For a newcomer at Hofstra University, Professor Jase Bernhardt has already made a lasting impact on the community. Within his first year teaching, Bernhardt has already made a name for himself in the Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability here on campus.
Recently, Bernhardt put three weather stations around campus to create more learning opportunities for students and community members. “I am teaching a new course this semester, SBLY 104E: Introduction to Weather and Climate. In this course, we are using data from the weather stations for lab activities … students go out, take their own measurements on campus with portable weather instruments and then verify their readings with the weather station data.”
Located on the roof of Gittleson Hall, on the press box of the soccer stadium and at the north campus student garden, these stations bring more to campus than what meets the eye. All three weather stations were provided to Hofstra through WeatherStem, a company who specializes in customizable weather station technology. The implementation of these stations has brought a lot of new life to the environmental society of Hofstra. “There are subtle, but noticeable, differences,” Bernhardt said.
Not only are these stations providing accurate weather predictions, they also provide feedback to the entire local community. “They measure a wide range of weather variables, including temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity, solar radiation and soil conditions,” Bernhardt said.
These statistics contribute to numerous amounts of reports many staff members in the department use to plan events, classroom discussions and lab projects. “There are public safety applications also, such as being able to track the nearest lightning strikes, which can be useful when deciding when to suspend outdoor athletic events on campus.”
Before these weather stations, data came from JFK and MacArthur airports, both of which are miles away. Thanks to these new stations, weather data is now more local than ever. Bernhardt said, “The weather stations are also important for monitoring short-term climate, and I prepare monthly climate reports.”
Before Hofstra, Bernhardt got his start on weather reporting as a broadcast meteorologist on the Weather World television program, broadcasted throughout the state of Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Science in atmospheric science from Cornell University and provided weather forecasts for various outlets, including the campus newspaper. Later, he attended graduate school at Pennsylvania State University, worked in the Department of Geography with a focus on climatology and expanded his research to human impacts on climate, historical climatology and the usage of geographic information systems.
In the classroom, Bernhardt continues to teach topics that he enjoys. This year, he is teaching two sustainability courses and one geology course. Bernhardt loves teaching in his field of study, and all of these courses focus on topics relating to the Earth and its environment.
When he is not teaching, Bernhardt writes weather summaries for the weather stations each month and publishes these reports online. You will be able to find these reports and other weather data online at nassau-ny.weatherstem.com/hofstrasoccer or on the social media site. Bernhardt explains, “Each station has its own Facebook and Twitter feed … most of the social media posts are automated, but occasionally I add some personalized tweets.”
Other than maintaining weather stations, ProjectWX at Hofstra, Bernhardt continues to develop research and coursework in climatology and meteorology on a global aspect. He is an avid runner and is a long standing New York Mets fan.