My time at Wyoming was short but was extremely eye opening in both personal and in professional ways. During my time at the university I took a full graduate class load (obtaining a 3.17 GPA) and was selected to take part in the RICO (Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean) field campaign. In addition to the education, I also got to experience life in a completely different part of the country and enjoy the many natural wonders the Mountain West offers.
My education at the University of Wyoming was world class and very complete. I was taught by scientists who were some of the best in their field. Throughout my tenure at Wyoming my grades remained above a “B” average in the graduate level classes listed below.
Physical Meteorology 1 & 2 (with lab)
Atmospheric Dynamics 1
Synoptic Meteorology (with lab)
Cloud and Precipitation Systems
Remote Sensing (with lab)
In Addition to the class load, I assisted in bringing the AMS back to Wyoming. I, along with a group of graduate students, restarted a local chapter of the American Meteorological Society. I aided in creating a website as well as leading fundraising efforts. The fundraising allowed a group of 6 students to attend the annual AMS meeting in Atlanta Ga. for a minimal cost. I was elected as Vice President of the Wyoming Chapter of the AMS.
As previously mentioned, I was fortunate enough to participate in the RICO field campaign with a number of institutions and instrumentation. During the field campaign, lifelong friendships were made with other graduate students who also participated in the project. Although the field project involved a great deal of work, it was always made worth it when you realize that I had an all expenses paid trip to the island of Antigua.
During the campaign, the group of graduate students was tasked with planning and executing a day of data collection. Our group was to use every piece of instrumentation including, but not limited to, a C-130 aircraft, research vessel, S-POL radar, satellite, and most importantly for me, the Wyoming King Air aircraft. I was seated in the cockpit and through communications with the students based in both the radar station and in the C-130 aircraft successfully completed the mission.
Taking place in the planning and execution of the mission was the most eye opening experience of the entire trip. Finding compromises within the team so we could collect data that interested everyone on the mission was an exercise in patience and politics. During the mission, communication became EXTREMELY important. Putting all instrumentation on the same page was difficult but was successful because of the teamwork and preparation that each member put into the mission.
Although much of my time was spent doing research and studying, I had to experience the wonders of the west. All work and no play make Dennis a dull boy. From Yellowstone to Rocky Mountain National Park to the Badlands, I made sure to take the time to see them all. Growing up on the east coast, I never experienced true mountains before but that was remedied quickly living in Wyoming. It is an amazing area of the country that I fully hope you all get to experience someday; it is well worth the trip.
Important Traits Learned/Refined
Remaining motivated while working independently
Communication while working with a group
Working with Model Data
IDL computer scripting
Weather Radar characteristics
How to handle travel stress