Adam Roser, Meteorologist, National Weather Service San Diego

Adam Roser, Meteorologist, National Weather Service San Diego

Please include details about your educational background and what sparked your interest in atmospheric or related sciences.   

My background includes two Bachelors degrees in Geography-Meteorology and French from Ohio University. I am currently enrolled in Millersville University's Masters in Emergency Management program. My interest started as a young child and continued with my fascination with the weather in my hometown of Wadsworth, Ohio. I became interested in the world of Emergency Management when I started going to AMS conferences while at Ohio University.

What was your first job in the field and how did you end up in the job you are in now?   

I am currently in my first job in the field! Hard work in undergrad and landing diverse internships in the fields of meteorology and emergency management have put me in my current position. Involvement in my local university chapter has helped me greatly. Filling out many job applications and 16 NWS office interviews later, I find myself at the NWS office in San Diego, California!

What opportunities did you pursue that you knew would be beneficial to securing a job in the profession?

I started to focus on what kind of path in meteorology I wanted to go and pursued opportunities in that sector. I sought out a volunteer opportunity at my local NWS office in college and was able to get some experience in a field office, which I had grown to love and knew it was right for me. I was also able to participate in a unique experience in North Dakota as a forecaster for cloud seeding missions, while also volunteering at the NWS Bismarck office to receive some upper air balloon launch experience. During my year at Millersville, I was able to do an internship at a local emergency management office and see how the weather impacts the disaster response community.

What other courses/skills beyond the required math and science courses do you think would be the most helpful to individuals wanting a career in your profession?     

As stated above, emergency management or any disaster preparedness course you can take would be very beneficial! The NWS has great ties with this community, so having some background knowledge of this subject will go a long way and make you more marketable. I would also say any public speaking or communications classes are good to take as well, since meteorologists communicate the weather from the federal level all the way down to the members of the public. On the other side of things, any thing with IT or coding is always a good skill that the agency needs.

What is your typical day on the job like?

I am an operational meteorologist, so I am always getting the latest details of what happened yesterday and what is forecast for the upcoming week when I walk in the door. I familiarize myself with any decision support our office is doing and what communications we have had with any of our constituents. Sometimes I am at the office forecasting for our beaches and marine zones, issuing surf forecasts and marine forecasts. I also forecast for our seven local airports by writing aviation discussions and airport forecasts. On the communications side, I will email weather forecasts to local constituents for upcoming events for the public or prescribed burns. Some days I get to be out of the office tabling at different expos or meeting partners and discussing what we do and what services we can provide!

What do you like most about your job? What is the most challenging thing about your job?  

My favorite part is getting outside the office and talking with others. There is so much knowledge about the weather and preparedness that the public doesn't know about, so being one of those that can help give an insight to this and have the spark go off is very rewarding. One of the most challenging parts of my job is that it is for the government. Not having as much free range in job activities or funding can be difficult sometimes.

Does your job allow for a good work/life balance? If not, why? 

It's all what you make it! My schedule can be a bit scattered at times, but it does leave room for having fun and relaxation outside of work. It may not be the most convenient time to be social at some points, but it can create some good times to be out and about when most people are at work.

Over the course of your career what is the most exciting thing that has happened to you?     

For me it was when I was deployed on a solo trip to one of our county's emergency operation centers to provide on site weather support! A Pacific storm brought some heavy rain near a recently burned area, so we had to keep track of where the storms were heading in case of debris flows. I loved being the "weather person" in the room. I felt like a true expert and loved explaining to others what was happening. This interest by those around me and feeling of importance truly made me feel what being a meteorologist is all about.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently in your career?  

It would probably be something on the research end and presenting this at conferences. I felt like I had to research something very technical in meteorology, when I could have done something more with emergency management or weather communication. It was great to get some experience with the technical side, but I am excited to look more into the other side of things in my current profession!

What are some ‘must haves’’ on a resume if a person wants to gain employment in your field?

If applying for a federal position, your answer lies within what's on the sample questionnaire. Your resume is scored based on these questions and how your resume matches with these questions. Make sure you have the experience. And remember, these are scored by those who are NOT meteorologists, so try to refrain from acronyms. Long resumes are the way to go! Start keeping track of the little things you do as well. All of these little things add up and can make a difference!