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Monterey Peninsula College
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Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

College or University: Stony Brook University

Type of degree: B.S.

Brief overview of program: The major in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences has two tracks of study, one intended for students wishing to learn about the physical behavior of the atmosphere and its application to weather forecasting, and the other for students who wish to learn about physical phenonmena in the atmosphere and the ocean and their interactions. Students in the ocean track of the ATM degree receive a solid background in statistics, atmospheric science and physical oceanography and are therefore qualified for jobs in the private sector (eg. instrument companies) or for admission to graduate school. The Institute for Terrestrial and Planetery Atmospheres is located at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) on the South Campus of Stony Brook University. The Institute provides a comprehensive and flexible curriculum in these and other areas. We offer the only Bachelor's degree program in meteorology for the 2.8 million people on Long Island and for the whole metropolitan New York City area.

Website: Click here for program website

Tuition (2007):In State: $4350, Out of State: $10610

Number of students enrolled in 2007: 50

For the students that enter the workforce, what are the most common occupations that they pursue with this degree or certificate? Internships provide a valuable opportunity to test a student's interest in various career paths and to extend his or her knowledge with real-life experiences. Many students obtain internships at outside organizations such as the local National Weather Service offices and/or several of the local television stations (for students in the meteorology track). Students can be awarded academic credit for internship experiences, which sometimes provide a stipend. Internships have propelled several students into successful careers in TV weathercasting and forecasting for the National Weather Service and private weather companies. Other students have gone on to graduate school in atmospheric sciences or secured positions in local air qualilty/environmental consulting firms. Students also work in the software and computer industries because of their good computer and analytical skills learned from our major.

Description of Facilities: Through our Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres, students have access to the most up-to-date facilities for weather analysis, forecasting, and research. The Institute has a comprehensive system (developed by UNIDATA) for ingesting and displaying real-time data as Doppler radar, facsimile maps, lightning data, numerical weather prediction model output, satellite imagery, and surface and upper-air observations. Software used to access this data include McIdas (process satellite information), GEMPAK (interactive system for displaying meteorological data), and WXP (meteorological calculations and display.) Real-time data is also available from the Stony Brook weather station, and from the Stony Brook-Brookhaven National Laboratory polar orbiting satellite receiving station. We also have a map room for viewing weather data in print and electronic form. The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer ranks among the top ten fastest computers in the world. Stony Brook’s own Blue Gene—known as “New York Blue” and located at Brookhaven National Laboratory—is an incredible instrument that performs 100 trillion calculations per second. Faculty and students from our Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres use New York Blue for computer modeling of regional climate change.

Student Support: Stony Brook offers a wide variety of scholarships to new and continuing students, some of which are based on merit alone and others which take into account financial need. Each year a small number of incoming freshmen are offered a "Bright Light's" $20,000 scholarship ($5,000 for up to four years) to be used toward their educational expenses at Stony Brook. The amounts are sufficient to cover full tuition and some stipends. Honors College students receive a scholarship for either partial or full tuition for one to four years. All freshmen women accepted into the WISE (Women In Science and Engineering) program are offered a first year $2,000 scholarship applied toward tuition. RAIRE summer undergraduate research fellowships provide $1,500 stipends, plus on-campus room and board to Stony Brook undergraduates to enable them to do research under faculty supervision. All National Merit Scholar Finalists and Semi-Finalists who apply and are admitted to Stony Brook will be considered for a range of scholarship support based upon their high school record and SAT or ACT scores.

Program Point of Contact: Professor Brian Colle


Department: School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

Institution address: Stony Brook University
                             Stony Brook,NY 11794-5000

Phone: 641-632-8681


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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation.