Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences

Meteo 497A (Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences)

Fall 2020, 1 credit 

Course Meeting Time/Location:   Fridays 3:35-4:25pm, remote synchronous via Zoom

Join here: 

Course Instructors:   Eugene Clothiaux, Jon Nese, and David Stensrud 

Course Description:  Geared towards rising juniors and seniors, this one-credit course will offer practical advice and ample opportunities for reflection about one’s standing within Meteorology.  The course will help to develop you professionally for a career in the atmospheric sciences and help to put you in the best possible position for your next step after graduation, be it a job or graduate school.  You will develop a better understanding of the range of diversities and commonalities in the atmospheric sciences, the value of improving presentation and writing skills, the importance of developing professional references and networks, and strategies for applying to graduate schools and searching for a job.  There will be guest speakers, including alumni and university staff whose participation will enhance the value of the class. 

Textbook:  None, though there will be a few assigned readings 

Assessment:  Based on two assignments, attendance (taking into consideration, of course, any COVID-related issues), and participation. 

Schedule:  Tentative Schedule of Topics (subject to change) 

Class/Date - Topic and/or Guest 

  1. Aug 28 Introduction to course;  Employment stats (All)
  2. Sep 4 Professionalism in the workplace
  3. Sep 11 Alumni visits
  4. Sep 18 Alumni visits
  5. Sep 25 Graduate school (Paul Markowski)
  6. Oct 2 Alumni visits
  7. Oct 9 Entrepreneurship (Doug Kruehoffer)
  8. Oct 16 Career planning & financial literacy (Stensrud)
  9. Oct 23 Resumes, cover letters, formal correspondence (Kimberly Del Bright)
  10. Oct 30 Interviewing skills (Dr. Robert Orndorff, Director, Career Services)
  11. Nov 6 Visit from Weather Risk Management Alumni (Networking)
  12. Nov 13 Summer opportunities (REUs, internship, reference letters)
  13. Nov 20 Alumni visits
  14. Dec 4 Student presentations Part 1 (All)
  15. Dec 11 Student presentations Part 2 + Close (All)

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY  The academic integrity policy of the College of EMS, described at, governs this course.  

Meteo 497A (Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences)

Fall 2020, 1 credit 

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:  Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources (SDR) website provides contact information for every Penn State campus: ( For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources website (

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation: If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations. 

Attendance:  Regular attendance is critical for building on the skills and knowledge developed throughout the class. Students who participate have a more complete understanding of the material presented and are more likely to succeed in the class. This is true whether your attendance is face-to-face or remote.  This course abides by the Penn State Attendance Policy E-11:, and Conflict Exam Policy 44-35: Please also see Illness Verification Policy:, and Religious Observance Policy: Students who miss class for legitimate reasons will be given a reasonable opportunity to make up missed work, including exams and quizzes.  In all cases, you should inform me in advance, when possible. Missing class, even for a legitimate purpose, may mean there is work that cannot be made up, hurting your grade in this class.  In addition to illness, legitimate reasons for missing class include religious observance, military service, family emergencies, regularly scheduled university-approved curricular or extracurricular activities, and post-graduate, career-related interviews when there is no opportunity for students to re-schedule these opportunities (such as employment and graduate school final interviews).  Students who encounter serious family, health, or personal situations that result in extended absences should contact the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs (AVPSA) and Student Care and Advocacy for help: .  Whenever possible, students participating in University-approved activities should submit to the instructor a Class Absence Form:, at least one week prior to the activity. 

Reporting Bias-Motivated Incidents: Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff.  Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated ( and can be reported through Educational Equity via the Report Bias webpage. 

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  • Counseling and Psychological Services at University Park  (CAPS): 814-863-0395
  • Counseling and Psychological Services at Commonwealth Campuses
  • Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400
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