Lance Foxworth came to the college planning to study political science and French. But his first physics class – "Introduction to Meteorology" – started him on a new path. “It turned out to be way different than I expected,” says Lance. “The material was so engaging that I opted to switch directions right then and pursue this as my major.”
Lance, who is also a geology major, really likes that studying meteorology is teaching him about the earth’s systems. “In this field, you not only learn how those systems such as climate and the ocean have changed over time, you gain an understanding of how they interact with each other. That really interests me. I began by talking with my professors to learn about career opportunities and what happens in this field, and I discovered that there’s so much more to it than just becoming a weatherman, it’s a lot more in depth and it’s all very cool.”
In that initial physics course, Lance spent a month working on a project that he and his lab partner presented to the class. “We focused on how the circulation of the earth’s atmosphere controls the circulation of the oceans. We looked at where warm air and cold air masses go. It was really interesting and a great experience because there were only eight of us in that class, so we could all focus closely on the others’ presentations.”
One of the things that Lance values most about this new major is how complementary it is to other subject areas. “I took a course called "Air Pollution and Policy," which was instructive regarding how I can use this degree. Eventually, I’ll be able to come at whatever issue with a solid scientific background and be a more effective advocate for the best policies.”
Eventually, Lance plans to attend graduate school. He knows his grounding in meteorology will help him be a strong candidate because it’s giving him a holistic understanding of these physical phenomena.
Ours is the first bachelor’s degree in meteorology offered in the state of South Carolina. This program will prepare students for many professional roles, including forecasting for the national weather service or broadcasters, meteorological consulting (which exists in fields such as aviation, shipping, public policy and insurance) and technical work in environmental science.
❱❱ Our faculty members have expertise in a wide array of topics, including atmospheric microphysics, air quality and pollution, and structural variability of tropical cyclones.
❱❱ On campus facilities include an aerodynamic particle sizer spectrometer, among other equipment.