Message from Department Head, Bill Brune
Greetings. Penn State Meteorology continues to move forward in our research, teaching, and service missions while staying true to the department’s culture of collaboration and collegiality. This energetic and welcoming environment attracted me here twenty-five years ago and I think continues to attract talented faculty, staff, and students to work and study here.
In fact, this year four new faculty members will join the department. Martin Tingley brings expertise in statistics to add to faculty expertise that we already have in this area. Steven Greybush brings expertise in data assimilation, a key area for advancing atmospheric prediction. Both Martin and Steven will also be associated with the newly formed, university-wide Institute of Cyber Science, which is designed to create synergistic cyber science research across disciplines. Matthew Kumjian will add to our existing capabilities in remote sensing with his expertise in radar and the interpretation of radar data and is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the new observational capabilities of the recently upgraded National Weather Service radar network. Our fourth faculty hire is David Titley who becomes the director of a new center, the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk. Dave recently retired as a Navy Rear Admiral and brings years of experience in weather and climate risk and in building vibrant programs. All of these new faculty members will broaden and strengthen our programs in these critical research, teaching, and service areas.
Forming the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk has been a strategic departmental goal for almost a decade. Under David Titley’s leadership, it will integrate new programs with existing programs, including research on weather risk solutions, weather communications, and a web-based interactive certificate program in weather risk solutions. Our increasingly popular and successful B.S. option in weather risk management will have strong connections to the center. The center has already attracted much interest for potential partners and the beginnings of a substantial endowment designed to support the activities of the center, its faculty, and its students. If you’d like to know more, Dave or I would be happy to talk to you.
These new faculty members and programs add to our already strong department, its resident and on-line teaching, research, and service. There are challenges to be sure, but there are even more opportunities to improve existing programs, to build entirely new ones, and to have an impact in atmospheric science and beyond. For almost fifteen years, I have enjoyed the privilege of serving as department head and working with my colleagues on the challenges and opportunities, but I realized about a year ago that it is time for someone else to lead this great department. As a result, I am stepping down as head on May 31, 2014, but will remain active as a faculty member. A new head has been selected and will take the position on June 1, 2014. The new Department Head will be David Strensrud from NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory. I look forward to helping Dave make the department even better.