Gab at the Lab: Vicki Farmer

Vicki Farmer, NSSL Webmaster (Ace Information Systems)





Background:M.S. Physics, University of Texas - Austin
B.S. Physics, University of Oklahoma
Experience:I’ve been all over the place. After my bachelor’s degree, I worked in the defense industry doing nuclear EMP survivability research and testing. Went to graduate school where I designed a new Thomson scattering experiment for the Fusion Research Center. That was mostly optical design, and my minor was in EE with an emphasis on optics. That was how I got a job at JPL, working on the aberration recovery mission for the Hubble Space Telescope, working on the second generation Wide Field Planetary Camera.

After that, I moved back to Oklahoma for family reasons, and shortly after I got back, I ran into an old friend from my undergrad days. We had lunch, and she asked me what I was doing, and I told her I was looking for a job, and she said, “There’s an opening at NSSL...”

Been here ever since -- 20 years this month.
What She Does:As the NSSL webmaster, I design, build and maintain the majority of the Lab’s online properties. I provide tools and platforms for NSSL outreach and research personnel to use to communicate with the public, with each other, and with our colleagues, peers and collaborators. It’s a never-ending job -- the technology is developing at a breakneck pace, and there’s always something that needs attention.

The recent accomplishments I’m most proud of are:

A major overhaul of our Severe Weather 101 pages -- a lot of our web traffic comes from school kids and educators! The updated site incorporates a lot of multimedia -- pictures and video -- that makes it a lot more fun to visit, and we’ve seen a very large increase in traffic! Every year we get a lot of new visitors in the spring, and I’m happy to have a nice resource to offer them.


A new resource,, which provides a self-publishing platform for our scientists to use to communicate about their work and their projects in their own words. It’s still pretty new, but I’m hoping it will catch on and be a great addition to our web properties.
Trivia: In my copious spare time, I build websites and manage social media for various Oklahoma musicians and venues. I also do concert photography; people in Oklahoma can see my work in the Daily Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette, Oklahoma Today, and various other publications. I’ve got some pictures in the 2016 travel guide from the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Dept., and I have been on the photography staff for the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival for the last few years. (I broke my ankle on a loading dock on the first night of the festival last year! Boo!)

One of “my” musicians, John Fullbright, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Americana Album of 2012, and he’s been on Letterman, CBS This Morning, A Prairie Home Companion, Austin City Limits, etc. I get to manage his online presence through all of that, and I love every minute of it.
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