Feb. 10, 2017 – While many people spend their summers in the sun and sand, Tim Greene of Princeton, Massachusetts (’16 B.A. meteorology), was more than happy to spend his summer in conditions of snow, ice, and winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. He completed an internship at New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Observatory. Located at 6,288 feet above sea level, the site is famous for extreme weather conditions. Scientists have been recording hourly weather observations there since 1932.
Greene was tasked with testing instruments to determine whether they were an efficient choice to use with Mount Washington’s databases. “I helped determine a range of temperatures in which we could rely on these instruments and helped develop equations to calculate when wind speed and temperature were such that we might need to consider switching to another instrument,” he explained.
Advanced Instructor Dave Carroll added, “Your chances of being struck by lightning are probably greater than getting this internship, but Tim had experience that typical undergrads don’t get,” citing Virginia Tech’s cutting-edge meteorology program as the platform for Greene’s success.
Greene had the chance to work with Carroll at Bald Knob near Virginia’s Mountain Lake, where a team installed a weather station last February — one of six planned for high-altitude points around the region. Greene cited this experience as being especially useful in preparing him for his work on Mount Washington. All of that practical field experience paid off. Now working on his master’s in geography, Greene hopes to continue a working relationship with the Mount Washington Observatory as part of his master’s thesis and has plans to visit the site this winter.
“I grew up with Mount Washington on the horizon, and I heard stories about the extreme weather up there. It was an amazing experience to actually work there,” Greene added. “Virginia Tech allowed me to hit the ground running, and I could apply all the concepts I learned in undergrad to my work.”