I was raised in Upstate New York (Albany), and although I've been doing severe weather photography for approximately 13 years, my academic background and interests are quite varied, and I certainly wasn't a "weather weenie" my entire life. As a matter of fact, it wasn't until the summer of 1995 when my interest in weather was piqued, a result of having camped through a derecho in the Adirondacks.
Since we had no warning that the dangerous system was moving through the region, I became fascinated with the power of these forces of nature. Upon the completion of my first degree (a BS in Elementary Education and Sociology from Russell Sage College) in 2001 and the start of my teaching career, I later went on to simultaneously teach and pursue a degree in Atmospheric Science, receiving a second BS from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science at the State University of New York at Albany (SUNYA) in 2006.
In the summer of 2006, I began attending the University of Colorado at Boulder for graduate school, and in December of 2008 I received my MS in Atmospheric Science.
Regardless of my physical location, teaching has always been a high priority to me, and so, while attending CU Boulder (and doing research relating to severe weather events), I worked almost exclusively in the departmental weather lab, teaching and developing experiments which fostered hands-on application of basic meteorological concepts for undergraduate students attending CU.
In the spring semester of 2010, I was hired by Front Range Community College to teach General Meteorology, where I strive to pass along my passion for meteorology - and science, in general - to students of varied academic backgrounds and interests. With the mantra of “Everyone’s a scientist” at the core of my teaching style and attitude, I continue to teach there today, now teaching two courses and preparing to teach a forecasting class in the upcoming future. In addition, I am also an instructor of General Meteorology at CU Boulder during the summer semester, as part of the Miramontes Arts and Sciences Program, which serves under-represented portions of the population in the quest for academic excellence.
While at CU, I was fortunate enough to have several opportunities for hands-on research/fieldwork of my own. In 2008, my research advisor introduced me to Joshua Wurman and the rest of the CSWR crew, and I worked with them during the ROTATE 2008 project as well as for their deployments for hurricanes Gustav and Ike. In the spring of 2009, I participated in the VORTEX-2 field campaign, deploying laser disdrometers for CU Boulder, and in spring of 2010, I was brought on by CSWR to be part of a POD deployment team and drive Probe 11, and was subsequently hired on as a staff member after the project ended. My duties at CSWR include radar analysis (image QC, etc.), participating in educational outreach events, website development/maintenance, as well as maintaining the CSWR photo and data archives.