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Weather, Geography, & Mapping Scientist Cards

Dr. Karl Birkeland, Physical Geographer, "Avalanche Scientist"


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  • Ph.D., Arizona State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Avalanche scientists study all aspects of snow and avalanches.  My specialty involves looking at how the snowpack on slopes varies and changes over time.


Dr. Shyh-Chin Chen, Meteorologist


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  • Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a meteorologist, my research involves the predictability and fire science applications of weather and climate.


Ms. Erika Cohen, Physical Scientist


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  • M.S., University of Mississippi
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system that can capture, store, analyze, manage and display geographic data.  A GIS professional uses the computer system to perform spatial analyses on geographic data to answer scientific questions and present the results in maps.


Dr. Scott Goodrick, Meteorologist


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  • University of Alabama, Huntsville
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A meteorologist studies weather and climate.  Weather is what is happening today or tomorrow.  For example, is it raining or is it hot or cold?  Climate is how weather changes over time.  For example, this winter was colder or warmer than normal. 


Dr. Yongqiang Liu, Research Meteorologist

Dr. Yongqiang Liu, Research Meteorologist
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Dr. Yongqiang Liu, Research Meteorologist

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  • Ph.D., Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a research meteorologist, I study how climate variability and climate changes drive forest disturbances, like wildland fires.  I also study how forest conditions affect the environment, and how to predict climate-forest interactions.

Dr. Brian Potter, Atmospheric Scientiest


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  • University of Washington
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An atmospheric scientist studies how air behaves, and how that behavior produces all of the types of weather we experience on Earth.


Mr. Charlie Schrader-Patton, Geospatial Analyst


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  • M.S., University of Montana
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A geospatial (GIS, Remote Sensing) analyst uses computers to study digital map data and relate these maps to vegetation on the ground.