Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences

Meteo 497A

Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences

Fall 2017, 1 credit

Course Meeting Time/Location:   Fridays 3:35-4:25pm, 103 Walker Building

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

Course Description: Geared towards rising juniors, this one-credit course will offer practical advice and ample opportunity 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 likely be a few assigned readings

Assessment: Pass/Fail (based solely on attendance, participation, and one assignment) 

Schedule: Tentative Schedule of Topics (subject to change)

Class/Date Topic/Guest

  1. Aug 25 Introduction, Employment outlook (Nese, Clothiaux, Stensrud)
  2. Sep 1 Professionalism – Bloomberg article and employer survey (All)
  3. Sep 8 Career Planning after College (Stensrud)
  4. Sep 15 TBD
  5. Sep 22 Resumes, cover letters, personal statements (Kimberly Del Bright)
  6. Sep 29 Alumni Visitors
  7. Oct 6 Financial Literacy (Stensrud)
  8. Oct 13 References – Who will go to bat for you?  (Clothiaux)
  9. Oct 20 Entrepreneurship (Alumni Guest, Mr. Doug Kruhoffer)
  10. Oct 27 Interviewing skills (Robert Orndorff, 103bc Bank of America CSB)
  11. Nov 3 Summer Opportunities (REUs, internships, etc)
  12. Nov 10 Weather Risk Management Alumni visits
  13. Nov 17 Graduate School (Verlinde)
  14. Dec 1 Student presentations Part 1
  15. Dec 8 Student presentations Part 2 + Close (Nese, Clothiaux, Stensrud)

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

ATTENDANCE POLICY 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.  Students are not required to secure the signature of medical personnel in the case of illness or injury and should use their best judgment on whether they are well enough to attend class or not; the University Health Center will not provide medical verification for minor illnesses or injuries. Other 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 available from the Registrar's Office:, at least one week prior to the activity.

WEATHER DELAYS.  Campus emergencies, including weather delays, are announced on Penn State News and communicated to cell phones, email, the Penn State Facebook page, and Twitter via PSUAlert (Sign up at:

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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.

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Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at University Park: 814-863-0395

Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400

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