Third Thursday Interview: Rick Shema, CCM

For this week’s Third Thursday interview, I am so excited for you to meet a colleague of mine, Rick Shema. I met Rick while we were both serving terms on the American Meteorological Society Board of Certified Consulting Meteorologists (BCCM). Rick owns Weatherguy.com, a company which specializes in marine meteorology. He provides forecasts and support services for marine applications, and also provides expert testimony for marine cases in litigation. His love of the water and Naval experience give him top notch credentials in his work. We’ve had the opportunity to collaborate together both on the BCCM and on a case or two over the years, and I always enjoy working with him. His passion, integrity, and enthusiasm for what he does comes through in every aspect of his work. I hope you enjoy getting to know Rick as much as I have!

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NOAA Profiles: National Hurricane Center/Central Pacific Hurricane Center

This week we continue our profiles on the various agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. Since we are in the peak time of Atlantic Hurricane season right now, it seems like a great time to take a closer look at what the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center do, and some of the services they provide.

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Third Thursday Interview: Ross Lazear

This month, I am so excited to profile one of my friends, Ross Lazear, of the University at Albany. You will never meet a person who is more enthusiastic about his work than Ross, and that enthusiasm transfers right into the numerous students who he has taught over the years. I have had the great privilege of getting to know Ross both personally and professionally during his time at UAlbany, attending minor league baseball games, talking about weather at meetings and conferences, and most recently, taking some of his students as interns to learn about forensic meteorology. And with that introduction, I will let Ross tell you about himself in his own words!

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Karin Ardon-Dryer: an Inspiring, Successful, Motivating Scientist

A few months ago, I happened to stumble across this article , which discussed an ongoing study investigating mask effectiveness in the face of COVID-19. I’ve always valued interdisciplinary work, and the intersection of health and atmospheric science is one close to my heart since I also studied it while in graduate school. I decided to reach out to the atmospheric scientist on the panel of researchers, and I am so glad that I did! Dr. Karin Ardon-Dryer was an absolute delight to chat with, and I cannot wait to share her story with you all. She has a radiant personality that makes talking with her feel like talking to an old friend, and she truly cares about being a champion for women and minorities.

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Third Thursday Interview: Ron Baskett

I am so excited to share with you this month’s Third Thursday interview with Ron Baskett. I first met Ron as a very nervous candidate when I walked into the board room to take my Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) oral exam in January 2015. His friendly demeanor, along with that of the rest of the board, immediately put me at ease and helped to make the experience much less nerve-wracking, and, dare I say, even enjoyable? He was later assigned to me as a mentor as I began my term on the CCM Board. Ron has a background in air pollution meteorology, and so our different backgrounds and areas of expertise really gave me the opportunity to learn so much about an area of meteorology that is so different from what I do on a day-in, day-out basis. I learned so much from Ron during my time on the CCM board, and he was always happy to answer my (many) questions! Ron always made time to discuss board-related topics with me whenever I had a question, and always took time to first inquire about how things were going personally and professionally. As a new CCM, that meant a lot and I was grateful to have had such a mentor. He is now retired from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and enjoys an active life full of time spent outdoors, with family, volunteering, avidly reading journal articles and other material, and generally enjoying a well-earned retirement! We continue to correspond periodically, and I always enjoy receiving an email update from Ron. While we haven’t seen each other in person in quite some time, I always look forward to those opportunities. I hope you enjoy getting to know Ron via this interview as well!

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Third Thursday Interview: Vanesa Urango

Welcome to another edition of our Third Thursdays! This week we are profiling Vanesa Urango, who works with FEMA’s Public Assistance Program and is the State Public Assistance Coordinator in New Hampshire. Vanesa and I met when we were in graduate school together in New Hampshire, although our overlapped time together was short since she was a year or so ahead of me in the program. I was excited to chat with her, catch up on how she’s been, and learn more about her position (which has always seemed so interesting to me, but I’d never gotten the full details until now!)

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History Highlight: June Bacon-Bercey

June Esther Griffith (later to become June Bacon-Bercey through marriage), was born October 23, 1928 in Wichita, Kansas, and would grow up to become a pioneer in the field of meteorology after first becoming interested in science at a young age. As an only child, she enjoyed the great outdoors through bike riding and hiking, as well as playing the piano and participating in Girl Scouts activities. When a high school physics teacher noticed June’s interest in water displacement and buoyancy, they encouraged June to pursue a career in meteorology. Although her parents supported her career choice, it was quite an out-of-the-box suggestion. Both female and African-American meteorologists were practically unheard of at this time in history, and women were traditionally looked down upon in fields of math and meteorology.

Left, a headshot of June Bacon-Bercey. Right, posing on her Buffalo apartment terrace while working at WGR TV. (Maurice Seymour; Courtesy of Dail St. Claire)
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The Famous Tuskegee Airmen…and Meteorologists

The Tuskegee Airmen were a highly respected fighter group formed in 1941. Prior to 1940, African-Americans were not permitted to fly with the U.S. military. Thanks to advocacy by civil rights groups and others, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation in 1940 which prohibited racial restrictions on voluntary enlistments in the military and allowed African-Americans to serve in all branches of the Armed Forces, including the Army Air Corps (although on a segregated basis). This led to the development and founding of an African-American pursuit squadron to be based and trained at Tuskegee, Alabama.

Courtesy: Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
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Third Thursday: Kristen Corbosiero

This month, I am so excited to profile one of my long-time friends and colleagues, Dr. Kristen Corbosiero. Kristen and I first met during our early days at UAlbany. We worked our way through graduate school together, taking many classes, doing teaching assistant work, and suffering through countless impossible homework assignments. After graduate school, we went our separate ways, so you can imagine how excited I was to learn that Kristen would be taking a faculty position at UAlbany and moving back to the area. Since that time, we see each other at professional meetings, meet for breakfast (though not frequently enough!), and it’s just been a real treat to have her back in the area. She is a gifted teacher and researcher, and I hope you enjoy learning about her and her work in this blog!

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