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2 WKU meteorology students receive regional, national awards

Two students from the Meteorology Program within WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology have received competitive awards with regional and national recognition.

Ryan Difani, a senior from Pocahontas, Ark., is the 2012-2013 recipient of the Memphis, Tenn., chapter of the American Meteorological Society/National Weather Association scholarship. The scholarship is awarded on an annual basis to a student who lives roughly a 100-mile radius around the city of Memphis, is pursuing postsecondary education toward a degree in meteorology and/or atmospheric sciences in the 2012-2013 school year and will be taking multiple classes towards that degree during that academic year.

Kyle Mattingly, a 2012 graduate from Owensboro, is the recipient of the 2012 National Weather Association Meteorological Satellite Applications Award. For this award, students are required to submit original research that involves any meteorological application of satellite remote sensing. Mattingly submitted a paper that stems from collaborative research efforts with Dr. Josh Durkee and his undergraduate Honors Thesis titled, “Large, long-lived convective systems over subtropical South America and their relationships with atmospheric teleconnections.” Mattingly, who has accepted a graduate assistantship at the University of Georgia this fall, has been invited to accept his award and present his research findings at the annual meeting of the National Weather Association in Madison, Wis., in October.

“These awards are continued evidence of the high-quality Meteorology Program Western Kentucky University has to offer,” said Dr. Durkee, assistant professor. “The WKU Meteorology Program has a successful track of producing highly skillful and competitive students who present research at professional conferences around the country, publish research in peer-reviewed journals, and win multiple research and other relevant awards for excellence. Once you add in the awarded recognition for the annual field course in severe storms forecasting, WKU meteorology students have an incredible degree of experience under their belts. I am glad to see our students rewarded for their hard-earned efforts.”

Contact: Josh Durkee, (270) 745-8777.

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