Big data is today - from weather satellites to high resolution weather models - and terabytes of weather data are being archived on a daily basis. My job is to make that data readily accessible in a readable format. I am a Meteorological Data Analyst and Systems Programmer for Weather Analytics located in Bethesda, MD. I maintain the operational system, which processes the weather data to support the products we create for our customers. Weather Analytics develops applications and products to display and report weather data to those who need to make important decisions based upon the weather.
Before I joined the Weather Analytics team, I worked for Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies as a government contractor in support of NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). I maintained operational systems which process satellite data and create weather products for the National Weather Service.
The Penn State meteorology program perfectly fit my interests when I was choosing my major. Math and science were my strong points in high school, and I had a particular interest in weather. While at Penn State, I chose the Weather Forecasting and Communications option, and focused on polishing my skills as a broadcast meteorologist. It wasn't until my senior year that I was introduced to scientific programming. I had completed a required introductory programming course earlier in my academic career, but learning to write a program in Fortran to process meteorological data really sparked my interest.
Career-wise, I was hired by both companies due to my background in meteorology and my computer programming experience. If you can diversify your expertise by adding an additional skill that can be applied to your meteorological background, you will make yourself more marketable as a potential hire. Penn State makes this possible through the different options within the major of meteorology, as well as a wide range of courses to choose from.
With an ever-expanding technology-centric world we live in, I like to be able to step away from the computer screen every chance I get. I enjoy staying active, running and biking the many trails in the Northern Virginia and greater Washington, DC area. Traveling and seeing the world has also become a recent hobby. There's nothing like flying above the clouds!