The National Weather Service–North Carolina State University Internship Course: Impacts and Success over a Generation

Thomas A. Green Jr. NOAA/National Weather Service, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Daniel Leins NOAA/National Weather Service, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Gary M. Lackmann Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina

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James Morrow NOAA/National Weather Service, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Jonathan Blaes NOAA/National Weather Service, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Abstract

Nearly 100 North Carolina State University (NCSU) students have participated in a unique, highly structured internship course conducted by the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Raleigh, North Carolina. Here, we explore the impact that this course has had on their professional development and career trajectories. As of this writing, the course has been running for 17 years; this paper provides an update on how the course has changed over time, and information concerning participant outcomes. Changes include a reduction in class size to allow for more individualized mentoring, and the addition of experiences outside of the WFO. The course serves as a compelling selling point in student recruiting for the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS), and participation also helps to ensure that the curriculum is adequately preparing students for positions in the NWS. The NWS benefits from a pool of potential employees that will require less spin-up time if hired; additionally, some NCSU graduates have participated in similar student volunteer programs at their respective offices once hired.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Thomas A. Green Jr., tom.green@noaa.gov

Abstract

Nearly 100 North Carolina State University (NCSU) students have participated in a unique, highly structured internship course conducted by the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Raleigh, North Carolina. Here, we explore the impact that this course has had on their professional development and career trajectories. As of this writing, the course has been running for 17 years; this paper provides an update on how the course has changed over time, and information concerning participant outcomes. Changes include a reduction in class size to allow for more individualized mentoring, and the addition of experiences outside of the WFO. The course serves as a compelling selling point in student recruiting for the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS), and participation also helps to ensure that the curriculum is adequately preparing students for positions in the NWS. The NWS benefits from a pool of potential employees that will require less spin-up time if hired; additionally, some NCSU graduates have participated in similar student volunteer programs at their respective offices once hired.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Thomas A. Green Jr., tom.green@noaa.gov
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  • Brennan, M. J., K. Keeter, A. J. Riordan, and G. M. Lackmann, 2005: Expanding horizons with an NWS internship course. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 86, 14071409, https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477-86.10.1401.

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