Our Mission
The Earth and Mineral Sciences Interest House (Special Living Option) exists to promote a favorable academic and social atmosphere for students interested in any Earth and Mineral Science field.

“Dear Irvin”
A note from your faculty adviser
End of Fall 2016 / Spring 2017

Dear Irvin Hall residents:

An editorial in the Daily Collegian says it well, build off of the good from this semester.  There were unexpected events that many of us would view favorably (PSU Football is #5 and going to the Rose Bowl as I write this) and some that stirred our emotions, good and bad (the election), but in spite of whether you are psyched or scared about the future, or a little of both, time has taught me that although change can be scary, it’s inevitable and has an uncanny tendency to work out very well, especially if one takes a little time to understand why each change happens. Okay, enough philosophy for now.  I do hope your hard work paid off with decent grades, closer friendships and a positive outlook.  I truly wish you well if this is your last semester in Irvin or at Penn State.  If you will be back in the spring, and most of you will, I’m sure, I hope you have a reasonably restful, regenerative, restorative and relaxing break.  Really!

As you settle into your Irvin surroundings in the spring, there will be opportunities galore to get more involved with others in your special living option, and you should welcome this privilege.  Join a committee, host an event, or if you don’t know what I’m talking about, ask me or someone who’s been at Irvin for a while about what you can do academically or socially.  If you are new to Irvin, welcome!  Get involved and get comfortable!

I’d encourage those of you familiar with Irvin and those of you more outgoing souls to continue to make a point of saying hello to residents who may appear to be less interested, or detached from the day-to-day goings-on.  There could be shyness, a perceived language barrier or any number of reasons for someone to stay in the shadows and not get very involved and odds are pretty high that they would welcome a friendly face and an opportunity to get more involved.  And if you’re one of us shy people, make an effort to get more involved and I am certain (through personal experience) that you will feel even more fortunate to be a part of this special living option.

A few facts about me (you may stop if you’ve heard this one already)…
I grew up in Bristol, Connecticut and have been a “weather weenie” since age 5.  I received my B.S. in Meteorology at Penn State in the winter of 1983 and lived in Pinchot Hall (East Halls), but had many friends in Irvin.  I then earned an M.S. here in Meteo and have worked in both research and teaching since 1987.  I think Penn State is a fantastic institution, and our college, which truly is much more student-friendly than most, is the best on campus.  I hope that I will be able to eventually help you feel the same way if you don’t already.  My office is 606C Walker and my email address is wjs1@psu.edu.  Don’t be a stranger if you think I can help with anything.

I’m excited to be involved with Irvin and welcome your comments or suggestions.  Please write or stop by and visit if you ever feel that I could be a help.  Keep up with your work, find that perfect balance between academics and activities, and have a great spring semester!  Thank you.


Bill Syrett, Senior Lecturer in Meteorology and Manager, Joel N. Myers Weather Center
Email: wjs1@psu.edu, Ph: (814) 865-6172