Saturday, October 15, 2011

What does it mean to "be on the team" ?

For those new to the multi-state Foot's Forecast Team, our organization is driven by three core values: Collaboration, Passion and Innovation. We have a place for collaborating weather enthusiasts of all ages, from motivated high school students to college students in Meteorology, Climate Science or any other academic discipline, even outside side. Though weather affects us all, and we've discovered that students have a knack for demystifying the complexities of weather and climate into a format our readers understand and enjoy. To find out more about us, send a simple email to

COLLABORATION If you know how to embrace true teamwork and have had a life-long passion for the complexities of the atmosphere... be it winter storms, severe weather, heat waves or even ocean waves... then the opportunities on this team extend as far as the empowered imagination of our members. Multi-site collaboration is our secret, and we operate on the premise you have a diverse, interesting life, can be trusted with responsibility, and despite a busy schedule, want to make a more meaningful contribution to society than current options may provide. (Photo: Howard University graduates of the 2011 NOAA- and NSF-funded Weather Camp Program, on a visit to the World Weather Building in Camp Springs, MD)  

PASSION Just like the weather, different team members chase different dreams. For some, forecasting is their passion, for others it is capturing the thrills of a weather event as it unfolds. Storm Chaser Vince Webb (left) in central Mississippi provides live video feed to ABC Affiliate WATP-16 in Jackson, works with our Southeast Team in severe outbreaks. Maryland's Jason Mitchell (left) and Mintong Nan, dutifully post every day in the Capital Region on facebook.  Who what's cool? They collaborate across state lines with professional or degreed meteorologists on the team, such as Daniel Ross from Georgia Tech, our Southeast Team Leader who posts in the Georgia page, or Randall J. from Florida International University (lower left) who has flown in hurricane hunter aircraft and posts with Lead Forecaster Matt Bolton in the Central Florida page. Nikki Byers (below, right) who leads the Central Virginia page is equally comfortable presenting at a conference, hiking in the woods or performing student outreach to prospective forecasters.  

"Fusion Forecasters" are the innovative global thinkers people on our team with unique skills ranging from photography and graphic design to surfing, biking or snowsports. They serve as the creative synthesis of  how we use weather & science to perform outreach with the public. All those chill facebook avatars? That's Nick Scirico, a senior in Meteorology at North Carolina State.  What about our conference presenters? That's Central Florida Lead Forecaster Matt Bolton or Affiliate Forecaster Joe Puma of metro Chicago, both  presenting posters at the National Weather Association. Amanda Brioche, a sophomore in Meteorology, has the luckiest distinction of our "farthest south" forecaster, leading the South Florida page while attending the University of Miami. (L to R Photo: Forecasters Mike Natoli and Connor Meehan who led a hurricane simulation exercise with Baltimore County, MD Homeland Security.)  

What it means to be on the team is best summarizes by our headline mission statement: "A collaborative team of students and professional across North America driven to innovate the forecasting of weather & climate." Below are three examples of what our forecasters have said, unfiltered about what it means to them. 

Greg Jackson, Lead Forecaster: Three Rivers 
"Being on this team is to be part of a group of everyday students coming together as one to not only to collaborative but has become a second family, working with each other, and discovering our career dreams." (Greg is a freshman in Environmental Science at the California University of Pennsylvania)

Nikki Byers, Lead Forecaster: Central Virginia 
"Being on this team means the world to me. It is allowing me and others to do what we are passionate about and to follow our dreams. It has allowed me to make so many connections and meet so many wonderful people that share the same values as myself. We are all here growing as a family, not just as people who work with one another." (Nikki is junior in Criminal Justice at the College of Southern Maryland)

Mark Ingalls, Lead Forecaster: Pacific Northwest 
"Being on the team to me means that I am assisting in growing not only my future and possibilities as a meteorologist, but helping others achieve this dream as well all while posting accurate weather for those in my region." (Mark is a high school senior in Kennewick, Washington who frequently collaborates with his local NWS office)

Ready to join and innovate your future with us? Send a simple email message to and start today. It could be the decision that changes your life for the better, forever.

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