Awestruck….I’m still in awe from an opportunity I had last Friday.
Last week, I my radar class visited the radar site for Denver (KFTG). That giant tower you see above…yeah that montrosity is it.
It sits on 12 feet of concrete underground and puts out so much power (750 kW), if you put a hot dog close to the transmitter, it would get nice and krispy.
But that’s not why I am in awe. I mean that thing is awesome but it wasn’t the thing that inspired me.
That would be the woman who led the field trip. Her name is Nezette Rydell, and she’s the Meteorologist in Charge at the Boulder National Weather Service. Yep, I had to Google her name because it’s not a name you come by often.
Nezette looks like a sweet Texan grandmother. She doesn’t give off a standoffish vibes I noticed from other meteorologists and had a real interested to talk to my fellow students and I. But when she opens her mouth, that’s when your jaw drops.
“What we are looking at today,” she said excitingly, “Is a WSR-88D radar. The transmitter puts out 750 kW of power and does a full volume scan in 6 minutes.”
Well, I wasn’t expecting that! Not to say women don’t know their stuff. It is just since I started my meteorological scholastic career I’ve only heard from men. I mean, every single conference I’ve been to or class I’ve had, a man is the one spouting out the technical jargon. And if I can say quite frankly, the way she was able to explain something so technologically advanced, it made me so happy!
As a female budding meteorologist, I feel like I’ve had a little bit to prove within myself. Coming from a journalistic background, it has been a struggle to train my brain to do the math and physics. And, for the most part I’ve been in a lot of male dominated classes, where usually the people who are able to answer things out-loud (even though a lot of my female friends also knew the answers) in class are all…men. And I am not ashamed to say, I’ve also heard sporadically throughout my life that men are better at the sciences then women.
So just to see a woman, who is the big boss at I would say one of the hardest Forecasting Offices to get in to (seriously, you need a PhD or at least a master’s degree to even be considered) be able to spout of all this technical jargon and to just show how smart she is….I can’t even begin to describe how inspired I am.
It makes me realize, as a woman, that I can go and do well in this field to. I can know all this jargon and that either I or any of my female counterparts could be the MIC (Meteorologist in Charge) of their County Warning Area. We can be chief meteorologists. And because we are also learning how to code and work in fields of instrumentation, there is no telling what the future holds.
Needless to say, I have hope for the future. And that, makes it all worth it.