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Phil Bergmaier|Meet the Science Posse

PhD Student in Atmospheric Science

Graduate Fellow

Topics Phil can bring to your classroom:

Clouds and Satellites
Weather Balloons and Instrumentation
Aircraft Research Techniques
Weather Forecasting
Electromagnetic Radiation
Weather Research with an Aircraft (UW King Air)
Graphing and Plotting Methods


M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences, University of Wyoming
B.S. in Meteorology, Millersville University, PA

Current Research:

My current research focuses on understanding the characteristics of drylines that appear in southeast Wyoming. A dryline is simply a weather boundary (much like a cold front) that separates warm, humid air to the east from warm, dry air to the west. The reason drylines are important is because they are often associated with the development of thunderstorms, many of which become severe and produce strong winds, hail, and occasionally tornadoes. Drylines have been studied extensively in areas like Texas and Oklahoma where they are most common, but drylines in southeast Wyoming have received very little attention from the research community until recently. My hope is that I am able to gain a more thorough understanding of how southeast Wyoming drylines are different from their counterparts to the south, while also helping forecasters in Wyoming better anticipate the occurrence of these dryline events. 


    I hail from the East Coast and completed my undergraduate work at Millersville University, a small school in south-central Pennsylvania. It may be somewhat expected and perhaps slightly clicheé, but I have always loved weather. When I was in high school, I decided that I wanted to go to college to become a meteorologist. The rest, you could say, is history. My specific interest in severe storms, and especially drylines, originates from watching tornado research documentaries as a young boy. In a way, this spurred my own desire to get into research as I thought that I might one day have the chance to be involved in one of these exciting projects. As it turns out, my research at the University of Wyoming may actually give me the opportunity to take part in some of these types of projects in the future. I hope to be able to continue working in research after I graduate and do my own part in helping to solve some of the difficult challenges we face as atmospheric scientists.

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“Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity, and little whirls have lesser whirls and so on to viscosity.” Lewis Fry Richardson

I came to Wyoming to attend graduate school and learn more about the types of weather that interest me. In the process, I have come to really enjoy this state and all of the things it has to offer. When I am not busy with my studies, I spend most of my free time outdoors refining my photography skills and particularly delight in the fantastic Wyoming sunsets. I also love hiking and skiing, two things I wish I had way more time to do. Being somewhat of a sports fanatic, I tend to obsessively follow my hometown teams from Philadelphia. Finally, I enjoy traveling and seeing new places and therefore cannot wait to take road trips far and wide across Wyoming to bring my passion for weather to the classroom as part of the Science Posse!

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