Student Star: James Carpenter

Name: James Carpenter
Major: Meteorology Honors

“[I have] worked very hard to gain a deep understanding of the world that I am constantly in such awe of. It is so much more complex than I could have ever imagined.”

After taking a year off from school to reflect on his future, James Carpenter decided to utilize his Bright Futures scholarship and come to Florida State University as part of the Honors program. The meteorology program caught his eye, as it is consistently rated one of the top programs in the country. Since that point, James says he has “worked very hard to gain a deep understanding of the world that I am constantly in such awe of. It is so much more complex than I could have ever imagined.” Often times as a meteorology major, he spends all night in the lab working to understand the physical processes that occur in our atmosphere and utilize that knowledge for practical applications.

As a Research Assistant for Dr. Stallins in the Geography Department, James is working with a study that involves lightning flash densities around Atlanta, GA and their relation to aerosols in the atmosphere. “I have seen a seemingly overwhelming amount of data recently, but the research experience I am gaining is both invaluable and extremely enjoyable, and I owe Dr. Stallins a lifetime of gratitude.” James was also chosen to travel to Colorado this summer and work with the University of Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s High Altitude Observatory to help in a study involving our planet’s ionosphere and the vertical drifting motions of ions incredibly high up in our atmosphere.

“At this point in my career, I am unsure of how best to tackle the future, but what I know is that I have resolved to understand our planet and its problems, and dedicate my entire life if necessary to do my part to solve them.” James is passionate about issues like global warming as they are “the utmost importance and the time we have to tackle them is critical. My education at Florida State is one of my most valued possessions, and I intend on using it to protect everyone’s most important resource- the earth.”

The environment of FSU was what attracted James to campus. “The landscaping is what attracted me to FSU more than anything. It was, and continues to be, the most beautiful campus I have seen. It also continues to impress me year after year as I see the flora change as the campus evolves and grows. I also especially maintain a huge amount of respect for the university’s efforts to maintain recycling initiatives, and ‘green’ techniques, such as the new Off-Grid home model located next to the Love building.”

On a long-term level, James intends to use the knowledge and experiences he gained to develop more effective and accurate computer models for climate study purposes and short-term weather forecasts. “After graduation I would like to obtain my Master’s degree in atmospheric sciences, and further the work in climatological research in some capacity. I will be happiest when I’m solving climate-related issues.”