Women of NSSL: Jami Boettcher

Jami Boettcher, OU CIMMS and NOAA NSSL research assistant

For the month of October NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory is publishing a series of stories highlighting some of the women working at the lab. One Q&A segment will be published each Monday in October.

Jami Boettcher is a research assistant with The University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies at NOAA NSSL’s Radar Research and Development Division. She is a radar meteorologist working with two teams of scientists on possible future radar technologies. Boettcher has previously worked for the National Weather Service and has taught as an adjunct at a variety of institutions.

Q: Describe the path leading up to your current job.
A: The first 10 years of my National Weather Service career were in operations as a meteorologist and then as a hydrologist. I next spent 23 years as an NWS instructor at the Warning Decision Training Division, where my training emphasis was on NEXRAD Radar Principles and the impacts on operations of NEXRAD software and hardware upgrades.

Q: What is it about your job that interests you?
A: Radar, radar, and did I forget to mention radar? More precisely, radar based data quality for National Weather Service forecast and warning operations.

Q: What is your personal philosophy?
A: I’ll call this an aspiration, which means I don’t always succeed: Be patient, respectful, kind, and listen, because everyone you interact with has their own wounds, whether they know it or not.


Q: What does true leadership mean to you?

A: I want to follow leaders who have a core belief that everyone has something to contribute, and provide the patience and attention required to mix those contributions in the best way possible. I prefer leaders who convey interest in people, who know when to direct, when to inspire, and when to get out of the way.

Q:Who is your role model and why?
A: Though she is no longer physically with us, Liz Quoetone. Through decades as co-workers, we explored the nooks and crannies of the human experience. She taught me the power of compassion, patience, and kindness, while she nudged the culture of the NWS toward recognizing the human element of warning operations.

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Women of NSSL: PaTrina Gregory

PaTrina Gregory, NOAA NSSL administrative officer

For the month of October NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory is publishing a series of stories highlighting some of the women working at the lab. One Q&A segment will be published each Monday in October.

PaTrina Gregory is the administrative officer at NOAA NSSL and as such she is the leader of the NSSL Director’s Office team who oversee all matters related budgets, grants, property, leases, personnel, and procurements. She ensures the entire laboratory functions efficiently and is able to complete its scientific mission. As a result of her exceptional work, she has received several awards and recognitions. Gregory joined NSSL in 2014.

Q: Describe the path leading up to your current job.
A: I competed for a professional development/career internship when working at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. I successfully completed the three year internship and became an administrative officer and I have been doing it ever since. I joined NSSL in 2014.

Q: Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
A: I’ve flown a Cessna, a glider, and a powered parachute. I’ve also sky dived, scuba dived, rode on a snuba and I drive motorcycles…but I absolutely hate public speaking.

Q: What is your personal philosophy?
A: Be kind to people…you never know what’s going on inside of them…if you can’t make them better, don’t dare make them worse.


Q: What is the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your life thus far?

A: Growing up quickly! My mom died from cancer when I was 18 and while those pressures in life pushed me to maturity, I like that I’m still quite silly — or I try to make everyone smile and laugh.

Q: What does true leadership mean to you?
A: Someone willing to get into the trenches with their staff, who supports them, trains them and corrects them in a kind fashion and ensures that the organization is better when they leave than it was when they arrived.

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Gab at the Lab: Matt Mahalik

Matt Mahalik, Research Associate (CIMMS/NSSL)

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Background:M.S. Atmospheric Science, Texas Tech University (2015)
B.S. Meteorology/Climatology/GIS, The Pennsylvania State University (2012)
Experience:Matt grew up in Pennsylvania and South Carolina, and earned his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Penn State University. During his undergraduate studies, he was active in the Penn State chapters of the AMS and NWA. He was also a NOAA Hollings Scholar and spent time at the NWS forecast office in Melbourne, Florida, in 2011. He went on to earn his Master’s degree from Texas Tech University in 2015, focusing his studies on supercell modeling and vorticity dynamics, working with mobile radars, and maintaining West Texas Mesonet stations.
What He Does:Matt started with OU CIMMS in July 2015. He is a part of the Severe Weather Warning Applications and Technology Transfer group in the Warning Research and Development Division. He describes himself as a writer, tester, and fixer of algorithms for the Warning Decision Support System -- Integrated Information. Currently, he is working on azimuthal shear applications, including rotation tracks, and developing divergent shear. Matt also contributes to several other projects with the Lab, including Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor severe weather applications and the Multi-Year Reanalysis of Remotely Sensed Storms program. In addition, he is helping develop mesocyclone and tornado detection algorithms with the Radar Operations Center, and assists severe weather researchers at the OU School of Meteorology.
Trivia: Matt was a campus tour guide at Penn State. In his spare time, Matt enjoys road trips, attending college football games, and the occasional storm chase. Some miscellaneous favorites of his include Carolina BBQ, red dirt country music, and a surprising amount of hip hop.

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