A Professional Prospectus

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					A Professional Prospectus

            Nick Nauslar
  M.S. Student/Research Assistant
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Nevada, Reno & Desert
         Research Institute
                Growing Up
• Lived in 9 cities in my 23+ years (Omaha,
  Detroit, Des Moines, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas,
  south Texas, Norman, and Reno)
• Big sports fan (Cubs, Broncos, Bulls, Red
  Wings, OU, and Michigan)
• Love to play sports, be outdoors, and travel
           Interest in Weather
• Get bored easily, like things that keep
• Enjoy predicting/forecasting
• Godfather and Uncle struck by lightning
  playing football in college
• You can see it, feel it, and experience it
• Graduated in 2004 from Jesuit College
  Preparatory School of Dallas
• Graduated in 2008 from University of
  Oklahoma, B.S. in Meteorology
• Currently attending University of Nevada,
  Reno for M.S. in Atmospheric Science
         Training and Experience
          (Non-weather related)
• Worked as a maintenance man at my dad’s
  nursing home for 2 summers
• Worked at special events for Capital
  Distributing in Oklahoma City for 3 years
  during college
• Learned a lot about hard work and
  interpersonal communication at both jobs
       Training and Experience
• Worked from 2/06 to 8/08 at the Oklahoma
  Climatological Survey as a Outreach Student
• Coordinated logistics for classes
• Prepared and created lecture materials for
  classes (case studies, cheat sheets, etc.)
• Taught classes/lessons
       Training and Experience
• Worked as a weather intern at KOCO-5 in
  Oklahoma City summer of 2007.
• Prepared on-air graphics, performed research,
  contributed to weather blog, and during
  severe weather provided support and analysis
  for on-air meteorologist
• Earned valuable experience with green screen
  practice and overall sense of broadcast
       Training and Experience
• On-air meteorologist every Wednesday and
  Friday for college TV station
• Daily 30 minute news program broadcasted
• Did own graphics and forecasting
• Became more comfortable speaking in front of
  people and accountability for forecasts
       Training and Experience
• Storm Chasing
• Saw several tornadoes and went out about a
  dozen times the 4 years at OU
• Really see equations and classroom material
  at work
• Makes studying easier and learn a lot
       Training and Experience
• Work for Program for Climate, Ecosystem, and
  Fire Applications (CEFA)
• Researching climate indices and fire
• Implementing FORTRAN, GIS, and Statistica to
  accomplish this task
                Why DRI?
• Wanted somewhere with fire, climate, and
  complex terrain emphasis
• Did own research and aided by mentors back
  at OU
• Found Dr. Tim Brown and asked my mentors
  about him and the program
              Dr. Tim Brown
• Ph.D., Climatology, University of Colorado,
M.S., Climatology, University of
  Colorado, Boulder
B.S., Astronomy-Physics,
  University of Illinois (Sangamon State)
  Springfield, IL
• Director of Western Regional Climate Center
  (WRCC) and CEFA
• Research in applied climate and meteorology
              Research Topic
• Not confirmed but the scope is narrowing
• Will involve climate and fires
• One possible topic that has been discussed:
  Investigating dry lightning events and fire
  starts with some climatology involved
• Investigating dry lightning event in N.
  California June 20-21
• Be funded by grants obtained by CEFA
             CEFA Funding Agencies
•   Bureau of Land Management
•   U.S. Forest Service
•   National Park Service
•   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
•   California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
•   New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
•   New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands
•   North Carolina Division of Forest Resources
•   California Air Resources Board
•   San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
•   Department of Defense
•   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
•   Joint Fire Sciences Program
•   Australia’s Bushfire CRC
•   Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment
•   Aldo Leopold Institute
•   Aerospace Corporation
             Why Investigate?
• Costs: ~$500 million,
  80,000+fires burning 3.5
  million acres
• Loss of life and property
• Better prediction and
  information can lead to
  more efficient and
  productive fire
             Research Topic
• High based convection is the primary source
  for dry lightning events
• Innocuous or less than strong/severe data can
  lead to these events which can be devastating
• Traditional thunderstorm indices not as
  effective in high based convection
              Blowup Video
            Lightning & Wildfires
• Lightning Bust- This term denotes a lightning outbreak
