The National Weather Service (NWS) is undergoing a revolution as new scientific and technological advances lead us to modernize our forecast process and change our institutional culture. The importance of ensemble-based data sets and probabilistic thinking is increasing our ability to provide actionable decision support services to our partners and the public, but also presents a steep learning curve for new and current employees. While meteorology will always be the backbone of our organization, meteorological knowledge is no longer sufficient for beginning or maintaining a successful NWS career. Greater value is now placed on complementing the traditional meteorological skill set with additional skills in areas such as statistics, computer programming, communication, and others. This leads to considerations for which skills should be prioritized and deprioritized, for those who wish to pursue NWS employment. The NWS Western Region Science and Technology Infusion division is an exciting workplace, with a chance to lead many of the changes described above. We periodically have openings for internship positions that offer non-competitive placement within the NWS upon completion and expect such an opening Jan-Apr 2022. We will highlight some past student projects and we especially encourage students to attend and ask questions about the program.
Dr. Jonathan (Jon) J. Rutz is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, located within the Science and Technology Infusion Division at Western Region Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. In this role, he works to enhance the skill and usefulness of forecasts through a combination of research, development, and training. His primary research interests are synoptic meteorology, large-scale water vapor transport, heavy precipitation, ensemble forecasting, and predictability on time scales from days to weeks. He is particularly interested in atmospheric rivers affecting the western United States and is both co-editor and co-author of the book, Atmospheric Rivers (1st ed. 2020). Dr. Rutz received a B.S.E. in meteorology from the University of Michigan in 2009, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Utah in 2011 and 2014, respectively. Dr. Rutz is co-chair of the Atmospheric River Tracking Method Intercomparison Project (ARTMIP) and an organizer of sessions at the American Meteorological Society and American Geophysical Union annual meetings. He also teaches courses on weather forecasting at the University of Utah, and is Research Collaborator at the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at University of California, San Diego.