What sets CEOAS apart
I may be biased, but here are some reasons I think the Atmospheric Science graduate program at Oregon State University is a great program.
One of the main attractions of CEOAS for me was the ability to do interdisciplinary work here. Unlike some schools, at OSU, atmospheric science and oceanography are in the same department, and the faculty often collaborate with each other. This means that it's fairly easy to study, for example, ocean-atmosphere interactions. There's also the possibility of working with biological, chemical, or geological oceanographers on a physics-biology/chem/geo project. Looking outside of CEOAS, OSU also has strong forestry and agriculture departments, so if you're interested in doing more climate impacts work, that's also possible.
Low student:advisor ratio
We're not as huge of an atmospheric science department as some places. That brings with it some advantages and disadvantages. Since we're not very large, our students get lots of personal attention, but we don't offer as many courses as some other places. We also tend not to have the large research groups, so you get more attention directly from your advisor, who is often doing the work right along side you. It's really a matter of what sort of environment fits you best.
In general, I find the atmosphere here to be very supportive and collegial. The atmospheric science faculty make a point to get to know the atmospheric science students. We have informal presentations every week where people show up-to-the-minute results from current research projects. As the graduate coordinator for atmospheric science, I try to meet with students once a year to make sure every student has all the support needed to be successful in this program as well as look for ways we can improve the program more broadly. I (as well as the excellent staff in the COAS grad department) am always available if issues arise at any point in the year.
Opportunities to get involved with Outreach Activities
There are many opportunities to get involved in educational/outreach activities while at OSU. The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute is based here. Oregon State University also houses the Oregon Sea Grant. Every year, CEOAS students organize the Salmon Bowl. If you want to get involved in these sorts of activities, there is no shortage of people looking for your help.