Julien Wang, Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) • When it came time to choose a major, Wang was torn between the arts and her growing interest in the environment. Finally, she chose environmental engineering. One recent project: designing a green roof.
Lou Verstraete, NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory • As a senior technician, Verstraete manages a self-contained meteorological observing system that's deployed on field projects around the country and the world.
Aaron Pratt, Howard University • Pratt became hooked on hurricanes when the one named Hugo took aim at the Carolina coast 18 years ago. Now, the Ph.D. candidate is studying how dust affects the birth of such storms on the other side of the Atlantic.
Aiguo Dai, NCAR's Climate and Global Dynamics Division • After graduating from high school, Dai applied to the math department at China's Nanjing University.
"They didn't want me, so they put me in the meteorology department instead," Aiguo says. "But I think it turned out very well for me."
Christopher Castro, University of Arizona • Castro always had what he calls a passing interest in weather, but he never thought of his hobby as a career path. Now he’s a professor of atmospheric science and a researcher working on better forecasts of the Southwest's torrential summer rains.
Hector Socas-Navarro, NCAR's High Altitude Observatory • When this astrophysicist was 10 years old, he watched Cosmos, Carl Sagan's famous television series about the universe and our place in it. It was then that Socas-Navarro decided to become a scientist.
Waleska Rivera Rios, Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) • In 2005, Rivera Rios was on her way to earning a doctorate in environmental science from the Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico.
Marina LaGrave, Spark: UCAR Science Education • When she began translating an educational website about Earth and planetary science, LaGrave realized that her intended audience wouldn't visit the site if they didn’t know it existed.
Doug Nychka, NCAR's Institute for Mathematics Applied to the Geosciences • A statistician by training, Doug leads IMAGe in its mission to bring mathematical models and tools to bear on fundamental problems in the geosciences.
Casey Thornbrugh, University of Arizona • Mention statistics to most middle schoolers and, unless you're talking about odds for poker hands, the response is likely to be an eye roll. When Thornbrugh was in middle school, though, his hobby was climate statistics.
Laura Pan, NCAR's Atmospheric Chemistry Division • Pan describes herself as an "accidental" scientist. She never intentionally set out to pursue a science career, but her pursuit of knowledge and understanding, however, is anything but accidental.
Jack Fox, NCAR's Design and Fabrication Services • Jack's favorite part of the job is brainstorming with researchers who come to the machine shop with everything from hazy visions of the instruments they want to highly detailed drawings they've prepared.
Kaye Howe, UCAR's National Science Digital Library • "Science is part of the Renaissance dream of a life of the mind," Howe says. "I don't participate in science in a professional way, but rather as a wonderful approach to knowledge and understanding."
Tim Scheitlin, NCAR's Computational Information Systems Laboratory • "One of the most rewarding things about this job is taking scientific data and making it visually interesting while preserving scientific accuracy," Scheitlin says.
Jielun Sun, NCAR's Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division • Sun likens data analysis to a form of meditation. "It's all about discovery," she explains. "Every time I look at data, I see something and feel like I learn things."
Ying-Hwa "Bill" Kuo, UCAR's COSMIC Program • Bill is a meteorologist leading UCAR's deployment of an array of satellites that use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to provide a wealth of data about the atmosphere.
David Gochis, NCAR's Research Applications Laboratory • For Gochis, a day on the job as an NCAR scientist might mean driving around the rural backroads of northern Mexico, setting up dozens of gauges the size of cookie jars that record rainfall to the nearest millimeter.
Claudia Tebaldi, NCAR's Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences • One of Claudia's favorite things about her job is working closely with the scientists who interpret the data that she analyzes. "Because I'm a statistician, I couldn't be anything but a team player," she points out.