Change in the weather: Meteorology minor to be offered

Mark Twain said everyone talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it. That’s no longer true at the U.

A new minor in meteorology was approved at Monday afternoon’s Academic Senate meeting, along with new degrees in computing and audiology.

According to Kevin Perry, assistant professor and undergraduate adviser in the meteorology department, the new minor will mostly benefit students interested in broadcast meteorology.

Becoming a weather broadcaster requires students to take communication classes. This is often complicated by the difficulty of the meteorology major, he said.

Students either double-major in both fields, take classes in one while majoring in the other (which doesn’t show on transcripts) or create their own degree in broadcast meteorology.

Offering a minor in meteorology will simplify this process.

“We just did a revamping of our undergraduate curriculum, and this is something requested by students,” he said.

Other science majors may also be interested in the new minor. Perry said this move has the potential of attracting many new students to the department.

A new doctorate of audiology degree was also approved by the Senate.

It is a clinical doctorate, similar to degrees in pharmacy or optometry, said Lisa Hunter, associate professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders.

Audiologists help identify and treat deafness that cannot be medically treated, which includes most types of deafness, Hunter said.

Hunter expects the program to have eight students next year and the department plans to hire three new professors for the program.

“Audiology is a very exciting career field in terms of new technology,” she said.

An example is recently developed hearing aids for infants, she said.

In the School of Computing, a master of sciences and doctoral degrees in computing were also approved by the Senate.

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