Dr. Melissa A. Burt, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
After receiving my B.S. in Meteorology in 2005 from Millersville University, I started my graduate work in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU). In 2008, I completed my M.S. degree and accepted a position at CSU with the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center, CMMAP, the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, as the Education and Diversity Manager.
As of August 2018, I am the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering. I lead the strategic planning and implementation efforts for diversity, inclusion and equity goals across the College, and has an active role in university-wide diversity and inclusion initiatives. In the Department of Atmospheric Science, I will continue to serve as the Director for the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program and support other diversity and inclusion efforts, including support of student recruiting.
Outside of CSU, I am the Vice-President for the non-profit organization, the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN). ESWN is an international peer-mentoring network of women in the Earth Sciences, many of whom are in the early stages of their careers. Our mission is to promote career development, build community, provide opportunities for informal mentoring and support and facilitate professional collaborations. Read more >>
Frank Coons - USAF Aerial Reconnaissance Weather Observer
Frank Coons studied meteorology (before it was a formal program) and wrestled when Millersville University was a State Teachers College. Upon graduation, Frank went to UCLA for the U.S. Air Force program to educate individuals to serve as Detachment Weather Officers who would forecast for USAF bases and brief pilots heading to overseas missions. After a several years, Frank became an Aerial Reconnaissance Weather Observer, flying over 4000 hours in a WB-50 sampling atmospheric conditions. After the WB-50 was retired, Frank provided weather support for refueling tanker operations. After a year of graduate studies at Penn State, Frank joins the Air Weather Service Headquarters where he worked on fog dispersal. He left the USAF in 1972 and joined the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Systems Research and Development Service where he worked on warm fog dispersal techniques, low-level wind shear detection. “Those were exciting times and I am proud to say I was part of them,” says Frank. Now approaching 90, he is still trying to support further improvements as demonstrated by his generous donation. Frank’s gift will go toward improving the electronic weather map wall used each day by scores of students, and to purchase a weather sensor used for remote field deployment. Thank you Frank!
Scott Jacobs - NOAA/NWS/NCEP/NCO
After graduating from MU in June 1988, I attended graduate school at SUNY Albany. I received my MS in Atmospheric Science, with an emphasis on atmospheric electricity, in May 1992. Meanwhile, I had started working at NASA Goddard writing software for the GEMPAK system. After 8 months at NASA, I moved to the National Weather Service to continue working on GEMPAK and adapting it for operational use by the forecasters. I worked on creating NMAP2 and writing code for data decoders and displays of different data types, including imagery. In 2003, I became the software architect for the NAWIPS/GEMPAK software package. I spent over 10 years as the architect for GEMPAK and began the transition of GEMPAK functionality to the AWIPS system. Most recently, I have been leading a team of systems analysts who work on operationalizing various NOAA applications. The applications run in a virtual environment and are monitored 24x7 by the team.
Dr. Jose Fuentes - Professor of Meteorology at Penn State
Millersville University alumnus (Meteorology 1984), Jose D. Fuentes, is the recipient of the 2015 Charles E. Anderson Award granted by the American Meteorological Society “for his outstanding contributions to the promotion of diversity in the atmospheric and environmental sciences through education, research and community service.” Fuentes is a Professor in the Department of Meteorology at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his doctoral degree in micrometeorology from the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 1992. Throughout his professional career, besides being a stellar researcher who has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and a stellar educator who has received state-wide awards for his teaching effectiveness, Fuentes has made unparalleled contributions to the promotion of diversity in the atmospheric and environmental sciences. His research portfolio is broad but principally includes the understanding of the processes controlling the emissions, atmospheric transport, and chemistry of reactive gases produced by the biosphere. He is leading research projects to investigate the kinetics of the scents that flowers release to attract insect pollinators. The generated information is included in numerical models to determine whether ambient levels of air pollution perniciously impact pollination of crops.
Dr. John Yorks - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
I received my undergraduate degree in Meteorology from Millersville University in 2006. I spent the next year and a half working towards my Masters degree in Meteorology at Penn State University, where I analyzed ozone sonde data working with Anne Thompson. In 2008, I began work at SSAI and NASA GSFC as a research scientist for the Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL) and Airborne Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (ACATS) Doppler wind lidar. I have spent the last six years working with Dr. Matt McGill on various science applications of these lidar systems, such as developing processing algorithms for ACATS and CPL, as well as collecting airborne lidar data at field campaigns. In 2014, I received my PhD in Atmospheric Science from the University of Maryland. Currently, I am the Science Lead for the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) to be launch as a payload on the International Space Station (ISS) in December 2014. In this role, I am tasked with managing the algorithm development, quality of data products, and science outreach of the CATS instrument.
John Jensenius - National Weather Service
In 1974, John Jensenius was awarded Millersville University’s first BA degree in Earth Science/Meteorology. He also received the Earth Science Award for Academic Excellence and the Faculty-Student Athletic Committee Award. After Millersville, John earned an MS degree in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University. John then began his professional career teaching meteorology and climatology at the State University of New York at Oneonta. From 1977 through 1994, John worked for the National Weather Service's (NWS) Techniques Development Laboratory (TDL) (now Meteorological Development Laboratory), first as a research meteorologist and later as Chief of the Computer System Section of the Synoptic-Scale Techniques Branch. While at TDL, John was responsible for developing and disseminating statistical forecast products used by meteorologists nationwide and was awarded the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award for his work in statistical weather prediction. In addition to his normal job responsibilities at TDL, John was instrumental in initiating an effort to get forecast sounding data to field offices (which eventually led to the BUFKIT software). Since 1995, John has served as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS office in Gray, Maine. In the mid 90s, he initiated efforts to include computer coding in segmented watch, warning and advisory products which now allows them to be more easily processed, disseminated, and displayed by various computer and display systems. Since 2001, in addition to his duties at the NWS office in Gray, John has been NOAA's specialist on lightning safety, and serves as a national spokesperson for the NWS on issues related to lightning and lightning safety. He has developed educational material on lightning, tracks and documents lightning fatalities nationwide, is frequently interviewed by national media, and has appeared on national shows and documentaries on lightning and lightning safety. For his work in lightning safety, John was honored with the 2005 National Weather Association's Public Education Award and has received the Department of Commerce Silver Medal.