Student Training for Observational Research in Meteorology Fund

Support Central Michigan University Annual Giving

Help us provide Meteorology students with valuable educational off-campus experiences.

What is STORM?

The CMU-STORM program was started by EAS faculty member Dr. Jason Keeler in 2019 to get Meteorology students out of the classroom and into the field, where they are trained on the use of cutting-edge meteorological equipment. STORM’s primary instrument is CMU’s Mobile Mesonet – an SUV outfitted with sensors to measure pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind, as the research team drives across the weather phenomena they are studying. In its first few years, students have gained experience studying lake breezes, thunderstorm initiation, and thunderstorm outflow airmasses, but we’re just getting started and your support can help us expand!

During STORM, students get to make connections that are not possible in the classroom, by experiencing the meteorological phenomena they are studying and applying their forecast training to determine the team’s daily sampling strategy. Unlike most educational summer programs, STORM team members are paid to participate in this learning experience, so students do not have to choose between an educational experience and income from a summer job.

How You Can Help Us Grow

In its first three years, STORM was supported by seed funds from the College of Science and Engineering. With those funds nearly depleted, we are seeking support so STORM can continue to help train the next generation of meteorologists. Operating costs (equipment, vehicle mileage, student pay and housing, and support for faculty time) are approximately $1.6K per day for fieldwork based near Mount Pleasant, and approximately $15K per week for nomadic fieldwork across the Midwest or Great Plains. Our ultimate goal is to run STORM for 1-2 weeks per year for nomadic fieldwork. A donation of $50 supports one hour of Mobile Mesonet operations, $100 pays one student for one day’s work, and $165 pays for the launch of one radiosonde (weather balloon). Any donation makes a difference in our students’ experience – thank you!