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Posted on November 4, 2010

For the second time in four years, Cal U Meteorology Club has received the Chapter of the Year Award from the National Weather Association. The club is also considered the NWA’s Three Rivers Chapter.

Cal U’s Meteorology Club students and faculty adviser Dr. Chad Kauffman were presented the award by NWA President Steve Zubrick during the awards banquet at the organization’s 35th Annual Meeting, held last month in Tucson, Ariz.

The Cal U chapter was recognized for exemplary outreach, mentoring, and science sharing activities, which have significantly raised the awareness of weather and the NWA in both their community and region.

“Obviously this is a tremendous honor and a tribute to our students’ hard work and commitment,” Kauffman said. “At the conference they participated in a wide variety of activities and I believe their successful involvement showcased why they were so deserving of the Chapter of the Year Award.”

The group initially participated in a student conference where they had their resumes reviewed by professional meteorologists and engaged in mock-interviews all in preparation for their eventual graduation and job seeking.

Cal U students James Nieder, Dustin Snare, Steven Michel and Katelyn Welsh presented two research projects to the entire audience. Both dealt with some variant of a GIS-based, flash-flood research project they collaborated with Mr. Bob Davis of the NOAA-National Weather Service in Pittsburgh.

“The presentations were both well-received by the audience and other NWS offices around the country are interested in potentially having these students work with their data sets,” Kauffman said. He also served a session chair for other research presentations during the conference’s first day.

Two days later, Snare, Nieder, and Eric Beamesderfer gave the daily weather briefing to the entire conference. The Cal student trio had to deliver a professional-grade analysis of the current atmospheric scenario and diagnose the various machinations of the numerical simulations for the future.  

“This was quite an undertaking considering most everyone in the audience was a professionally trained atmospheric scientist,” Kauffman explained. “Our students did well and I received excellent feedback from professors Missouri and Keane (N.J.) Universities.”