Project Atmosphere Details

Project Atmosphere Details

On-site residence experience: July 25-31, 2021
National Weather Service Training Center (NWSTC)
Kansas City, Missouri

Project Atmosphere is a hybrid (online & in-person) teacher professional development workshop offered by the American Meteorological Society's Education Program. Teacher-participants will be required to engage online learning modules prior to the on-site (NWSTC) portion of the workshop. 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.

This workshop 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 workshop 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 workshop 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 workshop

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.


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 workshop includes lectures, tutorials, seminars, hands-on laboratory exercises, and field trips.  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 workshop faculty. 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.

The workshop 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.

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 workshop.  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 workshop will be intensive and will involve several evening meetings. Informal interaction among participants during meals and evenings will be an integral component of the workshop.

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

Workshop Faculty:

  • Wendy Abshire, Workshop Co-Director, Director, Education Program, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC
  • Chad M. Kauffman, Ph.D., Workshop Co-Director, Professor, Department of the Earth Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania, Curriculum Development Coordinator & DataStream Lead, AMS Education Program

Past Presenters:

  • Louis W. Uccellini, Director, National Weather Service, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD
  • William Lapenta, Director, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, National Weather Service, Washington, DC
  • 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 2021 application process will open in mid/late Fall.

Click here to learn how to apply to Project Atmosphere.

The application deadline will be posted in mid/late Fall, at the same time as the instructions to apply.

In selecting individuals for participation and otherwise in the administration of this workshop, 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 2021 should be directed to