Ohio University

skip to main content

USA: Storm Chasing Experience




This program is an Out of Classroom experience which will expose junior and senior level meteorology majors and minors to a real-life storm-chasing experience.  After completing a seminar focusing on supercell thunderstorm and tornado structure, evolution, formation, and environments, or a class in mesoscale meteorology, the students will have the opportunity to participate in a one-week field trip to the Central Plains of the U.S. where they will forecast and target locations where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur.  Students will apply the knowledge they have acquired in a classroom setting to real-life scenarios as they predict the anticipated location of potentially tornadic supercell thunderstorms, and observe these storms.

Students will learn the routine of storm chasing including participating in and leading morning weather briefings, determining daily chase target locations, monitoring changing weather conditions throughout the day ('Nowcasting"), navigating road networks and travel logistics, and hopefully seeing severe weather as it is occurring. The group will be equipped with state-of-the-art mapping, navigation, and weather display software to ensure the most complete situational awareness that is possible. The project will be facilitated by Dr. Jana Houser, who spent 10 years storm chasing in the Great Plains during her time at Penn State University and the University of Oklahoma.

Program dates 

Summer 2019:
This program will run 9 days within this two-week window: May 6 to May 22, 2019.

Excursions and Highlights

Students will take a tour of the National Weather Center if the group ends up near Norman OK. 

Eligibility and selection process

This program is open to with Junior, Senior or Graduate student status with a major or minor in meteorology.  Additionally, students will be asked to complete an essay during the application process stating why they want to participate in this project and how it might benefit them in the future.  Students writing winning essays will be granted admission to the experience. Students' grades in the seminar and/or mesoscale class will also be taken into consideration.

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy.

Applicants must be matriculated OHIO students. Non-OHIO applicants must have successfully completed high school or its equivalent.

Living Arrangements

Students will be mobile and traveling from hotel to hotel.

Courses & Credits 

GEOG 4930: Special Topics (Geography): 2 credit hours.


Summer 2019 Undergraduate Student Budget Worksheet

Non-resident surcharge waived for this program.

Requesting accommodation for disabilities

If you plan to participate in an Ohio University-sponsored study abroad program and wish to request accommodation, you should contact the  Office of Student Accessibility Services  to schedule an appointment to complete a  Global Opportunities Disability Accommodation Request Form. We recommend you do this as early as possible to allow sufficient time to determine what accommodations may be made for this program.

For more information contact:

Dr. Jana Houser
Program Director

Kirsten Dabelko
Senior Program Coordinator
Office of Global Opportunities








Section Menu