National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

1. How did you become interested in meteorology?

Growing up in Dallas, I didn't get to experience snow very often. But whenever it was in the forecast, I can remember waiting anxiously by our back sliding glass door watching for the first snowflake. I was also very interested in watching the weather segments on our three network channels and would flip back and forth trying to catch all three forecasts.

2. What led you to a career in the National Weather Service (NWS)?

While still in college, I was fortunate enough to obtain a summer internship at the NWS in Jackonsville, FL, and that experience led me to desire a career with the NWS. Unfortunately, there was a hiring freeze in the NWS when I graduated, so I worked in the private sector for a few years. Once the hiring freeze was lifted, I was offered a job in Great Falls, MT.

3. What is it about the NWS that makes you want to work here?

I work with a group of people who are all dedicated to keeping the public informed about hazardous weather, and I take great pride in the work we do.

4. What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a meteorologist?

You need to be strong in math and science, but also make sure you focus on communication skills. The ability to communicate your forecast is just as critical as your ability to create the forecast.

5. How did you end up in Rapid City?

A journey forecaster position opened in Rapid City, and I was excited to get to an area that experiences four seasons of weather. After a few years as a journey forecaster, I became a lead forecaster.

6. What is the most memorable weather event you've experienced?

There have been a lot, but I'll have to say it was the Dallas ice storm of 1978. I remember sleeping on the floor next to the fire place for nearly a week while the power was out. We were very fortunate to have a fireplace (as many in the south don't) and also lucky to have a stack of wood sitting outside.

7. What are your interests outside of work?

One of my passions away from work is music, and I've been playing the cello since I was about 8 years old. I was lucky to play enough jobs while in college to obtain my degree nearly debt free. I currently play with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra in Casper.

8. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I'll likely be nearing the end of my career, but I hope to still have the desire and energy to continue forecasting the weather. If the energy is gone, I'm sure I'll spend a lot of time catching up on all that lost sleep from years of shiftwork.