Message from Department Head, Bill Brune
Greetings. As I enter my 14th year as Department Head, I look back with satisfaction on our successes and look forward with anticipation to even more successes in the future. In the meantime, we are busy bridging between the past and the future. This is an exciting time for Penn State Meteorology.
Our research and teaching horizons are expanding into weather and climate risk management. This program weds the understanding and prediction of weather and climate with the understanding of economics and business. The common skill is quantitative analysis; the common goal is to use weather and climate information in economic decision-making. We have a new option in Weather Risk Management for undergraduates, two NSF research grants, and a great interest from students and companies. We are only just beginning to realize the potential that this interdisciplinary research holds and are pursuing a range of interesting opportunities.
Our undergraduate curriculum is evolving as meteorology and atmospheric science evolve. To prepare students for future careers, the faculty has made the first major revision to the undergraduate curriculum in at least 15 years. The result is a curriculum that has more flexibility, better integration, fewer required courses, more technical electives, and increased learning in statistics and computer programming. We have accomplished these changes without losing any of the rigor for which a Penn State Meteorology degree is known.
Several years ago, the Joel N. Myers Weather Center on the 6th floor of Walker was transformed into a learning and social center for the future. Our goal was to create a facility that will keep the qualities that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni so cherish and yet will serve the students and department well for the next thirty years and beyond. This renovation was costly. If you would like future generations of Penn State meteorologists to have the friendships and shared experiences that the Joel N. Myers Weather Station gave you, please consider adding your name to the donor wall at the entrance of the Weather Center, or follow the lead of Bob and Charlotte Landis who made a large gift to name the Bob and Charlotte Landis Broadcast Booth which is used primary by Campus Weather Service for generating weather forecasts for radio broadcasts.
Finally, I want to call your attention to the generosity of Professors Dennis and Joan Thomson, who have endowed a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship of Meteorology. This fellowship will help us recruit even more exceptional students into our graduate program. The Thomsons's generous gift, we hope, is just the first of many from the Penn State Meteorology family.