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Ohio University student earns nationally competitive NOAA Hollings Scholarship

ATHENS, Ohio (May 19, 2006) -- Ohio University student Nick Engerer has been selected as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Scholar. Engerer, a sophomore geography-meteorology major, will receive $16,000 tuition support over the next two years, as well as a paid ten-week internship in the field of meteorology during the summer between his junior and senior years.

Nick Engerer photo by Rick FaticaMeterology caught Engerer's attention at a young age. He recalls being asked as a child what windows in houses are for. His response: "To tell what the weather is outside."

"I always knew I wanted to do something in science, and I always liked weather best," Engerer said. "I chose Ohio University for the meteorology major."

Engerer, who minors in mathematics and physics, has a reputation for making his own opportunities. Although meteorology majors typically begin meteorology classes their third year, Engerer already has broadcast experience in only his sophomore year and has worked his way into a senior-level storm-tracking course. He has worked as a weather anchor for both PACE and WOUB, and will serve as weather coordinator with WOUB for next year. He is also an active member of the American Meteorological Society, the National Weather Association and the Ohio University Meteorological Club, of which he was recently elected vice president.

"The fact that Nick's always wanted to be a meteorologist comes out in his enthusiasm," said Dorothy Sack, professor of geography, who taught Engerer's physical geography course during his first quarter at Ohio University. "He would sit in such rapt attention and ask such great questions. It was obvious that the subject was very special for him."

The NOAA Hollings award is designed to promote understanding of oceanic and atmospheric research and technology, foster multidisciplinary training opportunities and prepare promising young scholars for careers in oceanic and atmospheric sciences. 

Engerer hopes to continue his education within the field of meteorology, and aspires to work with the National Weather Service or as a broadcast meteorologist. 

"What I really want to do is severe storm research," Engerer said. "I would love to chase tornadoes; that's always been a life dream of mine."

In the meantime, Engerer has found his niche at Ohio University. 

"In general we have a lot of students here who are excited about the weather," Sack says. "Ohio University students who take the meteorology track seem to have a level of passion for the field that sets them apart. Nick is a nice representative of all our students in that way."

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Media Contact: Assistant Director of the Center for International Studies Elizabeth Clodfelter, (740) 593-2302 or clodfele@ohio.edu, or Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark, (740) 597-2938 or starkj@ohio.edu

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