National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Corey Loveland

Location: Pocatello, ID
Pocatello Weather Forecast Office (WFO)
Job Title: Service Hydrologist

Educational Background:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science-Hydrology and Physical Science from the University of Idaho

Describe the career path that led you to your current job with the National Weather Service.

  • I started my career as a project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, managing aquatic restoration projects. I managed budgets, timelines, planning, resources, and construction. I then transitioned into a project manager role for military projects on a U.S. Army installation. I managed projects for both new construction and rehabilitation of existing facilities to support training and facilities for Army personnel.

What do you do for the NWS?

  • Manage the water resources program in southeastern Idaho
  • Evaluate areas subject to flooding
  • Coordinate with county emergency managers to set flood level criteria on rivers and tie those into adverse infrastructure impacts
  • Develop and modify hydrologic procedures, models, techniques, manuals and plans
  • Maintain hydrologic warning procedures and local forecast models
  • Perform hydrologic studies, fieldwork, and data management activities
  • Encourage flood preparedness in the community

What was the most interesting, exciting, or impactful weather/water event you experienced while working for the NWS and why does it stand out?

  • In the summer of 2013, a large wildfire burned very close to a town in central Idaho. As the wildfire was being contained, a heavy rainstorm passed over the burned area and caused widespread flooding and debris flows that carried large rocks, burnt trees, soil, and sediment down the steep slopes of the mountains. It was fascinating to see the power of water bring down such great amounts of debris and watching nature in action.

What made you decide to pursue a career with the NWS?

  • I have always wanted to work for the NWS because I love hydrology and I love making a difference in the world. It is a great responsibility to be the primary contact for flooding and safety of the public in regards to water caused hazards. It is the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction of working for the public that drew me towards working for the NWS.

What do you like most about working for the NWS?

  • I really love my job! Seriously, it is the most wonderful and satisfying career I could have. I get to meet many wonderful people as I visit my area of responsibility and have made many friends throughout my career. I enjoy what I do and love to help other people. I know I make a difference. So many people strive every day to keep the public safe and prepare for disasters or emergencies and I get to rub shoulders with them and be part of something bigger than just myself.

What advice do you have for someone interested in a career with the NWS?

  • This is the greatest of all jobs! If you are considering a career as a hydrologist with the NWS, I say "Go for It!” Be patient, as sometimes few openings occur, and you may have to get your foot in the door by going to another federal, state or local agency to gain experience. Then, when a position does open up, you can join our team. Your best chance of landing a position is to be geographically available to all openings, especially at the beginning of your career.

What training or coursework would you recommend to someone interested in following your career path?

  • I would recommend taking courses in surface water hydrology, water resources management, watershed management, groundwater, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), emergency management, computer programming, hydrologic modeling, hydraulic engineering, soils, physical science, media training, hydrologic data collection, basic meteorology, project management, and leadership.