National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Mary Beth Gerhardt
Mary Beth Gerhardt

Location: College Park, Md
Weather Prediction Center (WPC)
Job Title: Meteorologist
Mary Beth Gerhardt

Hi there, my name is Mary Beth Gerhardt and I’m a meteorologist currently working at the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) in College Park, Maryland.  I have always had a strong passion for weather.  My two older brothers jokingly claim my dad brainwashed me into a fascination with the atmosphere by having the Weather Channel on 24/7 and by taking me down to the Jersey Shore to watch Nor’easters batter the coastline, but I like to think meteorology was something I was born into.  By kindergarten, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I went full force into the meteorology program at Penn State, directly followed by the graduate program at Florida State, and then finally landed my dream job at WPC in January 2009.  I have been there ever since.

I honestly never realized being a female pursuing a career in a STEM field would make me a minority until I looked around at my heavily male dominated calculus and physics classes in college.  I am extremely thankful for the women who paved the path before me because I can not recall a specific incident during those classes when I felt like an outsider solely based on the fact that I was female.  I have also been very fortunate to spend my career in an office that has always treated me with a tremendous amount of respect.  Sadly, I know that is not always the case, even within such an admirable agency like the National Weather Service.

I like to focus on things I can control, rather than things I can’t.  I strive to lead by example and hope that my success as a female in STEM will only help open doors for future generations.  While I think it is extremely important to reach out to young women wanting to pursue a career in STEM, I think it’s more important to make an effort to engage ALL children from ALL backgrounds in STEM at a young age.  And finally, to all my fellow and future STEM women, a lot of hard work, dedication, and prayer can break through any glass ceiling!