Normally, I'm not one to jump on board every little cause that pops up on facebook. I keep things apolitical and upbeat. I post funny things, observations, weather info, and occasionally I gripe about something that's driving me nuts on a particular day (I'm only human after all). My friend Kristin interned at the Mount Washington Observatory a little while back. I interviewed her about the experience for whatever-weather.com's blog and posted it as an audio podcast. She really enjoyed the experience, and I enjoyed hearing about it. So, when she posted on facebook and asked me to vote for the MWO in the 2012 Chase Community Giving Contest, I decided to take a look.
Chase bank is giving away $5,000,000 dollars (yep! that's 5 million!) in grants to the charities who get the most votes in this contest. While I'm sure all of the contestant charities deserve it, I am using one of my two votes to support a cause near and dear to my (and I presume any other meteorologist's) heart: the Mount Washington Observatory. Yes, I may think that anyone who would like to live at the top of the world (at least figuratively) in brutal winter weather for the sake of science might be a little crazy, but where would we be without the crazy, dare I say "mad," scientists of the world? They're living up there year round taking readings, doing research, and providing educational opportunities.
Do our fellow atmospheric scientists a favor and vote to get them more funding. Help them win!
To learn more about the Mount Washington Observatory, visit their website
To vote for them in the Chase Community Giving Contest click here. You'll have the option to vote on Chase's website or vote on facebook. I voted on facebook, and told my friends there to do the same.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Trained Skywarn spotters and storm chasers know that the smartest thing to do in the middle of an intense situation is to keep your head on a swivel, in other words, have situational awareness at all times. While you’re focused on the tornado in front of you that’s dissipating, the storm maybe about to drop a new one directly above you. The best way to stay aware of everything happening around you is to have a second set of eyes, another person looking out for you. Two heads are better than one, right?
Whatever-weather.com is no more, but the idea that drove me to launch it still thrives. It originated after graduating with my B.S. in meteorology and realizing just how tough finding a job, even with two bachelor’s degrees, was going to be. I was not the only one of my classmates to come to the conclusion that I could have used a few more courses, or even a few more letters behind my name (M.S., Ph.D.) in order to get a leg up on the competition. A few of those classmates gave up altogether and found jobs in other non-weather related fields. I got lucky and found a job at Weather Eye Radio Network just three months after graduation. Yes, three months was lucky in 2007, even luckier these days.
Not long after my move to the Twin Cities for that job, I was back to surfing the classifieds for jobs, but not for myself. This time it was for my friends who were still looking. In the process, I realized several things:
- · No matter how good the bachelor’s program and school are, the core classes and a few interesting electives are barely enough to get an entry level meteorology job in a highly competitive job market.
- · Taking a few GIS classes would do a world of good for a student planning on stopping at a B.S. degree. Getting a minor or going on to master in GIS would be better.
- · Job hunting can be expensive if you want to focus your job search on the sites that are targeted to your field only and skip all the extraneous… crap (for lack of a better word)… listed on the huge, free, national sites. Subscriptions, memberships, etc., add up, not to mention paper, postage, and whatever else is needed for a good resume package, especially if you’re going into broadcasting.
- · The most important thing I learned was that two pairs of eyes really are better than one, and I enjoyed being my friends’ second set of eyes in their job hunts.
Whatever-weather.com was meant to be a place with a free job board, career advice, and general information on meteorology. While it didn’t thrive the way I had hoped, it did, in fact, help a few people find jobs. Now that the site is dismantled, this blog is my new home. Although I may not blog daily, I assure you that if you subscribe, when I do blog, it will be worth reading. I will still list job postings that I am made aware of, ideas for networking, and all of the other things I enjoyed writing about on WWx’s blog page. So, please subscribe and make use of my experience, which I am still offering for free.