Meteorology and atmospheric science students raise money for storm victims

Kacie Lee
April 29, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State student Kristina Salvatore spends much of her time thinking about weather events, including severe storms that impact people around the world.

After hurricane season this year, Salvatore, a senior in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, wondered what she could do to help those affected by these storms.

“As meteorologists, we’re sort of in a weird position where we think severe weather is really cool, but it also does a lot of damage,” Salvatore said. “We want to give back to the community. Some people get trained in storm-damage spotting or emergency management systems, but we thought a simple way for the whole department to get involved was to raise money for disaster relief.”

Salvatore, president of the Penn State Branch of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association (PSUBAMS) organized a “Penny Wars” event between her group and the Campus Weather Service at Penn State.

Together, the groups raised more than $400 for the American Red Cross.

“Donating money to the American Red Cross is a great cause,” said Matt Hoenig, president of the Campus Weather Service and an undergraduate studying meteorology and atmospheric science. “Obviously, severe weather can have harsh impact on people’s lives and property, so we felt that it would be a great idea to donate and hope that some of our fundraising would help families that have been impacted by the severe weather.”

If raising money for a good cause was not enough, members of the organizations placed something more on the line.

“We agreed to 'pie' the adviser and president of the club that loses,” Salvatore said. “It’s brought a lot of laughter and joy into the competition.”

The organizations held a celebration for the end of the competition on April 18, at which both Marisa Ferger, a lecturer in meteorology and the adviser for PSUBAMS, and Salvatore received pies in their faces.


  • Marisa Ferger, a lecturer in meteorology, is covered with pie

    Marisa Ferger, a lecturer in meteorology, was hit with a pie after students raised more than $400 for the American Red Cross for storm victims. 

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated April 30, 2019