Students Launch Weather Balloons

As part of the new AES 692 Instrumentation course, student were able to launch a pair of weather balloons!




Amazing Storm

Dr. Adam French, Assistant Professor in Atmospheric and Environmental Science at SDSM&T, captured photos of the recent dust storm that caused a major accident on Interstate 90 near New Underwood, SD this past weekend.
Dr. French snapped the above photo of the shelf cloud that came through the area, bringing with it an unexpected dust storm that reduced visibility to near-zero and caused a major multi-vehicle accident on I-90 near New Underwood, SD. Photo below shows the huge dust cloud that formed and passed quickly across the highway.
(Photos copyrighted 2014 Dr. Adam French, SDSMT)


State Fire Meteorologist featured in Rapid City Journal after presenting his annual fire weather outlook. Find the story here: FIRES


Students in the News...

Trisha Gabbert,  MS student in the AES program, is the recipient of a $3,000 scholarship from the International Association of Wildland Fire Scholarship Program. The IAWF awards two graduate-level scholarships to MS or PhD students (one at each degree level) studying wildland fire or wildland fire-related topics. Student-submitted essays are evaluated by an international panel of fire science experts. The IAWF has been presenting this award annually to members of the fire science community since 2007. For more information about this award and past winners, please visit their website at http://www.iawfonline.org/scholarships.php. Congratulations on this award, Trisha!
Ryan Lueck (MS-AES'14), will begin work in June as a meteorologist intern with the National Weather Service in Aberdeen, SD.
Cody Moldan, current M.S. student in AES, has received word that he will begin a job with the National Weather Service in North Platte, NE in late July.



Alumnus Dan McKemy (MS-ATM'12) will be moving from his position as a meteorologist/programmer at the National Weather Center in Norman, OK to a position with the National Weather Service office here in Rapid City.

(Posted 5/29/2014)

Alumnus in the News

Dr. Bull Bennett (AES PhD '05) was a lead author on part of the Third National Climate Assessment recently released in Washington. Authors of the assessment convened before both houses of the U.S. Congress on May 7, 2014. For more information, please see the press release on the SDSM&T homepage: Mines Alumnus.

Dr. Bennett is currently president of Kiksapa Consulting, LLC.


(Posted 5/19/2014)

Congratulations, Graduates!

The Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences awarded six M.S. degrees and one BSIS-ATM degree at commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Those receiving their master's degree were Alana Ballweber, Aaron Carmichael, Ryan Lueck, Kenny Miller, Erin Walter, and Aaron Ward. Kelsey Kramer received her bacherlor's degree in interdisciplinary sciences with atmospheric sciences specialization. A post-graduation celebration was held at Dr. Detwiler's home, with many students, staff, and families attending. Can you pick out the honorees of the day?











(Posted 5/13/14)


Student wins award at Western S.D. Hydrology Conference

Julie McGeary, M.S. graduate student in AES, received a second place award in the student poster category at the Western South Dakota Hydrology conference on April 9, 2014. Julie's poster presentation was entitled "Impacts of D. geminata on Benthic Macro-invertebrate Abundance, Biomass and Secondary Production in Rapid Creek, S.D." Ms. McGeary is conducting her master's degree research work under the guidance of Dr. Lisa Kunza.

Julie McGeary in front of her poster

Traditions of Excellence Award

The Career Service Council at SDSM&T announced that Pam Cox, our Program Assistant in AES, was awarded the TEA award for March 2014. This award is given to an employee who has performed their duties at a high level or above and beyond expectations, who has taken the initiative to promote the concept of successful job completion, and has promoted a positive working relationship with students, faculty and staff. Congratulations, Pam!



Dr. Jeff Bauer, one of the country's leading writers and speakers on the future of health care, especially well-known over the past 40 years for his insights into the evolution of the medical marketplace, will give a special seminar at 3:00 p.m. in MI 320 on May 1. Although he has a Ph.D. in economics, his approach to futurism is based primarily on his original training in meteorology--including work as a research assistant in the atmospheric sciences department at SDSMT during Operation Hailswath back in the 1960s!

He is the author of Upgrading Leadership's Crystal Ball: Five Reasons Why Forecasting Must Replace Predicting and How to Make the Strategic Change in Business and Public Policy; his presentation in Rapid City on May 1 will cover key points in the book and relate them to his work at SDSMT.  He will also identify opportunities for meteorologists to apply their forecasting skills as strategists for business and government.

There will be a book-signing following his presentation.

(Posted 4/22/14)

SDSM&T Weather Club Elects New Officers

With graduation looming not so far into the future for current weather club officers, the Weather Club held an election for new officers to fill the soon-to-be vacated offices. New officers will be Cody Moldan, president; Jorel Torres, vice-president; Connor Nelson, treasurer; and Jacey Wipf, secretary.

(Posted 3/12/2014)


October 2013 Blizzard Panel Discussion

On April 8, the SDSM&T Weather Club and the Black Hills Chapter of the American Meteorological Society hosted a panel discussion about the epic snowstorm of October 4, 2013. Participating as panel members were Dustin Willet, of Pennington County Emergency Management; Katie Pojorlie and Dave Barber, of the National Weather Service; Glynda Rahn, from Black Hills Power; Justin Fanfarilli, meteorologist at KOTA TV; Silvia Christen, of the S.D. Stockgrowers Association, and Dr. Adam Wiechmann, S.D. staff veterinarian. A silent auction was held to benefit the Rancher Relief Fund, with $300 raised for the fund. Students collected items for the auction from WaTiki Water Park, Eileen's Colossal Cookies, Reptile Gardens, Runnings, SDSMT Bookstore, Scheel's, Starbucks, Great Harvest Bread Company, Rushmore Honda, Tractor Supply, Chili's, Family Thrift Center, and Carmike Cinemas.






Several members of the media were present, and discussion continued with the panel members after the program concluded.
(Posted 4/9/2014)
An Active Group of Students

In addition to organizing the panel discussion about the historic October 2013 blizzard held on campus April 8, 2014, the SDSM&T Weather Association members have also volunteered at Central High School and North Middle School.

Erin Walter, Alana Ballweber, and Jacey Wipf taught students at Central High School about lightning and hail. Connor Nelson, Jorel Torres, Alana Ballweber, Jacey Wipf, and Brianne Gerber served as volunteer judges at the North Middle School Science Fair.
Students Attend Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference in March
Alana Ballweber and Kenneth Miller attended the 18th Annual Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference in Ankeny, Iowa, March 27-29. The conference was sponsored by the Central Iowa Chapter of the National Weather Association. Alana's presentation at the conference was "A Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Triggered Upward Lightning", on research work she is conducting for a project by Dr. John Helsdon and Mr. Tom Warner. Kenny presented "The Evolution from Squall Lines to Isolated Supercells," his research work under the direction of Dr. Adam French. Alana Ballweber received the first annual "Tim Samaras Award for Best Student Presentation" from Chris Karsten for her oral presentation on research on upward lighting. Alana received a $200 cash award. The oral presentations were evaluated on the importance and potential impact of the research they convey, their visual appearance, design, and level of understanding conveyed in the presentation slides.



(Posted 4/9/2014)