  that is potent enough to produce numerous fire starts
• Dry Lightning- T-storm that produces rain amounts less
  than 0.1 in (2.5 mm). Sfc RH= 12-20%. Lightning
  ignition can be very efficient if surface fuels are
  sufficiently dry
• Wet/Dry Lightning- Precipitation amounts range
  between 0.1-0.2 in. (2.5-5 mm) beneath the main rain
  core and less than 0.1 in. outside the core. Sfc RH= 20-
  29%. Lightning ignition is most efficient in the
  peripheral areas
             Research Topic
• Some offices use modified indices
• A researched and practical index for high
  based thunderstorms/dry lightning events
  would help
• Possible product of my research topic
Past, Present, and Future Research
• Steven J. McKay, Miriam L. Rorig and Sue
  A. Ferguson, US Forest Service
• Paul Werth, National Interagency Fire Center
• Gregory J. Tripoli and William R. Cotton,
  Colorado State University
   “Characteristics of Lightning and
  Wildland Fire Ignition in the Pacific
• Dewpoint depression at 85 kPa and
  temperature difference between 85 and 50
  kPa was able to classify correctly between
  56% and 80% of the convective days as dry or
• Distinctly different synoptic patterns for ‘wet’
  and ‘dry’ convection days
   “The 2000 Fire Season: Lightning-
            Caused Fires”
• Mean 85-kPa dewpoint depression at Spokane
  from 1 May through 20 September was 17.7°C
  on days when lightning-caused fires occurred and
  was 12.3°C on days with no lightning-caused
• Mean temperature difference between 85 and
  50 kPa was 31.3°C on lightning-fire days, as
  compared with 28.9°C on non-lightning-fire
• High instability and high dewpoint depression
  corresponded better with lightning-caused fires
  than total lightning
 “Model-Generated Predictions of Dry
     Thunderstorm Potential”
• Based on these upper-air variables, an algorithm
  was developed to estimate the potential of dry
• Predictions generated from real time forecasts
  from MM5 during summers of 2004 and 2005 for
  western US
• 240 lightning-caused fires: 40% occurred where
  the probability of dry lightning was predicted to
  be equal to or greater than 90% and 58%
  occurred where the probability was 75% or
     Gregory J. Tripoli and William
 R. Cotton, Colorado State University
• Several papers on mountain circulations
• Including diurnal wind structure, mountain-
  plain circulation, and terrain induced/aided
• Good background on complex terrain
  thermodynamics and atmospheric dynamics
           Unique Research?
• Relationship between dry lightning, climate,
  and fires still a very open topic/subject
• Some sort of dry lightning, fire, and climate
  relationship or dry thunderstorm index would
  be helpful and unique
          Post Graduate Plans
• 2 Paths: Operational Forecasting (emphasis in
  Fire Weather) and Broadcast Meteorology
• Operational Forecasting is my first choice and I
  think it would be the wisest and most fulfilling
  long term choice
   Operational Forecasting (NWS)
• NWS and Predictive Services would be ideal
• NWS offers a wide range of forecasting but
  one can still specialize to some extent
• IMET- Incident Meteorologist
• IMETs are NWS forecasters specially trained to
  work with Incident Management Teams during
  severe wildfire outbreaks or other disasters
  requiring onsite weather support
            Predictive Services
• Predictive Services deals with every aspect of fire
• Predictive Services located at NICC and GACCs
  across the country
• Meteorologists analyze a variety of weather
  products and services to provide briefings and
  outlooks for current and forecasted conditions,
  and in some cases provide spot weather and
  smoke forecasts.
• Work with fire managers to assess fire danger
          Broadcast Meteorology
•   PROS
•   Enjoyed doing it
•   Reach a big audience
•   Can get paid well
•   CONS
•   At the mercy of the public/producer/director
•   Odd hours, lots of moving
•   Not all about meteorology
• Very goal oriented, work best this way
• Learning new tools (FORTRAN, GIS, Statistica,
• Work hard and do a good job on work projects
• Track, experience weather every day, ask
• Read journal articles on topics pertaining to
  my research topic or that peak my curiosity
• Will be in Grand Junction, CO working for
  Bureau of Land Management
• Real life experience for fire weather
• COMET modules
• Meeting and talking to people in my field
            Missing Elements
• Tough with budget crisis
• More advanced classes in forecasting
  (dynamics, synoptic, mesoscale)
• More support for post grad job search
• Some sort of orientation or class that helps
  with job placement
• National Weather Service (NWS)
• National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)
• National Incident Information Center (NIIC)
• National Weather Center (NWC)
• University Corporation for Atmospheric
  Research (UCAR)
• American Meteorological Society (AMS)

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