Career History

I graduated from Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, Illinois in the spring of 1963. I then went to undergraduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree (Meteorology major) in the spring of 1967. During my last two summers in Madison, I worked as a student trainee at the Weather Bureau (what the National Weather Service was called way back then!) in Madison. After graduation, I spent the first of 2-1/2 summers working as a student trainee at the National Severe Storms Forecast Center (NSSFC), in Kansas City, Missouri. I began graduate school in the fall of 1967 at the University of Oklahoma (OU), finishing my Master of Science degree (in Meteorology) in January of 1969.

During my third summer at NSSFC, my name was called for military service and I entered the Army in August of 1969. After boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and "training" at Fort Gordon, Georgia, I spent 11 months in Phu Bai, Viet Nam as a communications clerk (it's a long ugly story). However, after Viet Nam, I was assigned to the Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory at White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico, where I worked on fog modeling (!).

I was allowed to leave the Army in February of 1972, whereupon I returned to graduate school at OU. That spring, I began storm chasing with a group of students and NSSL scientists, and have been doing it more or less ever since. With my Doctor of Philosophy degree (in Meteorology) in July of 1976, I began my first real job (as a Research Forecaster), once again at NSSFC, this time with the newly-created Techniques Development Unit (TDU), which was assigned to do applications research for the Severe Local Storms Unit (SELS) of NSSFC (SELS has become the Storm Prediction Center, located here in Norman). After about six years with the TDU, I transferred to the Environmental Research Laboratories Weather Research Program in Boulder, Colorado, in the fall of 1982, as a Research Meteorologist. After four years in Boulder, I decided to take advantage of the developing opportunities here in Norman, Oklahoma, and transferred to NSSL in the fall of 1986, again as a Research Meteorologist. After more than 14 years with NSSL, as of January 2001, I retired from Federal Service, and joined the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) at the University of Oklahoma, as a Senior Research Scientist. It is a half-time position, and I am continuing my involvement with teaching that I began several years ago ... mainly, my Advanced Forecasting Techniques course.

For those interested in pursuing a career in meteorology, check out the NSSL Website here, for more information about the process.

My research interests focus mainly on tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, but I have developed an interest in just about everything related to weather. I have published papers on objective analysis of meteorological data; exploring new data streams like wind profilers, satellite images, and lightning ground strike locaters; weather forecasting; and methods for verification of weather forecasts. My interests range wider than that, and I like meteorology in part because of the wide range of things a meteorologist needs to know.

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