At a Glance

Year: ‘23
Major(s): Meteorology and Atmospheric Science 
Activities: River Hawk Scholars Academy, SCOuT
Why UML? "Finding a university that was able to give me a leg up while reducing a year in school was something I was really looking for."

Meteorology & Atmospheric Science BS

As a Meteorology & Atmospheric Science major, you will study meteorology, weather forecasting, climatology and air pollution; the program also fulfills the education requirements for federally employed meteorologists.

When Victoria Wisniewski looked for schools to study meteorology, the success of UMass Lowell alumni stood out to her.

“I saw the alumni that have come out of the program and how amazing they’re doing,” says Wisniewski, a meteorology and atmospheric science major from Elmwood Park, New Jersey.

As an aspiring broadcast meteorologist, Wisniewski has made connections with some of the alums. She has talked with CBS Boston meteorologist Sarah Wroblewski ’05 in person, Boston 25 News meteorologist Shiri Spear ’07 via Zoom and Fox 26 Houston meteorologist Lena Arango ’19, ’20 through social media.

“Those alumni will always be there when I need advice,” she says.

UMass Lowell’s bachelor’s-to-master’s (B2M) programs also piqued the interest of Wisniewski, who plans to continue on for a master’s degree in atmospheric science. B2M allows for a seamless transition between undergraduate and graduate programs and gives students the opportunity to complete both programs in as little as five years.

“Finding a university that was able to give me a leg up while reducing a year in school was something I was really looking for,” she says. “It set UMass Lowell apart from other universities,” where it would have taken her at least six years to get bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Wisniewski appreciates the number of opportunities offered to students at UMass Lowell.

“We get emails about research and internship opportunities. It’s so amazing,” she says. “And you can go into a faculty member’s office and say, ‘I’m interested in doing something. What research are you involved in?’ And they’re automatically ready to guide and include you in their research.”

From an email sent from the Department of Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EEAS), Wisniewski learned about the National Weather Service’s new Student Career On-Site Training (SCOuT) program, a student volunteer program that helps participants develop skills and learn about the meteorology profession. She applied and was accepted.

Wisniewski created an original research project as part of the SCOuT program, deciding to explore the hurricane knowledge and preparedness of New England residents. The program put her in touch with hurricane specialists and members of the National Weather Service as she worked on the project alongside EEAS Asst. Prof. Christopher Skinner and Earth System Science Ph.D. student Tyler Harrington. Wisniewski presented her research at the 21st Annual American Meteorological Society Student Conference in Houston.

“It was great to network with students from other schools and see their interests,” she says.

On campus, Wisniewski serves as an “eco rep” for the Rist Institute of Sustainability and Energy, assisting with recycling, asset management, farm share distribution and the urban agriculture program. 

“We do a lot of community outreach, explaining the importance of sustainability,” she says.

Wisniewski is also a member of the River Hawk Scholars Academy for first-generation college students; Alpha Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for first-generation college students; and Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the national honor society for Earth Sciences.

“So many opportunities have come my way, and I couldn’t be happier,” she says.

Inspiration to pursue UML?

Victoria Wisniewski headshot
"I saw the alumni that have come out of the program and how amazing they’re doing."