was able to use the vehicle for around two weeks for weather research.
Students even got to partake in the launching of a weather balloon. “It’s a bit of a treat whenever we can do it [on campus],” said meteorology major David Bludis. He then said that this was the largest turnout for Public Weather Awareness Day since its inception eight years ago.
Both Bludis and meteorology major Daniel Harp have spoken of the importance of these kinds of events. “It helps [community members] to prepare for the storms… prepare for any situation,” Harp said.
“It’s good to educate the community and public about all things weather…prepare for hazards, disasters, things like that,” Bludis said.
Nationwide, Millersville University ranks 18th place for its meteorology and atmospheric sciences programs. The students in the meteorology department take full advantage of what this school has to offer.
“Another big thing here is research; that’s usually about what half the students here do,” Bludis said. “We usually get a lot of undergraduates involved… there are a lot of things that can be done with [meteorology] that a lot of people might not think about.”
Student meteorologists frequently issue forecasts for the surrounding community; their forecasts are primarily student-run, said Bludis.
The AMS chapter at Millersville offers a “Met-mentor” program, where incoming freshman and transfer students are paired with upperclassmen; they provide social events where the students can really get to know their fellow classmates.
“That sense of family… you develop that. That’s what we are; we all help each other and work together,” Bludis said.
Harp reiterated that statement, and said, “It opens everyone’s eyes… you make friends through that; everyone pushes each other through.”
For more information about the meteorology program, visit snowball.millersville.edu/~ams/. The next Public Weather Awareness Day is slated for early April of 2017. More updates will be given when they are available.