Professor leads severe storm talk today

By Mitchell Spence

Meteorology professor Walker Ashley will give tornado and severe weather survival tips at a STEM event today.

The presentation is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at O’Leary’s, 260 E. Lincoln Highway, and is hosted by the STEM Outreach program. It is part of the program’s STEM Café series. The presentations are held monthly at restaurants around NIU, and admission is free.

Ashley will speak about climate change, and he will give tips for survival if you find yourself in severe weather situations.

Ashley said he was instructed to prepare about 30 minutes of presentation and be ready for one hour and 30 minutes of a question-and-answer session with the patrons. Ashley said he was approached by the STEM Outreach to give the presentation.

“I just want an interested crowd. I don’t have a limit on the number of folks as long as they’re interested,” Ashley said.

STEM Outreach Director Pati Sievert said STEM Outreach kept the date of the program in mind while scheduling it so it would be more relevant as the nation moves into the spring storm season.

“In May [Ashley] hopes to be out chasing storms, so we were lucky to have him come in April,” Sievert said.

STEM Outreach associate Judith Dymond said the program has held STEM Cafés for almost two years and its goal is to have a different topic every month to increase STEM literacy.

“People don’t have time to go to class but want to stay on top of the research,” Dymond said. “This is a place where people can go find out about it in a very fun atmosphere.”

Sievert said the monthly programs started with an average attendance of 30 to 45 people but now it’s between 45 and 65 people.

“We want to let students know that they are welcome … just come sit down and meet new people,” Sievert said.