5/21 Regular BOT Meeting Post 4

Professor Paul Sirvatka reports on the Storm Chasing Meterology program at COD.

We are the most comprehensive community college meterology department in the United States.. We are the only program that has a full-time faculty member.  We now have two full-time faculty members.

Professor Sirvatka discusses the courses offered in the Meteorolgy Department .

The program has a profession al website which is famous nationally and internationally.

We have our storm-chasing program. The first college in the country — now there are 30 to 40 in the country — but we started this program 27 years ago.

We have a new certificate, first of its kind in the nation on managing severe weather — courses such as climate change and emergency management.

52,000 users of the NEXLAB weather site.  A lot of traffic on the COD meteorology webpages — data that is freely accessible and a go-to website for professional meterologists.

Professor Sirvatka shows a FOX news program on the COD Meteorology Storm-Chasing program, with Tammy Souza, meteorolgist of the FOX news program.

Professor Sirvatka shows slides of COD students on the road in the college storm-chasing vehicles.

We have seen what quality does when our goal was to make students more prepared than any student who starts as a junior at another college. We already have three graduates who have PHDs. Other graduates working in the field in other places. Emergency management. COD has invested in our program and that is why it has succeeded. You can expect great things from our faculty and I am proud to be here. I have lived in Glen Ellyn all my life and I love this place.

Trustee McGuire– how safe is all of this? Have there been accidents along the way?

Sirvatka: We have had minor injuries, like hitting deer. Traffic, hail, Our goal is to get close and to observe. The storm chaser not from COD who was killed a few years ago had a different purpose.

Our vans are a mobile classroom. We have two vans. They are in radio contact with each other.

Trustee Napolitano — What professions for your graduates seek?

Sirvatka — We are aiming for a user-based program. We are talking about emergency management. Our people go into fire, police. We are reaching out to the hospitaliaty program to work on large-event preparedness. We also have computers  and programming. Meteorology is a great field that has a lot of connections with other fields.

Trustee Mazzochi — are you observing or collecting data?

Sirvatka — This year we are actually putting up weather ballons that offer data to the weather station in Norman Oklahoma. The data is available to anybody who can use it.