Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Confessions of a Wannabe Meteorologist

Dr. Richard Eckman: "From the time that I was in 5th grade, I was convinced that I would become a meteorologist. I think that it was due to an early fascination with lightning. But, through chance encounters (like one on a Pan Am 747) and much serendipity, I ended up as an atmospheric chemical modeler at NASA. I think that I was destined to work at NASA (not that I really believe in those sorts of things!). In this talk, I'll describe some of those encounters and experiences that led me from meteorology to ionospheric physics to mesospheric chemistry and, ultimately, to program management."

Dr. Richard Eckman, Program Manager, NASA Headquarters

Friday, June 5, 2015

Lately it occurs to me, what a long, strange trip it's been: one technocrat’s unguided tour through oceanography

Dr. Rick Spinrad: "Jerry Garcia had it right. As a kid growing up in New York City I never would have thought I’d end up taking the road that I did. Of course I credit Jacques Cousteau, but also have to thank Paul Rabinowitz, who hooked me on oceanography when I was an impressionable junior high school student. My professional career has been a completely unpredictable but fascinating jaunt through science. In the name of science I’ve survived Crossing the Line, lived on four different submarines, flown through the eye of a hurricane, nearly gotten shot in Africa, eaten a cobra heart, busked in bars in Peru, and served every U.S. President since Ronald Reagan. If it hadn’t been for good luck, healthy scientific curiosity, a questionable degree of risk tolerance, and the good fortune of being connected to the right people in the right place at the right time, I might have been a lifelong academician as was typical of my generation of scientists. I will share a handful of tipping points in my career and how I’ve come to understand the value of transdisciplinarity, odds-weighing, and timing in developing what - for me - has been a fascinating, if not somewhat chaotic, life in science."

Dr. Rick Spinrad, Chief Scientist, NOAA