Atmospheric and Space Scientist Career

Job Description: Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data, gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses. Includes weather analysts and forecasters whose functions require the detailed knowledge of meteorology.

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Atmospheric and Space Scientist Career

What Atmospheric and Space Scientists do:

  • Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
  • Interpret data, reports, maps, photographs, or charts to predict long- or short-range weather conditions, using computer models and knowledge of climate theory, physics, and mathematics.
  • Prepare forecasts or briefings to meet the needs of industry, business, government, or other groups.
  • Apply meteorological knowledge to issues such as global warming, pollution control, or ozone depletion.
  • Conduct meteorological research into the processes or determinants of atmospheric phenomena, weather, or climate.
  • Consult with other offices, agencies, professionals, or researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological information for weather predictions and warnings.
  • Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting.
  • Analyze historical climate information, such as precipitation or temperature records, to help predict future weather or climate trends.
  • Prepare scientific atmospheric or climate reports, articles, or texts.
  • Broadcast weather conditions, forecasts, or severe weather warnings to the public via television, radio, or the Internet or provide this information to the news media.
  • Formulate predictions by interpreting environmental data, such as meteorological, atmospheric, oceanic, paleoclimate, climate, or related information.
  • Prepare weather reports or maps for analysis, distribution, or use in weather broadcasts, using computer graphics.
  • Analyze climate data sets, using techniques such as geophysical fluid dynamics, data assimilation, or numerical modeling.
  • Perform managerial duties, such as creating work schedules, creating or implementing staff training, matching staff expertise to situations, or analyzing performance of offices.
  • Estimate or predict the effects of global warming over time for specific geographic regions.
  • Measure wind, temperature, and humidity in the upper atmosphere, using weather balloons.
  • Direct forecasting services at weather stations or at radio or television broadcasting facilities.
  • Conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global or regional weather patterns.
  • Design or develop new equipment or methods for meteorological data collection, remote sensing, or related applications.
  • Research the impact of industrial projects or pollution on climate, air quality, or weather phenomena.
  • Conduct wind assessment, integration, or validation studies.
  • Create visualizations to illustrate historical or future changes in the Earth's climate, using paleoclimate or climate geographic information systems (GIS) databases.
  • Collect air samples from planes or ships over land or sea to study atmospheric composition.
  • Teach college-level courses on topics such as atmospheric and space science, meteorology, or global climate change.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Holland Code Chart for an Atmospheric and Space Scientist