When he was 7, Chris Schultz saw the destruction after a tornado hit a town west of his hometown of Tinley Park, Ill. Rather than be intimidated, Schultz wondered how tornadoes work.
Years later, he knows.
Schultz is a storm chaser. He has followed tornadoes as far as Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas — separate from any field experience he receives as an atmospheric sciences major at MU.
When chasing storms, he and several others who are part of a base team choose a date and location in advance. About three days before the chase, they begin to narrow down the area in which to seek out a storm. The night before the chase, the group meets to look at weather models and chooses a final destination.
The next morning, the team goes to its area to watch storms develop and produce tornadoes.
Schultz said his last chase was March 21 in Texas. The stormchasing was good field experience for him, he said.
“Basically, we talk about all the meteorology we learned in class and apply it toward chasing,” he said.
Schultz will graduate in May 2006 and said he hopes to go to graduate school. He wants to work for the National Weather Service one day.
In the meantime, he keeps busy as a community advisor on the first floor of Hudson Hall, president of the Meteorology Club and soccer coach for a team of 9- and 10-year-old girls.