Jane Marie Wix of Brandenburg and Charles Danny Gant of Bowling Green, both junior meteorology majors in WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, have each been awarded a 2009 Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) internship from the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Louisville. About 60 SCEP internships were awarded nationally.
The highly competitive SCEP internship gives meteorology students valuable work experience at an NWS forecast office under the guidance and direction of their university. Students complete at least 640 hours of hands-on career-related work including forecasting, research and outreach activities. Upon completion of the required work hours and graduation, the SCEP student may be offered a full-time position at the NWS on a non-competitive basis.
Both students have been engaged in sophisticated research over the past year in the Meteorology program. Gant has been conducting research with Dr. Rezaul Mahmood, Associate Director of the Kentucky Mesonet, using Mesonet data to assess temperature measurement bias between two types of sensors. Wix has also been working with Dr. Mahmood on research funded by the Kentucky Climate Center, where she has been building flash flood climatology based on radar data.
The success of both students in winning a SCEP internship highlights the important partnership developed with the NWS and its regional offices through the Kentucky Climate Center and the Kentucky Mesonet project.
Dr. Gregory Goodrich, Meteorology Program Leader, said: Jane Marie and Danny have put in numerous volunteer hours during past summers with the NWS, so I am very happy to see them rewarded with a paid summer internship that essentially guarantees them a job with the NWS upon graduation. Including Astrid Gonzalez, who in March was awarded a summer research internship with the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla., the WKU Meteorology Program now has three juniors who have received prestigious paid summer internships, which is all the more impressive considering these students will be part of our first cohort of B.S. Meteorology graduates in May 2010. This suggests our new meteorology program is being well received by both the research and operational sides of the meteorological profession.