Preparing for a career in climatology

An introduction and overview of preparing for a career in climatology.

Are you interested in the environment, weather and climate change? Are you interested in the topic of global warming? If so, you may be interested in a career as a climatologist or in climatology. According to Environmental Science, climatology is the study of the myriad of factors that influence weather and the influence of weather on the environment which includes water, atmosphere and geology. Climatology is the study of these influences over a course of time, typically a 30-year cycle.

Climatology is an atmospheric science. Depending on what program your college of choice offers, students can major in atmospheric science or climatology. If your future college does not have these majors, check with the different departments related to science to find out which major will allow you to fulfill the requirements for a career in climatology. Big Future by the College Board gives useful information on what students will do in college studying climatology as a major.

Michigan State University features research in Climatology in the Department of Geography, including research projects, publications and topics like agricultural climatology, synoptic climatology and climate change.

As a high school student, Michigan State University Extension suggests the following ways to prepare for a career in climatology:

  • Take high level math and sciences courses.
  • Volunteer and tutor your peers and younger youth in math and science to strengthen your skills in these subjects.
  • Set up a meeting with your high school counselor and share your interest in a major and a career related to climatology.
  • Research colleges and universities to find one that has the majors, minors and programs to help you become a climatologist
  • Explore local job shadowing opportunities through your high school or career counselor.
  • Join a 4-H club with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

To help learn more about environmental policies that may assist you in climatology, consider joining the Michigan 4-H Youth Conservation Council. This experience will help you learn more about environmental issues and public policy, build leadership, teamwork and communication skills, and network with potential future colleagues. Contact your local MSU Extension office for information on how to apply for the 4-H Youth Conservation Council.

Numerous opportunities for a career in climatology are available. Take advantage of the opportunities to prepare while you are still in high school for the available jobs and careers in this field.

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