She Built Skills in an Ultimate Weather Forecasting Project
As an atmospheric sciences student on the Lyndon campus, Madison Rodgers ’19 already has had one of the ultimate experiences in weather forecasting — providing accurate information for people in a potentially life-or-death situation.
She and other students had the rare chance to forecast from campus for a Mount Everest expedition one spring with atmospheric sciences department chair Jay Shafer. “Every day, we put up the forecast early in the morning to help the hikers have a successful trip,” said Madison of Seekonk, Massachusetts.
“The most exciting thing was that at the end, no one had died. We were able to give a valuable forecast to them every day,” she said. “You have to make sure you’re giving the best forecast because someone’s life is in your hands. It keeps you on your toes.”
Real-World Experience at Campus TV Station
Working as a meteorologist for News7, the Emmy award-winning, student-run campus TV station, keeps Madison on her toes, too.
“You have to be able to think on your feet and have a solid understanding of what’s going on to give the viewers the best information,” said Madison, who is pursuing concentrations in broadcasting and private industry. With live broadcasts five evenings a week, “The broadcasting experience you get here is 10 times better than other places,” she said. “You get in-studio experience you can’t find anywhere else. It’s very hands-on.”
She has built career skills with other hands-on opportunities, including a paid position forecasting for the Vermont Agency of Transportation during the winter.
Northeastern Storm Conference Provides Networking Opportunities
Being involved with the Lyndon campus chapter of the American Meteorological Society has been valuable, too. “It has opened so many more doors for me,” Madison said. The biggest annual event the NVU club organizes is the Northeastern Storm Conference, which brings hundreds of students, faculty, and professionals together. She has networked there with alumni, which could help with future employment.
Outside of her major, Madison has been active in the Twilight Players Dance Ensemble on campus and played intramural volleyball.
A Welcoming Community with Supportive Faculty
“It’s a very accepting community. You can be yourself here, and no one judges you. Everyone’s friendly,” she said. “That has helped me be the person I am today, more outgoing, very open, and willing to help people.”
Madison, who is considering graduate school, has enjoyed the one-on-one time she can have with professors. “The faculty are all like parents to me.” She said. “They’re all supportive and engaged in our learning.”