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December - January 2008

Random Profile: Emily Laidlaw

emily laidlaw

Emily Laidlaw

Every other month, Staff Notes Monthly spotlights a staff member selected from the phone directory with the help of a random number generator. This month we profile Emily Laidlaw, an associate scientist in ISSE.

On the job: Emily first came to the Societal Impacts Program (SIP) as a student assistant in 2004. Two years later, she was hired full time as an associate scientist.

A joint effort between ISSE and RAL, SIP is dedicated to researching the societal impacts and economic benefits of weather information. Emily wears several different hats for the program. A major part of her job is to manage SIP’s information resources. She designs and edits SIP’s Weather and Society Watch, a quarterly newsletter focusing on societal impacts of weather and weather forecasting.

Emily also maintain’s SIP’s Web site and manages online resources, including a newsgroup for researchers, policymakers, and the public; a database of statistics on extreme weather events; a Web site called Societal Aspects of Weather that serves as a clearinghouse for online resources; and a digital library of research findings related to societal impacts and the value of weather forecasts.

In addition, Emily participates in weather-related research herself, focusing on the value of forecasts to the transportation sector and the challenges associated with compiling accurate data from disasters. She has taken part in the Weather and Society * Integrated Studies (WAS*IS) program, a movement to integrate social sciences into meteorology.

“What I like best about working at NCAR is being on the edge of new research and all the creativity,” Emily says. “I also really enjoy working with scientists to communicate their research.”

Emily’s father is a scientist and her mother is a teacher. Growing up, she always had an interest in science as well as writing. After earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Rochester in New York, she got a master’s degree in journalism at CU-Boulder, with an emphasis on science and technical writing.

“This job is what I’ve always wanted to do,” she says.

Off the job: Emily split her childhood between Wyoming and Alabama and has immediate family in both states. She currently lives in Broomfield with a number of furry friends: two cats along with two hamsters called The Bobs. She has a dogwalking and petsitting business on the side.

Emily always knew she wanted to move to the West for the mountains. She is passionate about alpine skiing and aspires to go heli-skiing at some point in the foreseeable future. “My favorite mountains to ski are Snowmass and Aspen Highlands,” she says.

She also enjoys long-distance running, as well as hiking, biking, and rock climbing. A shoulder injury has recently put a damper on her climbing, but once she’s healed she’d like to do more mountaineering.

She and her boyfriend, Blake, went to Iceland this past summer for a friend’s wedding. “It never got dark while we were there, so it was like being gone for one very long day,” she says. “We would be out hiking around on glaciers, thinking it was evening, and realize it was two o’clock in the morning.”

On the Web

For more about SIP

In this issue...

2007 Outstanding Accomplishment Awards

NCAR pioneer Will Kellogg, 1917–2007

Random Profile: Emily Laidlaw

COMET writer wins AAAS science journalism award

Weather forecast goes global

New director for UCAR Child Care Center

Delphi Question

Holiday greetings!

Just One Look

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