About Our Meteorology Program

The VU Department of Geography and Meteorology offers a comprehensive undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in meteorology. Enrollment in the meteorology program has doubled in the last five years to approximately 110 students, making it one of the largest in the country. Students from our program go on to attend the nation's top graduate programs and are employed by various public and private sector firms and broadcast stations. A large number of our students have received NASA summer fellowships, National Science Foundation, American Meteorological Society and university undergraduate and graduate fellowships.

Valparaiso's location offers a wide variety of interesting and challenging weather, from lake-effect snows to severe convective storms. The Department maintains the VU Weather Center, a state-of-the-art laboratory where students gain "hands-on" experience and provide weather information and forecasts for Northwest Indiana. This facility has an excellent array of meteorological equipment, including a 55-foot instrumented tower, UNIDATA McIDAS and GEMPAK data retrieval and display systems, Meteorologix and WeatherTap NWS Doppler radar, satellite and data feeds, as well as portable sensors and computers.

Extracurricular experiences are important components of the meteorology program at VU. Our popular 10-day severe storm field study trips to the Southern Plains are an integral part of the educational experience for meteorology students. The Department has established an excellent relationship with the National Weather Service (NWS). Our program has placed students in internships at NWS offices in Indianapolis, Louisville, South Bend, and St. Louis. Paid co-ops have been established with the Climate Analysis Center and Techniques Development Laboratory in Washington, D.C. and the NWS Forecast Office in Romeoville (Chicago), IL. Internships are also established with a regional educational channel, WGN-TV in Chicago, and other broadcast stations. Students may also work for the campus radio station, WVUR, or the campus cable station, VUTV. These positions provide students with valuable experience as well as opportunities for post-graduate employment.

Many students are active members of Northwest Indiana SKYWARN and the Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team (VUSIT), one of the nation's best-equipped chase teams. A regional chapter of the National Weather Association/student chapter of the American Meteorological Society is also located on campus which, together with the Department, promotes visits by prominent outside scientists, and hosts a Great Lakes Meteorology Conference each spring.

 


"The teaching style of VU's Meteorology program ensures that students understand the physics of the atmosphere as well as mathematical foundations of meteorology. The result is a student who is fluent in theory, able in forecasting, and well-practiced at leading and participating in discussion about the science. The department fosters an environment of collaboration and close relationship between students and faculty. Valparaiso Meteorology graduates are, in my experience, among the best prepared in the field to excel in the discipline of atmospheric science."

Matt Parker
VU Class of 1996
Associate Professor, North Carolina State