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Digging for Answers

Meteorology students in Professor Craig Clark’s Research Topics class have benefited from Valpo’s inimitable weather patterns. In fall 2013 the class spent an entire semester studying a weather phenomenon Northwest Indiana knows well: lake-effect snow. “Lake-effect snow tends to form in several different categories,” says Andrew Vande Guchte ’14, one of Professor Clark’s students. “One of these is a bunch of small little bands that come across the lake from west to east. Another category is a large, single band that goes along the west coast of Michigan. Then there’s the band that goes directly down the middle of the lake, and…

A Perfect Place for Learning

Long before Valparaiso University existed, weather was already shaping life on campus. “We are on a terminal moraine, which means when the glaciers formed, they worked their way to Valpo and stopped,” says Grace Roman ’17, a geography major. “The melting ice deposited till, debris, and rocks and made a nice big hill,” she explains. During the ice age, wind and sunlight converged to create an atmosphere perfect for budding geographers. In addition to Valpo’s location on a terminal moraine, the Chapel of the Resurrection is built on a kame, a hill formed by sediment that falls through a hole…

Ready for the Storm

After their years of intense study and rigorous training in Valpo’s meteorology department, alumni Elizabeth Thompson ’10 and Gavin Roy ’10 were well prepared when they boarded a research vessel bound for the Indian Ocean. In the summer of 2011, Elizabeth Thompson ’10 and Gavin Roy ’10 accepted an opportunity to join an expedition to the Indian Ocean to study a unique and important weather phenomenon. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Energy, the project, called DYNAMO, brought together hundreds of faculty members and graduate students from 15 institutions in six countries to study the…

Whirlwind Ascent

[cws_lead]Good Morning America's Ginger Zee '02 reflects on the Valpo foundation that began her career.[/cws_lead]Ginger Zuidgeest ’02 wakes up at 4 a.m. each weekday with resolve. “Since Valpo, I’ve been on this constant mission,” she says. “One of my best friends calls me ‘The Explainer,’ and it’s true. When you’re a scientist on television, you’re an explainer. You have to take science and make it simple, while also teaching people something.” Ginger, who goes by the moniker Ginger Zee (“Zuidgeest,” she said, was too difficult for people to pronounce), is perhaps most well known for her work as the lead…

A Generous Mentor

Valpo meteorology students benefit from an ongoing relationship with one of the nation's premier broadcast meteorologists. [caption id="attachment_438" align="alignleft" width="250"] WGN forecaster Tom Skilling addresses a group at Valparaiso University[/caption] Valpo’s meteorology students have the benefit of close proximity to Chicago, the third largest television market in the country. Many Valpo students participate in internships at Chicago television stations. For the past 20 years, nearly 100 meteorology students have interned with one of the best broadcast meteorologists in the country — WGN’s veteran forecaster, Tom Skilling. Dustin Bonk ’11, a meteorologist at WILX-TV in Lansing, Mich., learned to make accurate,…

Valpo alumni head toward Hurricane Florence