92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012
Preparing Students for Careers in Space Weather At Millersville University
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Richard D. Clark, Millersville University, Millersville, PA; and S. Hendrick

A curriculum that conforms to the AMS Guidelines for a B.S. degree in meteorology or atmospheric science will not provide sufficient underpinning in certain areas of physics to adequately prepare an undergraduate student for graduate work in space physics or a career in operational space weather prediction. Conversely, we see very few physics majors that are enticed by operational forecasting, and more specifically, space weather prediction. Meanwhile, there is growing number of students majoring in meteorology who are interested, if not passionate, about the prospect of a career in space weather prediction. How do we responsibly prepare students for entry into the field of space weather? Millersville University is addressing this challenge by developing a minor is space physics that will provide fundamental physics as a supplement to an already rigorous undergraduate program in meteorology. Meteorology majors are already required to complete Calculus-based Physics I and II. The space physics minor will consist of 18 additional hours of course work in the following subject areas: modern theories of waves and particles (3); electromagnetic fields I and II (6); multiparticle quantum systems and statistical physics (3); either statistical mechanics or techniques in mathematical physics (3); and as a capstone, space weather and environment (3), which is an existing meteorology elective. This presentation will discuss the need for this specialization, cost-benefit to the student, and intended outcomes for the program and students.

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