Editor's note: The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the American Meteorological Society sponsored this study, the body of which was published in June 1991 (Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 72, 815–832). Following is the executive summary to the study, written by Dennis Thomson, professor of meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University. (Copies of the complete study with its supporting documents, consisting of a statement from university heads and chairs, a survey on university educational programs and facilities, universities known to have responded to the Survey on Instrumentation and Observation, lists of persons interviewed by the committee, and a minimal set of basic instruments for a meteorology laboratory, may be obtained by writing to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.