WKU storm chasers gearing up for annual expedition across Plains
|Date: Monday, May 12th, 2014||Return to Archive|
Each year during WKU’s May term, Dr. Josh Durkee, Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science in WKU’s Department of Geography & Geology, chooses a group of eight students for his Field Methods in Weather Analysis and Forecasting course with the aim to forecast and document severe convective storms across the Great Plains.
Since its inaugural year in 2010, WKU storm chasers have traveled 32,000 miles and documented nearly 30 tornadoes, along with numerous damaging hail and windstorms, and floods.
The award-winning and internationally recognized summer program runs for four weeks, with two spent by students who will venture across the Plains analyzing and determining where the most dangerous weather will occur, and traveling to those locations to document the outcomes of their predictions. The final week is spent back at WKU organizing the collected data and developing research questions surrounding the events that unfolded. This year’s trip is scheduled for May 20-June 3.
“The purpose of this course is to provide a capstone learning experience for students studying meteorology at WKU,” Dr. Durkee said. “Ultimately yes, we are chasing storms but there is so much more to it than that. Students gain daily practical skills in forecasting, weather map, radar, and satellite analysis, road navigation, written and oral communication, data collection, and research reanalysis, among others. And to go a couple steps further, I bring the data and outcomes back as learning materials in various courses I teach, and students often present findings from research and analysis of these events at various conferences. In that sense, this course provides a well-rounded learning experience throughout the entire academic year.”
Students participating in the 2014 course are: Mallory Schnell of Louisville, Brian Urbanic of Louisville, Tyler Binkley of Ashland City, Tenn., Michael Flanigan of Pewee Valley, Zachary Leasor of Georgetown, Melissa Moore of Evansville, Ind., Jordan Bailey of Burlington and Cail Knight of Hopkinsville.
You can follow Dr. Durkee’s storm chase group as they document each day at http://meteorology.blog.wku.edu/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wkustormchase and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wkumetclimsci
Contact: Josh Durkee, (270) 745-8777.
History will be made on Nov. 29 when WKU will get its first chapter of SALUTE, a national honor society for student veterans. Seven charter members will be inducted into SALUTE at 5 p.m. in the Veterans Resource Center, 410 Tate Page Hall.
Three alumni from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology who work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have been assigned to Puerto Rico to assist in post-hurricane recovery efforts.
On National Philanthropy Day, WKU’s Division of Development & Alumni Relations was rebranded as Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement; Laura Turner Dugas was named the 2017 Philanthropist of the Year; and a gift for diversity initiatives was announced.
WKU’s Forensics Team divided into three groups and traveled to Lebanon, Illinois; Normal, Illinois; and Jefferson City, Tennessee, to compete in six tournaments Nov. 11-12.
Students, faculty, and staff from the Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES) and Department of Geography & Geology recently attended national conferences in Arkansas and Washington state.
A bronze statue of longtime WKU supporter and Kentucky State Rep. Jody Richards of Bowling Green was unveiled on WKU’s main campus Monday (Nov. 6) in Jody Richards Hall.
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,