The University of Arizona Department of Atmospheric Sciences has launched a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in meteorology, available as a distance-learning program through the Outreach College. This degree program is designed to meet the needs of Air Force weather forecasters, many of whom already hold an associate degree in applied science with a concentration in meteorology. Many need a Bachelor of Science degree to advance in their profession.

The department is working closely with the 25th Operational Weather Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and with Tucson's DM-50, a citizen's support group. A number of donors are supporting the program.

Because Air Force personnel frequently move between bases, it is often not possible for them to stay in one place long enough to obtain a four-year degree. The online degree path solves that problem. Already, students from places as far afield as Japan and Korea are enrolled.

This degree program allows students to use credits from their associate degree toward their UA degree so that no credits are lost as they move from base to base. Selected courses are taken at the UA and at Pima Community College.

About the scientist

Eric Betterton is professor and head of the UA Department of Atmospheric Sciences and director of the department's Institute of Atmospheric Physics. He is an atmospheric chemist studying air-quality issues, especially dust and airborne contaminants in Arizona. He serves as honorary squadron commander of the 25th Operational Weather Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The squadron has played a pivotal role in developing the Bachelor of Applied Science in Meteorology distance-learning program.

Experience science

Department of Atmospheric Sciences and current weather at the UA: www.atmo.arizona.edu

Bachelor of Applied Science degree in meteorology: www.atmo.arizona.edu/index.php?section=grads&id=bas

ATMO programs:

For program advising, plan of study and registration, contact the UA Department of Atmospheric Sciences, at 520-621-6831 or atmosci@atmo.arizona.edu