When students learn about the science of weather at OCC they’re using the most up-to-date and local information available thanks to a device on the roof of Ferrante Hall. It’s called a Davis Weather Station. It constantly collects the temperature, humidity, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, and the amount of solar radiation. The information is transmitted wirelessly and posted on a website in real-time. “Weather is current. The ability to show students the latest data collected right here on campus really enhances and reemphasizes the topics they are learning,” said Martin Martino.
Martino teaches Meteorology at OCC. Sometimes classroom discussions will focus on current statistics and conditions. Often they will look back at older data to understand the correlation between the numbers and the weather on that day. “We’ll analyze when the temperature was the highest and what the conditions were, if fronts moved through, what the barometric pressure was and how the dew points and relative humidity changed during the day,” said Martino. “It’s a wonderful tool for our students to have.”
Martino played a key role in the College acquiring the weather station. During his 20-year Air Force career he learned meteorology and gave valuable weather information to service men and women in the field. He also taught meteorology at the United States Military Academy where West Point Cadets worked with a Davis Weather Station. Martino began teaching at OCC in 2004. A few years later he successfully applied for a President’s Incentive Grant which brought a weather station to the College. Martino created a website where students could access the information and made it part of course work.
In a world where jobs often seem to evaporate Martino believes the ability to predict the weather will continue to be in high demand. “There’s always going to be a need for meteorologists whether it’s the military, the National Weather Service, media or consultants. Everything the military or the airlines do has a meteorology aspect to it. As long as you get a master’s degree you will have tremendous opportunities.”
You can view current and historical OCC weather conditions at this website which Martino maintains. You can also see Martino describe how the weather station works as he battles strong winds high atop Ferrante Hall.