Department Chair & Faculty Advisor, Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Erin Hayes
Faculty Advisor, Physical Anthropology
Dr. Brian Pierson
Faculty Advisor, Geography/GIS
Adrian Youhanna, GISP
Faculty Advisor, Meteorology
Jason Finley, Ph.D., CCM, GISP
Meteorology at Los Angeles Pierce College
Meteorology is a major component of the geography program at Los Angeles Pierce College (LAPC). Meteorology is the science of the atmosphere. The word comes from the Greek word “meteoron”, which refers to something that occurs high in the sky. The ancient Greeks observed clouds, winds, and rain and tried to understand how they interrelate. Modern meteorologists must address many complex issues and answer many difficult questions about the behavior of the atmosphere and its effects on the people of our planet. The science of meteorology is young; much of understanding of the atmosphere’s behavior still remains to be discovered.
We find ourselves in the weather every day. In one way or another, the weather impacts our lives in subtle or not so subtle ways. You can use your knowledge to warn others when dangerous weather is approaching. You can use the latest tools of modern technology such as computers, radars, and satellites to discover how natural processes affect our atmosphere. You can learn how human activities are changing the climate and global systems. One thing many meteorologists share is the excitement and love of the weather and the challenge of understanding and forecasting it.
LAPC offers three meteorology courses tailored to both inspiring meteorologist and those who are simply curious about the weather:
- Introduction to Weather and Climate
- Introductory Meteorology Laboratory
- Severe and Hazardous Weather
In addition, the Pierce College Weather Station, one of the oldest cooperative weather stations in the country, is located on campus and has been in continuous operation since 1949. Our station boasts one of the most complete sets of weather records in California. Manual and automated data (every 10 minutes) are used by the National Weather Service and a variety of public and private agencies around the world. Students taking meteorology courses will have a chance to visit the station.
The Pierce College Weather Station was established by botanist Lee Haines in 1949 and, upon retirement, was maintained by geologist Jim Vernon. In 1984, geographer Bill Russell joined the faculty, and in 1985 he became the director of the station. In June 2004, Professor Russell received the National Weather Service's distinguished Special Service Award. In 2012, a new, automated weather station was installed with the help of Steve Woodruff that includes automation of several additional variables. Also, in 2012, Dr. Jason Finley became the director of the station. In 2017, most of the new, automated weather instruments were replaced to maintain the station.