Weather equipment named for meteorology program pioneer

Dedication of the Dr. Eugene Chermack Meteorology Surface Weather StationHe championed the meteorology program more than 40 years ago. Today his legendary name continues to guide one of SUNY Oswego’s signature studies.

A group of faculty, family and friends gathered to dedicate a state-of-the-art weather station to Dr. Eugene Chermack Nov. 9.

“We are all truly touched by this,” said Marian Chermack on behalf of her four children. She later said her late husband “would be thrilled” with the station.

Eugene Chermack, who taught at Oswego from 1967 until 2000 and passed away in 2006, firmly believed in the value of research in an undergraduate setting, Marian said.

“We probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Gene,” said Professor Scott Steiger, a 1999 graduate who studied under Chermack. He remembered a mentor who was tough, but always willing to help his students.

The lakeside station along Rudolph Road north of Seneca Hall was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. “This [station] is truly a dream come true for those of us in the meteorology program,” said Steiger, who donated the funds to name the structure in Chermack’s honor.

The station will directly sample lake-modified air to help with lake effect storm research. Installed on a 30-foot tower 30 feet from the shore, it can measure temperature at two meters and 10 meters above ground, humidity at both levels, wind direction and speed at 10 meters high and can gauge visibility in a storm.

“It’s nice to be able to compare the data to the weather we’re actually experiencing,” senior meteorology major Ron Harris said. Currently data is collected at points in the city of Oswego or Fulton, while this will draw samples from the campus’ unique location, he said.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Dedicated—Meteorology faculty members join Marian Chermack at the dedication of Oswego’s weather station to her late husband, Eugene Chermack. From left are: Professor Robert Ballentine, Jack Gelfand of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Professor Al Stamm, Marian Chermack, Professor Scott Steiger and Professor Steve Skubis.

(Posted: Nov 10, 2009)

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