- January 2008
Random Profile: 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
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
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
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.”
more about SIP
In this issue...
Outstanding Accomplishment Awards
pioneer Will Kellogg, 1917–2007
Profile: Emily Laidlaw
writer wins AAAS science journalism award
forecast goes global
director for UCAR Child Care Center
Just One Look
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