Institute of Atmospheric Sciences at SDSMT

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   Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences  

at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Rapid City, South Dakota

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Current Weather Conditions at SDSM&T 


The study of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at SDSM&T is a well-linked effort between a staff of accomplished research scientists and a group of degree-seeking students at the Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD levels. Please browse through our website by checking out the links above for more information about the research and academics of our department. Check out the links that follow to other websites regarding weather, climate and research, as well as to publications by our scientists and our outreach activities.


Student wins award at Western S.D. Hydrology Conference

Julie McGeary, M.S. graduate student in AES, received a second place award in the student poster category at the Western South Dakota Hydrology conference on April 9, 2014. Julie's poster presentation was entitled "Impacts of D. geminata on Benthic Macro-invertebrate Abundance, Biomass and Secondary Production in Rapid Creek, S.D." Ms. McGeary is conducting her master's degree research work under the guidance of Dr. Lisa Kunza.

Julie McGeary in front of her poster

Traditions of Excellence Award

The Career Service Council at SDSM&T announced that Pam Cox, our Program Assistant in AES, was awarded the TEA award for March 2014. This award is given to an employee who has performed their duties at a high level or above and beyond expectations, who has taken the initiative to promote the concept of successful job completion, and has promoted a positive working relationship with students, faculty and staff. Congratulations, Pam!

Check us out on YouTube!

Darren Clabo, state fire meteorologist and instructor at SDSM&T, gave his annual fire outlook on Thursday, April 3rd. Check out the Rapid City Journal for the story: FIRES

Weather Links

Atmospheric Science Outreach

Research Links


October 2013 Blizzard Panel Discussion

On April 8, the SDSM&T Weather Club and the Black Hills Chapter of the American Meteorological Society hosted a panel discussion about the epic snowstorm of October 4, 2013. Participating as panel members were Dustin Willet, of Pennington County Emergency Management; Katie Pojorlie and Dave Barber, of the National Weather Service; Glynda Rahn, from Black Hills Power; Justin Fanfarilli, meteorologist at KOTA TV; Silvia Christen, of the S.D. Stockgrowers Association, and Dr. Adam Wiechmann, S.D. staff veterinarian. A silent auction was held to benefit the Rancher Relief Fund, with $300 raised for the fund. Students collected items for the auction from WaTiki Water Park, Eileen's Colossal Cookies, Reptile Gardens, Runnings, SDSMT Bookstore, Scheel's, Starbucks, Great Harvest Bread Company, Rushmore Honda, Tractor Supply, Chili's, Family Thrift Center, and Carmike Cinemas.






Several members of the media were present, and discussion continued with the panel members after the program concluded.

(Posted 4/9/2014)

An Active Group of Students

In addition to organizing the panel discussion about the historic October 2013 blizzard held on campus April 8, 2014, the SDSM&T Weather Association members have also volunteered at Central High School and North Middle School.

Erin Walter, Alana Ballweber, and Jacey Wipf taught students at Central High School about lightning and hail. Connor Nelson, Jorel Torres, Alana Ballweber, Jacey Wipf, and Brianne Gerber served as volunteer judges at the North Middle School Science Fair.
Students Attend Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference in March
Alana Ballweber and Kenneth Miller attended the 18th Annual Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference in Ankeny, Iowa, March 27-29. The conference was sponsored by the Central Iowa Chapter of the National Weather Association. Alana's presentation at the conference was "A Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Triggered Upward Lightning", on research work she is conducting for a project by Dr. John Helsdon and Mr. Tom Warner. Kenny presented "The Evolution from Squall Lines to Isolated Supercells," his research work under the direction of Dr. Adam French. Alana Ballweber received the first annual "Tim Samaras Award for Best Student Presentation" from Chris Karsten for her oral presentation on research on upward lighting. Alana received a $200 cash award. The oral presentations were evaluated on the importance and potential impact of the research they convey, their visual appearance, design, and level of understanding conveyed in the presentation slides.



(Posted 4/9/2014)

Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology 501 East Saint Joseph Street Rapid City, SD 57701

Office: (605) 394-2291 Fax: (605) 394-6061

   (Page updated 4/9/2014)