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October 11, 2011

School Project Help

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Morning Mike,

My husband and I watch you every morning and want to say that you are our favorite meteorologist!  When our 4th grader came home yesterday and told us he needed to give a Presentation on a career that involved math and science, we gave him a few ideas and he came up with meteorologist.  As I tried to explain weather patterns, etc. I realized I would have to do more research to understand this better.

then I thought how great would that be if he could hear it directly from you!  I understand you are extremely busy and probably get requests all the time for things like this.  I know my son would appreciate it and would give him more information than I could provide him.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Marnie Pearl
(mom of Conor Pearl, 4th grader at St.Christopher's)

Good Moring Miss Marnie,

Thanks for watching.  I appreciate the kind words.

Your son picked a fascinating and every changing science.

If you would like, we could set up a time for him to call me or he could email me some questions. 

Let me know if this works or if you have any other ideas.

Thanks,

Mike

 

Mr. Mike,

Thank you for getting back to me.  I am so happy.  I have to give my presentation next Friday.  Here are my questions:

1.  How & when did you decide that you wanted to be a meteorologist?

2.  Did you go to college or other special school to be a meteorologist?

3.  Do you use science and math everyday for your job?

4.  How long have you been doing this job?

5.  What is your favorite part of your job?

6.  What is the hardest part of your job?

Thank you for your time,

Conor Pearl

 

Hi Conor,

Hope this helps. 

Mike

1.  How & when did you decide that you wanted to be a meteorologist?

My mother is a retired teacher.  I always knew I would go to college, just didn’t know what the outcome would be.  After floundering the first two years, I decided to pursue something for which I had a passion, weather.  After looking into all the career fields, I choose broadcasting.  It looked like it was the most fun and would provide me with a more comfortable living than staying in academia or working for the government and private forecasting firms.  However, it is the hardest field to get and keep a job.  

2.  Did you go to college or other special school to be a meteorologist?

I attended the University of Kansas and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Atmosphere Science, also know as Meteorology at other universities.  KU offered several areas of influence under Atmospheric Science.  I chose the News Media option.    

3.  Do you use science and math everyday for your job?

Yes, but not in the sense that I solve equations everyday.  The weather forecasting computer models do that for me.  We can’t do them by hand.  It takes the computer models, running on supercomputers, nearly 2-3 hours to finish.  However, I did study their equations and, therefore, know which models handle different weather situations better.    

4.  How long have you been doing this job?

18 years.  I began in North Platte, Nebraska (the 2nd smallest market) in September of 1993.   I arrived in the Bay Area on New Year’s Day of 2007. 

5.  What is your favorite part of your job?

The challenge of forecasting and presenting the daily changes in our weather.  During severe weather, I have the ability (and have done so) to save peoples’ lives.   Also, the charity work I do outside my regular hours.

6.  What is the hardest part of your job?

The odd hours.  We are at work when people who work normal shifts are at home.  I get up at 2 am!  The hours lead to unusual eating habits and create unnatural sleeping habits.  Both of these open us to health issues others don’t deal with as much.  Even if I get 7 hours of sleep, which is extremely rare (usually 5 to 6), the body responds differently sleeping from 7pm to 2am versus say 10-5 or 11-6.  I worked different shifts before and would easily be in better shape, 20 pounds lighter and not sleep-deprived.   

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It is nice to hear your experiences on how you become a meteorologist. Passion is really important in determining the field that we should get involve with.

Good thing, you had time for your daughter to be teach.

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