The Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Meteorological Society/National Weather Association, also known as the Virginia Tech Meteorology Club, was named as the American Meteorological Society’s Outstanding Chapter of the Year for 2013-14.

Founded in fall 2011, the club was originally organized to spread the word about the new meteorology degree, which was first offered in 2012. It currently focuses on community outreach and career building for its members. “Public awareness is crucial when dealing with significant weather events, so any role that we can play in increasing awareness and educating the general public is a positive thing,” said Senior Instructor Dave Carroll, the chapter’s advisor.

The chapter hosted EPIC Storm Week, a weeklong community event at the Blacksburg Library. Members have made presentations at the Virginia Science Festival and judged meteorological entries at the Blue Ridge Regional Science Fair. They also participate in daily weather forecasts for the campus radio station and the Collegiate Times.

“I am extremely proud of this group of dedicated students,” said Bill Carstensen, head of the geography department, in which the meteorology program is based. “Our meteorology students are well-known for their outreach activities in the region and their passion for weather. A new program could not ask for better ambassadors.”

Guest speakers at chapter meetings have included National Weather Service forecasters, Virginia Emergency Management Office staffers, local television meteorologists, and a producer from The Weather Channel. “We also focus on networking within the meteorological community by attending national weather conferences around the country,” said master’s student Ashley Athey, the club’s graduate student representative.

Read the full press release.