Texas

Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

A Day in the Life of a Texas Climatologist

State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon (Photo: Texas A&M)

John Nielson-Gammon, the state’s climatologist, has been quite busy as of late. Our record-breaking heat and single-year drought is on the minds of citizens and lawmakers, so Nielson-Gammon’s insight is in high demand. How high? The climatologist penned this brief summary of his hectic day last week briefing the stateĀ legislatureĀ last week on drought issues:

  1. Drive to Austin; arrive 1:30 AM; catch a few hours of sleep;
  2. Testify in a panel with leaders of the Texas Water Development Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (they got all the interesting questions);
  3. Finish at 10:30; head back and stop for lunch at Southside BBQ in Elgin because I seemingly have some time to spare;
  4. Discover that rental car refuses to lock the car when I accidentally leave the key fob in my briefcase (thank goodness!);
  5. Notice voice mail message from university press office; learn that TV network wants to interview me back in College Station;
  6. Hurry back to College Station while participating in hour-long climate science education conference call;
  7. Prepare lab assignment and meet with visiting scientist;
  8. Talk with reporter from Sweden while driving to TV studio;
  9. Talk with reporter for 15 minutes on camera for 8-second sound bite;
  10. Hurry back to building and help teach the lab class;
  11. Attend seminar;
  12. Drive back to Austin that evening to be ready for the next committee hearing.

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