The discipline I want to talk about in my contract (especially given the recent circumstances) is meteorology! Meteorology is such a wonderful field and its constantly changing every day! If I had to describe the field of meteorology I would say that it is a field studying the physical and chemical aspects of our atmosphere on earth. It is a combination of physical, chemical, and social sciences that work together with mathematical and computer information to create an understanding of the atmosphere that we have. It is not solely the study of the atmosphere but also the components that work with it such as ocean currents, landscape and terrain, and physical features that contribute to the climate around the world. The study of meteorology has been around for thousands of years and originated in India around 3000 BC. This originated when people started making observations about cloud formation in the sky, rain, and the variation of seasons. The study of meteorology didn’t really catch on until ancient Greece when it was used to help farmers with their crops. Meteorology was used to help study rain fall in seasons to help find out when was the best time to plant crops. Democritus, Hippocrates, and Aristotle were considered the founding fathers of Meteorology because they incorporated earth sciences and climatology into their works. Today meteorology is used around the world to predict weather events, learn about past events, and explore/understand how much our earth has changed since its creation.
At PSU, we are well known for our meteorology program and it is in the top 5 schools for meteorology in the entire US! The program in comparison to other programs, is rather new. Not only does it meet all the criteria for the National Meteorological Society, but it also exceeds it! Most meteorology graduates go on to get their masters in the field. In this discipline, the classes are very small so its easy to get 1 on 1 time and ask questions when needed. There are usually no more than 8 people in the classroom and everyone is able to talk to each other to make sure everyone understands the material as well as sharing new creative thoughts and opinions with other students. Some classes focus on the atmosphere itself- how much it changes, what causes the changes, and how can we use those characteristics to predict the forecast. Other classes focus on how land,
water, and other anomalies can affect the atmosphere whether it be actively or passively. I enjoy this discipline because not only can we learn a lot about our earth from its past, but we can find out what will happen in the future given the state of our atmosphere. The important issue we see right now is the issue of climate change, and as scientists who study the atmosphere and climate, we try to see new ways to prevent it and educate the public about its issues. I think that Meteorology is shaped around what is current in our world and helps us to brainstorm solutions to any issues we have.
On twitter I follow Meteorologist Jim Cantore, who is always posting updates on weather around the country and how to stay safe in a major storm. All meteorologists on twitter or other social media have a purpose to educate the public and to make sure everyone is safe. Safety is a huge concern because disastrous storms do strike, and we want to make sure everyone is prepared and ready for them so we can limit mortality around the world from meteorological events that are said to bring great destruction. Furthermore, we are always looking to keep the community informed and safe. We look forward to educating the public on the consequences of climate change and what we can do to prevent it. It is a great discipline that can be collaborated with any earth or planetary science that can enhance the understanding we have of our planet and of the universe that surrounds us.