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Feature

The forecast is clear and sunny for UAlbany's new major: Broadcast Meteorology

Mike Landin
  Mike Landin

People the world over are fascinated with the weather and increasingly expect and rely on constant up-to-the-minute weather forecasts. To meet these expectations, today’s weather broadcasters need to be sophisticated, professional meteorologists, with both technical forecasting skills and on-air presence to communicate effectively on the television news and the increasingly popular weather programming.

UAlbany’s highly respected Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences offers a new major in Broadcast Meteorology that offers students a rigorous academic preparation for this more commercial approach to weather forecasting. According to UAlbany faculty member and broadcast meteorologist, Mike Landin, the major is intended for students “desiring a media-oriented meteorology career in TV or radio broadcasting, rather than the more typical behind-the-scenes weather forecasting position.”

Mike Landin, Rich Ossiboff and Jerry Manziello
  Mike Landin with Rich Ossiboff and Jerry Manziello
 

The 60-credit interdisciplinary program leads to a bachelor of arts degree. It requires a full year of physics and the equivalent of Calculus I, as well as courses in Acting, Voice and Speech Composition and Presentation. “We’ve been assured by several news directors that this combination of a comfortable and likable TV personality, coupled with real meteorological knowledge and skill as a weather forecaster, is a truly formidable academic package,” says Landin.

Students are also introduced to computer graphics software in the geography, cartography, and Geographic Information Systems courses. Graduates of this program will have the right skills set to be successful in many positions. Aside from the obvious career path in media, this degree is highly suitable for a career in commercial meteorology, in which private companies provide weather data and forecast services to paying clients.

Since he was very young, Rich Ossiboff, a UAlbany senior from Bridgeton, NJ, alwaysJerry Manziello and Rich Ossiboff wanted to study weather. “The weather fascinates me because it is uncontrollable – I like that it is mysterious and ever changing,” he said. Ossiboff has especially enjoyed the hands-on classes like “Weather Forecasting” (ATM 211) where he learned to forecast and map out weather patterns. After graduation he looks forward to “working for a broadcast network -- wherever…hopefully, someday on the national level.”

Like Ossiboff, Jerry Manziello wants to gather broadcasting experience by working at a radio or TV station. “I’ve been fascinated by weather as long as I can remember,” says the senior from Dix Hills, Long Island. “With the skills and information I’ve learned at UAlbany, there’s no reason why The Weather Channel isn’t in my reach.”

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