COD Experts: Paul Sirvatka

Earth Science and Meteorology Professor Paul Sirvatka leads the most comprehensive community college meteorology program in the nation. 

In 1992, Sirvatka began building a nationally-renowned meteorology program at COD. He started writing competitive proposals for external funding, and between 1992 and 1995 earned more than $325,000 in National Science Foundation grant money. He used those funds to develop premier weather forecasting and storm chasing components in the college's Meteorology program.

Since then, Sirvatka has honed the most comprehensive community college meteorology program in the country. Sirvatka explained that most meteorology programs are designed around the junior and senior years of college, and most will offer one or two courses for freshmen and sophomores.

"Because our mission is different, we can go into advanced detail and offer many courses for our first- and second-year students," he explained. "We give our students the best meteorology experience. For freshmen and sophomores, I would say there is not a better place to learn meteorology than at COD."

In addition, COD and Sirvatka were the first to offer storm chasing education to undergraduates.

"Some universities had incorporated storm chasing as a research vehicle," Sirvatka said. "We decided that storm chasing would be a good course. Many universities later implemented storm chasing programs, but we were the first."

Sirvatka and his students plan storm chasing excursions several times a year. While the Midwest is prime hunting ground for such chases, the COD contingent has been known to travel to Texas and even as far north as the Canadian prairies. These trips are designed for the general public and have included people from all around the world, including both U.S. coasts, Australia and Europe.

Contact Sirvatka at or (630) 942-2118.

Paul Sirvatka

I have loved weather since I was a kid. My dad and I used to sit in the garage and watch storms come in. I was born with a passion for the weather.

- Paul Sirvatka, Meteorology Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Weather Patterns
  • Emergency Weather Preparedness
  • Storm Chasing

More About Paul Sirvatka