CIMMS at WDTD: Eric Jacobsen

Eric Jacobsen, Research Associate

Eric Jacobsen

M.S. Meteorology, University of Oklahoma (2014)
B.A. Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago (2006)

Although Eric had an interest in weather from a young age, an abundance of other interests resulted in him taking a less direct path to meteorology than many people. He attended the University of Chicago initially seeking a physics degree but transitioning to geophysical sciences. Before graduating with his BA in 2006, he was fortunate to study abroad in Kyoto, Japan for a year, and to participate in an REU at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (2005).  Following graduation and a few eclectic years holding positions in higher education, consulting, and even film and TV production, he ultimately felt the call back to science and began a Masters at the OU School of Meteorology in 2011.  There he was able to pursue a combined interest in weather and technology as a graduate research assistant studying clear air observations of the boundary layer with 88D weather radars, under the guidance of Dr. Phil Chilson.  Eric also briefly contributed to studies of migratory birds which appear on the national weather radar network. Graduate school was a pivotal experience in terms of starting from scratch to acquire new programming and software skills, such as python, Matlab, WDSSii, and more, much of which Eric was motivated to learn by, frankly, an aversion to repetitive tasks combined with a healthy dose of patience. Eric finished his studies and transitioned to WDTD at the start of 2015.

What He Does:
Eric is a Research Associate with the National Weather Service’s Warning Decision Training Division (WDTD). There he contributes to AWIPS2 training and tests new tools for release to operational forecasters, which involves a lot of software configuration and development meetings in an exciting research-to-operations environment.  He likes to relate his work with AWIPS2 to “tuning a car,” as opposed to “building a car,” since WDTD is constantly incorporating new, cutting-edge components into AWIPS and testing out how they perform with each other.

In his free time, Eric loves the outdoors, including kayaking, hiking, and anything exciting involving the sky (flying, skydiving, etc!), and he also enjoys traveling to new places.  He maintains a shaky fluency with Japanese, which quickly gets much better whenever he has the chance to visit.