Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences

Meteo 497A (Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences)

Fall 2018, 1 credit

Course Meeting Time/Location:   Fridays 3:35-4:25pm, 110 Walker Building 

Course Facilitators:   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 likely be a few assigned readings 

Assessment:  Based on two assignments, attendance, and participation 

Schedule:  Tentative Schedule of Topics (subject to change) 

Class/Date Topic / Guest 

  1. Aug 24 Introduction, Employment outlook (Nese, Clothiaux, Stensrud)
  2. Aug 31 Professionalism – Bloomberg article and employer survey (All)
  3. Sep 7 Resumes, cover letters, personal statements (Jamie Peeler)
  4. Sep 14 Career Planning after College (Dr. David Stensrud)
  5. Sep 21 References – Who will go to bat for you?  (Dr. Eugene Clothiaux)
  6. Sep 28 Alumni visitors
  7. Oct 5 Financial Literacy (Dr. David Stensrud)
  8. Oct 12 Entrepreneurship (Mr. Doug Kruhoffer)
  9. Oct 19 Graduate School (Dr. Paul Markowski)
  10. Oct 26 Alumni visitors
  11. Nov 2 Interviewing skills (Robert Orndorff, 103A Bank of America CSB)
  12. Nov 9 Weather Risk Management Alumni visits
  13. Nov 16 Summer opportunities (REUs, internships, etc)
  14. Nov 30 Student presentations Part 1
  15. Dec 7 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: 

ACCOMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES.  Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. The Student Disability Resources (SDR) website provides contact information for every Penn State campus: ( For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources website ( 

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. 

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. 

COUNSELING AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES.  Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being.  The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings.  These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients’ cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation.  Services include the following: 

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

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

Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week): Text LIONS to 741741