Tornados rarely threaten the residents of Vermont, but that doesn’t prevent Nolan Atkins from studying them. Armed with a grant from the National Science Foundation, the Meteorology professor uses a computer-based modeling approach along with analysis of weather observations collected by the National Weather Service. The goal of his research is a better understanding of — and an increased ability to forecast – the severe weather events that frequently result in loss of life and property around the country.
The NSF funding enables him to provide a few select students with an opportunity usually reserved for students at Ph.D.-granting institutions: the chance to work as a research assistant on a federal grant. For graduate school-bound students, especially, the experience is priceless.
Dr. Atkins’ real devotion, however, is to his students. He knew early on that he wanted to focus on undergraduate teaching, and he chose Lyndon for the academic integrity of the program.
“Offering a balance of theory and practice, and holding students accountable to high standards, is what makes our program stand out,” he says. “They can see the difference when they go out on an internship or get a job — they’re always better prepared than their colleagues from other institutions.”