Career Profiles

Jonathon Klepatzki, USN Veteran, Weather Forecaster, Pathways Program, USN/NWS
Jonathon Klepatzki, USN Veteran, Weather Forecaster, Pathways Program, USN/NWS

Entering the military one thing all personnel should have is leadership, GPA, and volunteering. Volunteering goes hand in hand with leadership.

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Paul Gross, Meteorologist, CBM and CCM
Paul Gross, Meteorologist, CBM and CCM

Internship. Internship. Internship. I cannot adequately express how important it is to pursue internships. College professors can teach you a lot about meteorology, but applying this knowledge in a real working environment is critical to getting that first job.

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Doug Heady, Chief Meteorologist, KOAMTV
Doug Heady, Chief Meteorologist, KOAMTV

The biggest things I look for are weather knowledge and how you communicate in person. If you can't communicate in person, you will struggle communicating to thousands of people. Also, work ethic! If you are going into this field, you have to be willing to put the time and hours in.

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Meredith Garofalo, Meteorologist, WeatherNation
Meredith Garofalo, Meteorologist, WeatherNation

When there is threatening weather, when you have tornado warnings or a hurricane moving toward people or flash flooding occurring, I really love the privilege I get to help warn people and help them stay safe and get through the storm.

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Jared Rennie, Research Meteorologist, North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies
Jared Rennie, Research Meteorologist, North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies

Currently, it's all about computer science and information technology. Everyone has the skills in meteorology and climatology, but if you can't analyze lots of data and communicate it efficiently, then the work becomes exponentially harder. Skills such as GIS, programming, and cloud technologies will go a long way.

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Alicia Wasula, President, STM Weather
Alicia Wasula, President, STM Weather

No day on the job is ever the same! I may be teaching a class, writing a report, doing business administration and development work, meeting with clients to brief them on findings, working with subcontractors, doing a talk at an elementary school, or testifying at a trial. Forensic work and being a small-business owner is so varied and wide-ranging which is both challenging and gratifying, and definitely never boring!

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Shawn Miller, Technical Director, Civil Space and Weather, Raytheon
Shawn Miller, Technical Director, Civil Space and Weather, Raytheon

I like learning something new every day, and I also like the process of developing and evolving a big-picture plan for where we want to go with our capabilities and technology. I like the people I work with as well; we all have a passion for the weather and environmental missions at NASA, NOAA, and Air Force Weather.

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Adele Igel, Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis
Adele Igel, Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis

The most surprising and exciting thing about my career has been all of the international travel I've been able to do. I've been to the Indian Ocean, Thailand, South Korea, Sweden, the UK, Austria and many more places all associated with research. I didn't expect it when I decided to pursue a career in research and it's been a very rewarding surprise.

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Mike Nelson, Chief Meteorologist, KMGH-TV
Mike Nelson, Chief Meteorologist, KMGH-TV

I enjoy sharing my knowledge of the weather with young and old, visiting nearly 100 schools, clubs, charities and service organizations each year. My "Tornado Dance" is a much-anticipated event! I estimate that I have spoken to nearly 1,000,000 children in my 40-year career!

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K. Ryder Fox, DOE CSGF Research Fellow at University of Miami; Consultant at Diversity Learning Solutions
K. Ryder Fox, DOE CSGF Research Fellow at University of Miami; Consultant at Diversity Learning Solutions

If your values are not represented, if you do not see yourself mirrored back within a company, then you will become frustrated and less empowered. Always remember that you are interviewing people at the same time that they are interviewing you. As often as possible, choose to work in places that value you and the things that you value.

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Vanessa Alonso, Sunrise/Midday Meteorologist, WCBI-TV
Vanessa Alonso, Sunrise/Midday Meteorologist, WCBI-TV

I'm a happy person and I'm one of those people that loves to make people laugh and help them get their day going. Being on the morning show helps me to show more of my personality. I also love that I get the chance to help the viewers understand how the world of weather works and how it's going to impact their schedule or plans. 

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John Toohey-Morales, Chief Meteorologist, WTVJ NBC6-TV
John Toohey-Morales, Chief Meteorologist, WTVJ NBC6-TV

I returned to San Juan as a journeyman forecaster, and quickly rose through the ranks to become a lead forecaster at age 27. I then moved to the National Center for Environmental Predictions to be the chief of the South American Desk. But I was only at that job for a few weeks because I got offered a job in broadcast news in Miami. I became the first ever degreed meteorologist on Spanish language television in the United States.

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Ashley Orehek, Instructional Librarian, Lindsey Wilson College
Ashley Orehek, Instructional Librarian, Lindsey Wilson College

Take advantage of committee participation as a student. I served on three different committees as a graduate student and that said a lot about my character and the kind of academic professional I wanted to be. Academic employers like to see diversity and involvement in various collegial activities.

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