Dawn Kopacz, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Atmospheric Sciences

Dr. Kopacz joined the Atmospheric Sciences faculty in 2015 after earning her Ph.D. in Mathematics with a concentration in Atmospheric Science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM).  Her dissertation work investigated the predictability of Arctic sea ice near rapid transitions using observations and global climate models.  This included the development of a metric that could aide in forewarning of abrupt changes to sea ice, and a simplified sea ice model that could improve our understanding of the physical mechanisms driving abrupt climate change and help us find paths to model improvement.

During her time at UWM, Dr. Kopacz also worked as an operational meteorologist at UWM’s Innovative Weather where she learned about the diverse ways in which adverse weather affects consumers.  This lead to an interest in improving our ability to predict and communicate these risks to the public and private companies.

Dr. Kopacz has experience teaching Atmospheric Science and Mathematics courses at a large, public research university (UWM) as well as a small, student-centered college (Alverno College).  She has enjoyed becoming part of the Lyndon State College community which offers a blend of the best parts of each type of college setting.  The Atmospheric Science program here at Lyndon State College offers its students a high-quality, experience-based learning environment and exposes the students to innovative research.  At the same time, the small class sizes provide our students with a quality, hands-on learning experience, which ensures they will be successful in college and professionally.



B.S. – Atmospheric Sciences, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (2006)

M.S. – Mathematics (Atmospheric Science Concentration), University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (2009)

Ph.D. – Mathematics (Atmospheric Science Concentration), University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (2015)


Courses Taught

Elementary Oceanography, Survey of Meteorology I & II, Physical Meteorology, Mesoscale Meteorology, Remote Sensing


  • Operational meteorology
  • Global climate models
  • Signal detection
  • Arctic sea ice

Contact Info.