Back to School: Tips and Scholarships for Budding Meteorologists — STM Weather - Full Service Forensic Meteorology Firm (2022)

Written By Kelly Cebulko

Many students are back in school or are going back shortly, so we thought this might be the perfect time to discuss back to school tips, along with scholarship opportunities for students interested in meteorology and atmospheric science.

Back to School: Tips and Scholarships for Budding Meteorologists — STM Weather - Full Service Forensic Meteorology Firm (1)

Scholarship Opportunities (listing in increasing order of school level)

AMS Freshman Undergraduate Scholarship: This scholarship for $5,000 is open to all high school students and applications are typically due in early February. Women, minorities, and disabled students, traditionally underrepresented in the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences, are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA (on 4.0 scale).

AMS Minority Scholarships: The AMS Minority Scholarships will award funding to minority students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, especially Hispanic, Native American, and Black/African American students. Applications are typically due in early February. The $6,000 scholarship is open to high school students entering their freshmen year of college. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA (on 4.0 scale). Students eligible to apply for the AMS Minority Scholarship Program may also apply to the AMS Freshman Scholarship Program but can only accept one scholarship if selected for both.

The Ken Reeves Memorial AccuWeather Undergraduate Scholarship in Meteorology: This scholarship is open to students in their sophomore year or higher of undergraduate study (Note, graduate students are not eligible for this scholarship). The award can be up to $1,000, though a scholarship award or any given amount is not guaranteed in any given year.

Women in Science Scholarship: This $10,000 scholarship is open to women entering their final year of undergraduate study, and applications are typically due in early February. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA (on 4.0 scale).

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Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship: The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to$9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study anda 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week)internshipat a NOAA facility during the summer. Students must have a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). Students must be full-time 2nd year students in four-year undergraduate programs, full-time 3rd year students in five-year undergraduate programs, or a community college or transfer studentwho is applying to a four-year institution.

EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship: This scholarship provides funding for two years of undergraduate education to rising junior undergraduate students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The program is designed for students attending Minority Serving Institutions such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges and Universities.Students must earn and maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

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AMS Senior Named Scholarships: These scholarships, established in memory of a loved one orto honor an individual’s contributions to the sciences, range from $2,000 to $10,000 and are awarded on the base of academic excellence. Applicants must be entering their final year of undergraduate study and have a 3.0 GPA; applications are typically due in the spring.

The Father James B. Macelwane Annual Award in Meteorology: The purpose of this award is to stimulate interest in meteorology among college students through the submission of original student papers concerned with some phase of the atmospheric sciences. The student must be enrolled as an undergraduate at the time the paper is written. Applications for the $1,000 stipend are typically due in early June.

The June Bacon-Bercey Scholarship in Atmospheric Sciences for Women: This $1,000 scholarship is open to women who are first-year graduate students, undergraduate students that have been accepted into graduate school, or students at 2-year institutions that have been accepted into a bachelor's program. Beginning in 2022, eligible candidates must identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), or LGBTQ+, or as a person with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Recipients will also receive equipment (such as a laptop) and the opportunity for networking and mentorship with an AccuWeather employee appropriate for the recipient’s field and career direction. Applications will reopen in February 2022.

AMS Graduate Fellowships: This fellowship is offered to first year graduate students and comes with several benefits that include financial support,the opportunity to be special guests at the AMS Annual Meeting with exclusive events therein, and ongoing academic and career support from AMS. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA (on 4.0 scale).

AMS Graduate Fellowship in the History of Science: This fellowship is to support dissertation topics in the history of the atmospheric, or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences, and to foster close working relations between historians and scientists.The fellowship comes with a $20,000 stipend, and an effort will be made to place the student in a mentoring relationship. Applications typically due late spring.

Additional information on additional scholarships from the National Weather Association may be found here. At the time of this writing, the programs are closed and additional information is unavailable. Some of the programs will reopen this fall, while most will reopen in the spring.

Tips for students interested in meteorology

Introduce yourself to your teachers. Your professors want you to do well, and they have office hours for a reason. Take advantage of that time to review material from class, establish a relationship with them, and ask questions. Getting to know your professor and letting them get to know you will be beneficial for both of you. Remember that your professor is there to help you and wants the best for you!

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Become a student member of AMS or NWA. The American Meteorological Society (AMS) and National Weather Association (NWA) organizations both offer discounted memberships for students. These are great groups that offer many opportunities for learning and connecting with others in the atmospheric science community. While you're at it, take time to see if your school or local community has an AMS or NWA chapter. Join them and soak up all of the information.

Take courses outside of the curriculum. While calculus and physics courses are the fundamentals of the science, be sure to use your extra-curriculars to your advantage. For example, good writing and speaking skills are critical for almost everyone - regardless of what career path you choose! Whether you are planning to work as a broadcast meteorologist, for the National Weather Service, or for a private sector company, take a public speaking and/or communications course. Computer programming and GIS classes will also prove beneficial for someone in this field.

Take every opportunity. Whether you have known since you were a kid that you wanted to work as a broadcast meteorologist, or whether you are still trying to find your path, I encourage you to take every opportunity. Apply for internships in different sectors of the field. The hands-on experience will help you learn which sector best fits your personality and skill sets. Though some internships aren't available until you become an upper level student, don't let that discourage you! Look for other opportunities to volunteer or job-shadow, or look at jobs that might not directly be in the field, but are closely related (such as a tour guide at a science museum!)

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Be kind. This one requires no explanation. Treat others how you want to be treated. Treat professors and classmates and the janitor and strangers in the hallway with respect. It's often said that the field of meteorology is small; the actions you take in college will likely have an impact on your future career.

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