A native of Louisville, KY, John moved to the Washington, DC metropolitan area in 1989 shortly after completing his Bachelor of Engineering Science at the University of Louisville. He began his professional career as a computer scientist in the Acoustics Division of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in DC. John left the federal government in 1994 to work in the federal contracting sector as a software engineer, where he worked on projects for NRL’s Radar Division, satellite navigation systems for NASA, and air traffic control systems for the U.S. In 2000, John switched to the wholly private sector and used his software engineering expertise in the credit card industry. Always someone who loved science, though, John decided that re-entering that realm was his goal, and the choice was between astronomy and meteorology. He decided on meteorology and, in 2009, began a five-year Professional Masters program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland. In 2010, John left the credit card industry to begin the next phase of his career at the Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL) of the National Weather Service (NWS), where his current work lies. Along the way, he joined CIRA in 2013, and he completed his Masters degree in 2014.
Since joining the MDL, John has worked on a number of projects, including the AutoNowCaster (ANC), CAP Handler, IRIS, and ProbSevere. As Technical Lead, John helped transition ANC to operations, and he coordinated with Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau to help it upgrade its ANC to the version that is operational in the U.S. John also co-authored two Weather and Forecasting articles about ANC, and he assisted his CIRA colleague Paul Roebber with an ANC-related research project and associated Monthly Weather Review journal article. As Deputy Technical Lead, John helped advance the goals of the IRIS project, one of which is the creation of a national Impacts Catalog, a system whereby the NWS can improve its Impact-based Decision Support Services to its core partners by providing those partners information regarding the impacts that relevant meteorological variables will have on those partners’ operations. As Project and Technical Lead, John was responsible for helping guide the transition of ProbSevere to operations.
Currently, John’s main focus is the CAP Handler project, where, as Technical Lead, he helps coordinate the replacement of the NWS’s HazCollect and HazCollect-Extended systems with a unified and technically up-to-date system–the CAP Handler–that both disseminates NWS advisories, watches, and warnings from AWIPS to FEMA’s IPAWS-OPEN system and disseminates Non-Weather Emergency Messages from FEMA’s system to the associated NWS Weather Forecast Offices. The CAP Handler is scheduled to become operational in mid-February, 2021.
Since 2019, John has acted as supervisor to a small group of CIRA staff at the MDL, and he completed his Supervisor Development Certification Program in December, 2020. John very much enjoys this new part of his career and looks forward to continued learning and experience in this area.
When not engaged professionally, John enjoys getting outdoors, continuing to develop his boxing skills, traveling, satisfying his “foodie” inclinations, slowly but surely reading all of the books that piled up while getting his Masters degree (as well as new ones that he continues to buy), and keeping his German as up-to-date as possible. Nicht schlecht, oder?