1.1 Is Climatology Fun or What?

Monday, 26 June 2017: 8:30 AM
Mt. Mitchell/Mt. Roan (Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf Resort)
Nolan J. Doesken, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO

"Whatever you do, don't go into climatology. It's a dead and dying field." Those words were spoken to me and other undergraduate meteorology students in the early 1970s by our academic advisor. I'm sure he was well intentioned as he totally believed that. He wasn't the only one who felt that way about climatology, as the national program of State Climatologists was abolished at about that same time. All appeared lost then for those of us fascinated by climate. But nearly 45 years later, climatology appears to be alive and relatively well, thank you. In fact, there are far more "climatologists" on the earth today than ever before. Weather observations, climate data management, data quality control and data continuity, time series analysis, trend detection, extreme value analysis, geospatial climate analysis, etc. -- each is a worthy and necessary endeavor. And just as important are climate services and the art and science of working directly with customers to provide relevant and timely information for making good plans and smart decisions. This presentation will include reflections on changes over the past half century and why it is so much fun to be a climatologist.
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