The NWA David Sankey Minority Scholarship in Meteorology (Application is linked at bottom of this page)

NOTE: This Scholarship is currently OPEN for Applications

To increase diversity and the number of students from underrepresented ethnic groups pursuing studies in meteorology, the National Weather Association Council in 2002 developed the David Sankey Minority Scholarship fund.  The Scholarship was first awarded in 2003.

Offering: One scholarship per year in the amount of $1000.  The NWA may ask the winner of the David Sankey Scholarship to present research work at a local or annual NWA meeting; the NWA may provide additional funding for required travel and accommodations for such a presentation.

Administration: The scholarship selection is administered by the NWA Education Committee. The NWA office announces the call for applications in January-February each year, applications close 15 April and the scholarship designee will be notified in late-May.

Eligibility: Any minority undergraduate (going into their sophomore year or higher in the fall) or graduate student that is majoring in meteorology (or related field) may apply.  If the undergraduate student is classified as a senior they must either have one more fall (Sep. - Dec.) semester to complete after the scholarship is awarded, or they must document that they have been accepted into graduate school. 

Past recipients of the David Sankey Minority Scholarship in Meteorology are ineligible.  While students are encourage to apply for multiple NWA scholarships, the NWA will not award a student multiple scholarships in any given academic year.

Award Criteria:  The scholarship is awarded based on:

a) Academic achievement/merit (transcripts).
b) Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a current or former meteorology professor), and
c) A one page statement explaining why the applicant is applying for the David Sankey Scholarship

Logistics: Scholarship money will be transferred following the financial guidelines of the college or university involved. If there aren't any financial guidelines from the school, NWA will make the $1,000 check payable to both the student and the education institution at the beginning of the September - December semester or quarter.

About David Sankey: DAVID A. SANKEY (1946-2000) was a charter member of the National Weather Association and a private pilot.  David built up a wealth of operational meteorological experience in the public and private sectors. He was a mentor, a great team leader and a friend to all those he met. He received a BS in Meteorology from Florida State University in 1968 and later earned an MBA in Program and Financial Management from West Coast University in Los Angeles. He began his operational meteorology career as a weather officer in the United States Air Force supporting base and flight operations at George Air Force Base, California. In 1972, after his military commitment, he joined Oceanroutes, Inc., as a meteorologist supervising a small support group in providing data, analyses and forecasts for the ship routers. In 1974, he became a Computer Systems Analyst for a semi-conductor manufacturing company and, in 1975, he became an Air Traffic Controller in Palo Alto, California. He supervised all weather observing functions, quality controlled the observations and trained tower observers. He joined Continental Airlines as a Meteorologist in 1979, responsible for flight forecasting over the United States, Mexico and Pacific Ocean areas. In 1982, he joined a small group forming The Weather Channel and succeeded there as Deputy Director for Meteorological Operations. In 1986, he moved on to TRW, Inc., as a meteorological consultant supporting the National Weather Service's Modernization and Restructuring program.  In 1991, Dave saw the chance to use all of his experience in the FAA aviation weather development programs. One of Dave's most significant accomplishments was the creation and leadership of the Integrated Terminal Weather Systems (ITWS) Matrix team, a team composed of representatives from every FAA office involved with the development of ITWS. Using his leadership and facilitation skills, he led this team through the acquisition process. Most important was the way Dave promoted open and honest communication among all the team members. Dave led that team to success with his style of perseverance and patience. This was not an isolated event. Dave applied his team skills again when he established the FAA Aviation Weather Research Program and its leadership team. Dave also supported professional associations. He was the volunteer NWA secretary for many years, and led the NWA office into the computer age developing an online computer bulletin board system in the late 1980s. He earned the respect and friendship of all those he met with his great personality and his dedication to improving operational meteorological services. He died in a plane accident on November 9, 2000. He is survived by his wife, Sheri, and two daughters, Kyla and Sara.

Application Process:  The application process is completed on-line via the link below. Student copies of transcripts are acceptable.  Recommendations are completed on-line as well. Scholar Select will send an e-mail to to those you select to provide recommendation with instructions on how to submit their recommendation of you. Applicants should check with the individuals that are providing recommendations that they have indeed submitted on your behalf.

Incomplete applications including lack of recommendations or legible copies of transcripts will result in the NWA's inability to evaluate your application.

Please contact the NWA office if you have questions.  Telephone 405-701-5167, or via e-mail:

The NWA David Sankey Minority Scholarship in Meteorology APPLICATION