University News

WIU Severe Weather Club Honored by NWS for Outreach Work

May 3, 2018

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University's Severe Weather Club has been awarded the Weather Ready Nation (WRN) Ambassador of the Year by the National Weather Service (NWS).

Through the NWS initiative, the (WRN) Ambassadors serve as leaders in the community in terms of weather and inspiring others to be better informed and prepared for changing weather. The WIU Severe Weather Club has been an Ambassador for four years.

"The club won the Ambassador of the Year award for all of the educational activities they do," said club advisor and Associate Professor of Geography Redina Herman. "Every year we go to Lincoln Elementary School in Macomb to educate second graders about summer weather safety and third graders about winter weather safety. We also go to St. Paul School yearly for weather safety presentations. We run an event on outdoor weather safety at Progressive Agriculture Safety Day for fourth graders in McDonough and surrounding counties. We also hosted Weather Awareness Day at the Quad Cities campus of WIU, we present at science nights for various schools and occasionally judge science fairs."

At Western, the club has conducted weather safety sessions for employees and department heads in Facilities Management and run weather safety awareness events in the residence halls.

"In addition to the outreach we do for the University and community, we also regularly have presentations at club meetings to educate our members," said Herman. "Our members and external speakers talk about everything from weather safety to using specific weather products to recent storm chasing adventures. These students do an amazing job, especially for such a small club. Their passion and expertise is awe inspiring. I'm so proud of them."

Club member Luke Saeger, a junior meteorology major from Buckner, IL, said it is exciting to be recognized by the NWS, especially with the work members have completed.

"Our number one goal of our club is outreach," said Saeger. "As a club, we will continue to increase our outreach. This year we have presented to many local schools and even went to Monmouth (IL) to train Boy Scouts on receiving their weather merit badge. I am very proud of our club and can't wait until we come back next year."

The Severe Weather Club is a WIU student organization that welcomes all students who are interested in the weather.

For more information about the club, visit

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