Project Atmosphere Details

Project Atmosphere Details

Pre-residence online work: July 5-23, 2022
On-site residence experience: July 24-29, 2022
Post-residence online work: July 30-August 4, 2022

National Weather Service Training Center (NWSTC)
Kansas City, Missouri


PLEASE NOTE: We are closely monitoring the potential impacts of the COVID pandemic on the planned residence component of this course. A decision regarding the residence component also going virtual will be made BEFORE invitations to participate are sent.


Project Atmosphere is a hybrid (online & in-person) teacher professional development course offered by the American Meteorological Society's Education Program. About 25 selected teacher-participants will be required to engage online learning modules prior to the on-site (NWSTC) portion of the course. At the conclusion of the on-site portion, teacher-participants will be asked to complete work in the course management system in collaboration with California University of Pennsylvania. This project is specifically designed for K-12 teachers who teach science courses with atmospheric content.

The course is intended to:

  • Introduce teachers to the latest technologies and techniques for sensing, analyzing, and forecasting weather
  • Explore and suggest ways in which the products of these technologies and techniques can be employed in school studies
  • Prepare course attendees to conduct training sessions on selected atmospheric science topics and issues for teachers in their home regions during the next school year
  • Encourage participation in AMS DataStreme Atmosphere Mentor Teams

Cost and Resources:

Upon acceptance, each participant from the US is required to pay an academic fee of $150 payable to the AMS Education Program. This fee is non-refundable.

Each participant will be supplied with a variety of instructional resource materials, including those to be used in peer-led teacher training sessions.

After successful completion of course activities, participants will:

  • Demonstrate updated knowledge concerning the sensing, analysis, and prediction of atmospheric conditions
  • Show evidence of being able to interpret and analyze weather information acquired through direct and remote sensing of the environment
  • Exhibit understanding of major weather systems and features, especially those that bring on hazardous conditions
  • Indicate how they intend to promote weather education in their home areas by peer training fellow teachers, especially those who teach students who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences


To be eligible for Project Atmosphere, teachers and supervisors of science at the K-12 level should:

  • Have sufficient college-level training to benefit from the material presented
  • Teach or supervise the instruction of a meteorology or related course in the atmospheric sciences
  • Demonstrate leadership in teaching, curriculum development, and/or the in-service training of fellow teachers
  • Promote weather education in their home regions, including a minimum of one training session for pre-college teachers upon completion of the course

Participants will be selected to provide a national geographic distribution and a cross-section of school environments (inner city, urban, suburban, and rural). Teachers interested in promoting minority participation in science are strongly encouraged to apply.


There are three main components to Project Atmosphere: the residence experience, online activities, and post course peer training.  Successful completion of all aspects of these components, is required to earn the graduate credits for the course.

Residence Experience: The Project Atmosphere on-site portion will be held at the U.S. National Weather Service Training Center (NWSTC) in Kansas City, Missouri.  The on-site, in-person portion of the course includes lectures, tutorials, seminars, hands-on laboratory exercises, and field trips.  The National Weather Service and other NOAA personnel will present a variety of topics dealing with the sensing, analyzing, and forecasting of weather.  Presentations will be articulated with science content and weather education presentations led by course faculty. Participants will have an active role and may be asked to share "best practices" from their home institution.

Online Activities: Prior to arrival at the NWSTC, teacher-participants will be enrolled in the California University of Pennsylvania's Global Online program and course management system, D2L. Teacher-participants will be required to complete multiple online learning modules related to the atmospheric and related sciences. This preparatory work will enable teacher-participants to engage at a similar level of competency prior to arrival at the NWSTC. Participants will also have online modules/activities to complete after the conclusion of the in-person component of the course.

Post Course Peer Training: After the on-site and online components conclude, participants are required to lead a peer training for other K-12 teachers in their schools, districts, or communities that utilizes the concepts and materials learned during their Project Atmosphere experience.  More information about this component can be found on the page linked here (although in-depth details are shared with participants during the residence experience).

The course will include the following topics (online or on-site): 

  • Surface and upper-air observations and analysis
  • Radar imagery and interpretation
  • Satellite imagery interpretation
  • Weather forecasting
  • Thunderstorms and severe storms
  • Hurricanes
  • Global climate change
  • Teaching and dissemination of weather information

On-site activities typically extend from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM CDT each day.

Equipment Requirements

You will need a computer and high-speed Internet connection. If you are reading this on-screen with your own equipment and you can print it out, you are essentially ready for the online portion of Project Atmosphere. Course registration with California University of Pennsylvania will provide you with your own Cal U student email address and other resources and benefits available to all students at the University. Technical requirements for course engagement can be found here:

Participant Support

  • Stipend of $300
  • Single hotel room for six nights, arranged by AMS
  • Food and incidentals allowance of $200
  • Round-trip air or land travel from US home to Kansas City, MO
  • Instructional and laboratory supplies
  • Tuition
  • Set of instructional materials


The National Weather Service Training Center (NWSTC) will host the residential portion of the course.  NWSTC is one of the best equipped meteorological training facilities in the world.  It has computerized weather information systems found in NWS forecast offices, satellite and weather radar display systems, and is outfitted with classrooms, laboratories, and a full staff of instructors and support personnel.  NWSTC is collocated with the NWS Central Region Headquarters and the NWS Aviation Weather Center which is responsible for commercial and private aviation forecasting for the entire United States.


Participants will be expected to stay in hotel accommodations arranged by the AMS, as the course will be intensive and will involve several evening meetings. Informal interaction among participants during meals and evenings will be an integral component of the course.

Participants should attend without families as their presence is likely to detract from full participation. No support will be provided for dependents.

Academic Credit

Participants who complete all course requirements, including the submission of a follow-up report on their peer-training session, will earn three semester hours of graduate credit in EAS 514: Selected Topics in Atmospheric Studies through the California University of Pennsylvania.

Credit will be awarded upon successful course completion and may be applied to a post-baccalaureate certificate from California University's School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Project Atmosphere Staff

  • Wendy Abshire, M.S., Director, Education Program, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC
  • Chad M. Kauffman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Math & Physical Science, California University of Pennsylvania, Curriculum Development Coordinator & DataStream Lead, AMS Education Program
  • Elizabeth Baugher, M.S., Content Specialist, Education Program, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC
  • Abigail Stimach, K-12 Program Administrator, Education Program, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC

Past Presenters:

  • Louis W. Uccellini, Director, National Weather Service, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD
  • Rick Knabb, Director, National Hurricane Center/Tropical Prediction Center, National Weather Service, Miami, FL
  • John Ogren, Director, Storm Prediction Center, National Weather Service, Norman, OK
  • Barbara Mayes Boustead, National Weather Service Forecast Office, Omaha, NE
  • Jerry M. Griffin, Master Instructor, Forecast Operations Programs, NWSTC, Kansas City, MO

Application Procedures

The 2022 application process is now open!

Click here to learn how to apply to Project Atmosphere.

All completed applications should be submitted by March 25, 2022.  Initial notification of course awards and alternates will be made via email.

In selecting individuals for participation and otherwise in the administration of this course, the AMS will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, and status as a Vietnam Era or disabled veteran.


Questions regarding Project Atmosphere 2022 should be directed to