Ohio University

US: Storm Chasing Experience

On This Page:

Country/Region

United States

Program Feature

Field Work

Program Term

Summer
Short-term

Program Type

OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

STEM

For more information contact:

Dr. Jana Houser
Program Director
houserj@ohio.edu

Kirsten Dabelko
Senior Program Coordinator
Office of Global Opportunities

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Storm clouds

Overview 

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. 

Highlights and Excursions 

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

Living Arrangements 

Students will be mobile and traveling from hotel to hotel. 

Program Dates 

Check back for updated program dates, coming soon.

Study Away and COVID-19  

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial and academic risk. Please click here to read information related to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Academics  

Students will be able to earn a total of 2 credit hours. 

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

Cost  

The program fee for this program includes: Student accommodations and transportation

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 2 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  

*Note: 

  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 

An itemized Student Budget Worksheet will be available when the next travel dates are announced.

Funding Opportunities

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages.

Eligibility and Requirements 

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 

This program accepts NON-OHIO students. For more information about this process visit the Non-OHIO student page.   

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

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