SGSUP student awarded NOAA scholarship

By

Michael Wanamaker

Anna Wanless, a meteorology-climatology undergraduate at Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, was awarded the 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hollings Scholarship for her scholastic merit.

Phoenix native and Barrett Honors College student, Wanless is entering her junior year at SGSUP where she is just getting started on her meteorology-climatology specific courses. Receiving the NOAA scholarship is a great start for her career. “I am excited about the NOAA scholarship program, and I am so honored to be selected!” said Wanless. “I have always wanted to study meteorology.”

Passionate about the field, she said: “The weather is fascinating; it is something that affects our everyday lives, and climate change is a hotly debated concept that we do not know a lot about.” After completing her bachelor’s degree, Wanless plans to attend graduate school and get a master’s degree in meteorology. The NOAA scholarship is a great start for Wanless since 75 percent of NOAA scholars pursue graduate degrees after completing the program, according to the program’s website.

The NOAA Hollings Scholarship Program provides two years of tuition support and a paid summer internship at a NOAA facility. During the ten-week paid summer internship, interns conduct research and manage projects while working with a NOAA mentor. At the end of the summer, interns present their results to scientists and peers during the annual Science and Education Symposium. Interns can also receive funding to present their research at scientific conferences. With labs and offices located throughout the country and scientific research missions that range from the surface of the sun to the ocean floor, NOAA provides many exciting, hands-on internships. 

ASU’s Bachelor of Science in Geography (Meteorology-Climatology) is a technical major that stresses both the numerical calculation of weather and the operational forecasting skills critical for successful employment as a meteorologist or researcher. The program covers dynamic and synoptic meteorology and is designed to meet National Weather Sevice certification requirements. “Anna is a creative and hardworking student who sees the connections that most others miss,” said Ronald Dorn, professor of Geography. “In my landforms class, she carried out a research project exploring the connection between surface formation on Earth and extreme wind storm events.”

After completing her bachelor’s degree, Wanless plans to attend graduate school and get a master’s degree in meteorology, and her NOAA scholarship is a great start. “Anna was one of the top performing students” said Matei Georgescu, associate professor of Geography. “Her breadth of understanding was impressive, and it is therefore not a surprise to hear that her performance is becoming widely acknowledged.. She will be a fantastic ambassador for our program, and I look forward to learning more about her future accomplishments.”

What’s ahead in Wanless’ meteorological future? “I hope to work with severe weather, and I would love to work in research and be able to do field work where I can study the phenomena in person.”