“This is actually the only meteorology concentration in the entire state,” said Dr. Christopher Karmosky, professor in the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences, and Natural Resources.
Karmosky teaches courses in the relatively new meteorology concentration at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The concentration was created in 2010 and remains the only one of its kind in Tennessee.
Originally from Eastern Maryland, Karmosky obtained his Ph.D from Penn State in the summer of 2012 and joined the faculty at UT Martin shortly after.
“I wanted to be at a school that was smaller, that focused on teaching and the meteorology concentration is still really new here. So I was excited to have the opportunity to get in close to the ground level,” Karmosky said of his decision to come to UT Martin.
He went on to say that his interest in meteorology and the weather has existed since childhood.
“One of my earliest memories is being six years old and writing out a weather forecast for my family … I’ve been excited about weather ever since,” he said.
Meteorology students will graduate with a geosciences major with a concentration in meteorology, and then have the choice between a climatology tract that focuses on statistics or theoretical tract that focuses on the physics of the atmosphere. Students begin with courses such as principles of meteorology along with several geography courses, but will also take Karmosky’s severe weather course and meteorological instrumentation course.
“In severe weather, we actually take one week and each week focus on a different phenomenon. So one week we focused on hurricanes, the next we focused on tornadoes, severe thunderstorms,” he said. “In the instruments class we took a look at different ways to measure temperature and the different instruments used to measure temperature.”
UT Martin also boasts it’s own instrumentation as the campus has its own weather station for students to learn and work with.
“It’s pretty cool,” Karmosky said, explaining that the station measures the on-campus temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, air pressure and precipitation, and updates every ten minutes to its own website, www.tnmesonet.org.
Students in the concentration also have access to computer software that processes satellite imagery and weather data, as well as remote sensing software, and Karomosky added that they will be as prepared as any student in the country for going to graduate school.
“We’ve had students intern with the National Weather Service and different T.V. stations in Nashville, Paducah and Memphis. Because we also have a strong geographic component, students will have the opportunity to get involved in careers with emergency management,” he said.
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