I am a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix, AZ. Overall, I would say we, as an office and agency, do a pretty good job of forecasting the weather. Yet there remains a disconnect between how we as meteorologists perceive people obtain and use our information and reality. My interest in attending WAS*IS is to help me develop a greater understanding of how I can work better with our customers - learn what information they need, how they would like to receive it, and any other details which would make our services more useful - and how we can leverage technology to provide those services. Learning some social qualitative methods of surveying would greatly help. The new tools I learn will be brought back and shared with my co-workers.
I've been with the NWS for eight years now, working in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arkansas, and now Arizona. At the Phoenix office I serve as the climate program manager as well as the local Webmaster. I often get involved in many different research projects, varying from determining criteria for issuing heat warnings to assessing drought. I recently completed a MA in Geography (climatology focus) at Arizona State University, writing a thesis focusing on possible impacts of the Phoenix urban heat island on summer-time rainfall. I also hold a BS in Meteorology from St. Cloud State University.