James Spann on Meteorology, Mental Health, and Giving Back

Friendly. Humble. Hard-working. Dedicated. These are just a few words to describe James Spann, whom I recently had the privilege of speaking with. If you aren’t from the South or in the field of meteorology, you might not be familiar with the local favorite, but I can guarantee that anyone, from anywhere would enjoy sitting down and talking with him. James, the Chief Meteorologist for ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama, has a gentle, easy-going way of talking, while also having the ability to get right to the point – a skill that no doubt has come in handy (and been sharpened by) through years of television and radio broadcasts.

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Investing in future scientists: Daphne LaDue

During women’s history month, it is a great time to reflect back and think about the many people who have influenced me and shaped my path over the years. One of those individuals is Dr. Daphne LaDue, so I was thrilled to see that she was a recipient of this year’s American Meteorological Society Robert H. and Joanne Simpson Mentorship Award. Daphne is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Oklahoma (OU)and the Director of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at OU. Daphne’s investment in young scientists through the REU program has provided the opportunity for so many students to learn alongside scientists, and I am sure I am one of so many who can say that the REU experience was one of the formative experiences of my college years. I hope you enjoy learning about Daphne as much as I enjoyed catching up with her prior to writing this blog!

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Joanne Simpson: Trailblazer for Women in STEM

Throughout the course of my education and career, I have heard Joanne Simpson’s name and knew she was a very well respected and highly esteemed atmospheric scientist. In fact, the American Meteorological Society named an award after her for researchers who make outstanding contributions to advancing the understanding of the physics and dynamics of the tropical atmosphere. She has been described by those who knew her as “an animated speaker with sharp eyes and a crackling voice…the type of person who has simply been too busy to worry about growing old.” As I learned more about her, I found myself wishing for a time machine so that I could go back in time and talk with her!

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It’s about Community: Meteorologist Janice Huff

I was honored to have an opportunity recently to speak with Janice Huff, chief meteorologist for NBC4 New York. Janice graduated from Florida State University with her bachelor’s degree in meteorology, and from there entered a career in broadcast meteorology. She has been with NBC New York for more than 25 years, and was inducted as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2020.
While an impressive career and honors by peers and colleagues certainly sets Janice apart, what really drew me to her was her passion- passion for science, passion for her community, and passion for reaching the next generation of scientists.

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Archie Williams had Talent: A Story of Greatness

Black History Month began February 1, and we plan to celebrate by dedicating some of our blogs to learning about black Americans in weather. To kick the month off, we are talking about Archie Williams…and not the Archie Williams some of you might know from the televised talent show, “America’s Got Talent”….though Archie had a LOT of talent.

Photo courtesy: Air Force
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Third Thursday Interview: Meteorologist and Author, Cyrena-Marie Arnold

This month concludes our Third Thursday blog series, and I am so excited to have had the chance to talk with Cyrena for this edition! I first interacted with Cyrena when I saw a tweet about her new children’s book, The Weather Story with Frances Fox. She was kind enough to send me a signed copy of her book, and once I got my hands on it, I knew I wanted to talk with her!

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Encouraging Girls in STEM: The Ella Project

If you follow us on Facebook, you might have noticed that we shared a post back in October about the Ella Project. I was so pleased to make the aquaintence of Anthony Onesto, co-founder and creator of the Ella Project, and honored to be profiled as one of their Stories of women who work in STEM fields. This organization is doing great things, and so I decided to use this week’s blog to tell you about it in more detail!

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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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