University of Oklahoma

THE university OF Oklahoma (OU), located in Norman, was founded in 1890. The university confers bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degrees in a variety of academic and professional disciplines. The university is home to the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, containing the School of Meteorology and the Department of Geography.

The School of Meteorology will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in 2010. The school is housed in the National Weather Center building, which also is home to 12 academic, research, and operational meteorology organizations. With over 320 undergraduate and 80 graduate students, OU has the largest meteorology program in the United States, and the department offers a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology degree or a Professional Meteorology master's degree. Undergraduate students also have the opportunity to participate in an international exchange program featuring the universities of Reading in England, Monash in Australia, and Hamburg in Germany.

The School of Meteorology performs shared research with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Severe Storms Laboratory and participates in a variety of national projects. In February 2008, the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma, hosts the first U.S.-China Symposium on Meteorology: Mesoscale Meteorology and Data Assimilation.

The Department of Geography provides for the study of human interactions with climate, earth structures, and natural resources and the effect these interactions have on human culture. The department offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Faculty expertise includes cultural, historical, political, and economic geography; applied physical geography; and geographic information science. Research is conducted in climatology, natural resources, human effects on the planet, and cartography.

In addition to academics, the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences hosts several research centers. The Center for the Analysis and Prediction of Storms includes the Center for Collaborative, Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere and the Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery. The mission of the center is the development of techniques to predict severe weather conditions using on-site and remote sensing systems.

The Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies was established in 1978 between OU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition to linking scientific expertise from academia, the center has collaborative relationships with all the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration units in Norman. Research programs include basic and convective mesoscale research, climate change monitoring and detection, and climatic effects. Additional research involves improving technology for the prediction of weather events.

Under legislative mandate, the Oklahoma Climato-logical Survey (OCS) was established in 1980 to collect, analyze, interpret, and provide information on climate and weather data to residents of Oklahoma. The OCS conducts research on climate change effects and provides data and support to the state climatologist.

Under joint administration by OU and Oklahoma State University, the Oklahoma Mesonet monitors weather and soil conditions at over 100 automated observing stations.

The Center for Spatial Analysis brings together various academic disciplines to study and apply geo-spatial science and technology.

Focused on strengthening the research of environmental scientists and facilitating relationships between the scientific community and the public, the Environmental Verification and Analysis Center participates in earth science work.

A network opportunity for teachers of geography, the Oklahoma Alliance for Geographical Education relies on affiliation with the National Geographic Society along with its associated state geographic alliances, as well as geography organizations from around the country.

The opportunity for Oklahomans to learn about and support NASA's mission research programs, including science and geography, along with other academic disciplines falls under the auspices of the Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium. The consortium includes partnerships with Oklahoma universities, a science museum, a cooperative extension service, state and local governments, and other interested institutions.

Beyond academics and research, the president of the University of Oklahoma joined other college presidents and chancellors around the United States to take a community leadership role and to model ways to minimize global warming emissions and integrate sustainability within the curriculum and university operations and environment, with membership in the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

sEE ALsO: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); University of Reading.

bibliography. School of Meteorology, "Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies," Meteorogram (Spring 2007); University of Oklahoma, Department of Geography, http://www.geography.ou.edu; University of Oklahoma, School of Meteorology, http://www.weather. ou.edu.

Lyn Michaud Independent Scholar

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