|Storm Surge Specialist Jamie Rhome, National Hurricane Center
|Operations Proving GroundKansas City, MO
Careers in Physical Science
What is a Physical Scientist?
Physical science is a broad term that describes the branch of natural science that studies non-living systems. Meteorologists and hydrologists are physical scientists. The NWS employs other types of physical scientists as well; offices such as the National Tsunami Warning Center and the Space Weather Prediction Center employ scientists trained in several different fields within physical science such as geology, oceanography, physics, and astronomy.
What Does a Physical Scientist Do?
Physical scientists hold many different positions within the NWS. Some physical scientists are researchers who develop methods for integrating new science and technology into the forecast process. Others monitor earthquakes for the prediction of tsunamis, monitor solar activity and predict the impacts of solar flares, or work in program management positions. The job duties of a physical scientist in the NWS vary greatly between offices and official job titles.
Most physical scientists work in an office although some jobs require rotating shift work, fieldwork, and/or travel.
Education and Experience Requirements
Federally employed physical scientists must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in a physical science discipline, mathematics, or engineering. Additional education and experience requirements are possible and vary by position.
The list of education requirements for the federal physical science job series can be found here.
Faces of the NWS: Physical Science
Alaska Sea Ice Program Leader
Anchorage, AK WFO
Office of Science and Technology Integration
Alaska Tsunami Program Manager
Alaska Region Headquarters
Storm Surge Specialist National Hurricane Center
Operations Proving Ground