Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

Meteorology 201 - Meteorology Student Portfolio


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The Meteorology portfolio is a document that will evolve as you progress through your degree. While there are specific times that specific elements are required, the document will be updated and revised as needed. The following document gives a list of the portfolio elements, the schedule for their development, and some description of how they can be developed.


At the core of the Meteorology advising and quality assurance system is the student portfolio. The Meteorology program is designed so the department faculty can 1) direct a student's core curriculum in the major, 2) directly evaluate a majority of the core courses that a student takes, and 3) certify student attainment of fundamental outcomes important to the major. Students can tailor the program to fit their own interests through selection of program electives, electives closely related to the major, and through the addition of a minor.

The Meteorology portfolio system has been designed to 1) take you though the evaluation of your individual career goals, educational goals, and specific course selections, and 2) act as the tool to help in the evaluation of your progress toward meeting those goals. Due to the individual nature of this Meteorology portfolio, you need to communicate clearly and document your course choices so that your advisors can work well with you. The course portfolio must be continually updated so, before the registration period of each semester, necessary supporting information is provided in draft form.

The Meteorology student portfolios contain the following information:

  1. Professional goals and objectives statement
  2. Educational goals and objectives statement
  3. Categorized list of courses
  4. Material justifying each elective and substitution choice
  5. Senior project

In the following document each of these components are explained.

The Definition of Goals and Objectives

Goals: the ultimate end result of a task

Objectives: statement of how the task will be accomplished

Professional Goals and Objectives Statement

The professional goals and objectives statement is the foundation for your educational statement. This statement should be a clear description of your professional plans and aspirations. The goals statement can be one or two sentences and the objectives statement can be one paragraph. It can range from describing a specific job, such as a broadcast meteorologist, or a general goal, such as graduate school in numerical weather prediction. This statement should be short and concise. While this should provide direction at the time it is written and afterward, it will probably evolve as you continue your education. Therefore, this statement should be revised at any time during your degree work as you grow and change throughout your educational experience.

This statement should be the result of research. Sources can include your advisor, faculty at ISU who specialize in your areas of interest, ISU career services, professionals outside of ISU, family members, high school career counselors, and other students. You are encouraged to have these people help write, review, and edit your statement. While these people can help, this statement should be your statement.

Educational Goals and Objective Statement

The educational goals statement will describe how your B.S. degree in Meteorology will help you work toward your career goals. The educational objectives should address each of the educational objectives published by the Meteorology faculty in the ISU catalog of courses and listed in the portfolio template. This statement will serve as a guide for you and your advisor while selecting elective and substitution courses. This statement should also be short and concise. While it can mention specific courses, it is recommended that it describe general areas of study. Many students focus on the technical aspect of their education. This statement should also describe the other areas of your education as outlined in the meteorology educational objectives.

Categorized List of Courses

A categorized list of courses should be maintained as you progress through ISU. You are strongly advised to plan ahead; however, the list can be modified as you progress.

Care must be taken when planning electives closely related to the major, such as math and statistics courses, or when planning a minor. Since some courses can have one or more prerequisites, this planning should be completed with three or four semesters remaining. The Meteorology four-year plan outline should be used as a template when creating this list.

The first draft of this list can serve as a road map as you register each semester. However, you are encouraged to evaluate your choices as you progress and to be looking for special courses that fit your career and educational goals.

Material Justifying each Elective and Substitution Choice

You should support your choice of each elective and course substitution with a statement describing the link between the course and educational goals. Additional material may be helpful to you and your advisor, such as a course catalog description, a list of the program objectives that are covered by this course, a syllabus of the course and a listing of reference material such as the text book, and/or a summary of evaluation material, e.g., the number and style of exams and homework.

Senior Project

This section will document the development and result of your senior project. Material for this will include:

  1. project definition and proposal
  2. intermediate reports
  3. final report
  4. Electronic presentation (e.g., Microsoft Powerpoint, Open Office Impress, etc.)
  5. Other presentation materials (e.g., evaluations, copies of transparencies, and video tape)


We would like to thank Adin Mann of the Iowa State University Department of Mechanical Engineering for use of the E. SCI Student Portfolio document which provided an extensive basis for this document.


Dave Flory
Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Science
3101 Agronomy Hall
Ames, IA 50011-1010

Dr. William Gutowski
Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Science
3021 Agronomy Hall
Ames, IA 50011-1010