When people ask about my career aspirations I often say that I want to be the link between climate science and society. What that means is, I’d like to use my science background to provide people with the most accurate scientific information available and educate them about the realities of climate change, so they can make informed decisions about how it will impact their lives.
But how did I get interested in climate change? It all started in high school physics class where I enjoyed learning about everyday physical interactions, such as dropping an apple on your foot or sliding a book across a table. Although it doesn’t seem like it, several forces interact to allow us to perform those actions. I was fascinated that I could observe objects in motion that we studied in labs also in my daily life without having to peer through a microscope.
It was this same curiosity about how objects move that made me question how weather forms and moves over an area. Growing up, weather had always fascinated me because it is part of our daily lives. I also thought there must be lots of jobs in this field because weather affects everyone in every part of the world, and we are forced to live with it. This is what led me to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from San Jose State University in California.
After finishing my bachelor’s degree I was ready for more. I applied to graduate programs in meteorology but was apprehensive because I wasn’t excited about narrowing my interests to one topic or committing my life to studying the details of that specific problem. I was more interested in building on my meteorological background and expanding my knowledge of the interdisciplinary aspects of climate change. After researching Professional Science Masters programs, I found RSMAS. When I read the description of the Weather, Climate, and Society track in the Meteorology & Physical Oceanography division, I felt like it was specifically written for me. The purpose matched my goals to build upon my scientific background and to learn the skills desirable for employers through an internship project.
Even though there are few Professional Science Masters students in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, I am excited to be part of this new degree program. I look forward to completing my degree and cannot wait to see the program flourish over the years.
This blog post is part of a series of stories written by RSMAS graduate students enrolled in the Spring 2012 Scientific Communications (RSM 545) course.
Master of Professional Science: Weather Climate and Society
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