Justin Blicharski served in the U.S. Navy as an Operations Specialist from 2003 to 2011. Following active duty, Justin enrolled at SUNY Buffalo State as a Geography Major, graduating with a concentration in Meteorology & Climatology. Upon graduation he was awarded the Updraft Award, in recognition of scholastic achievement in course work, and active involvement in meteorology-related activities, while at SUNY Buffalo State. Justin plans on returning to active service after graduation and to work towards a career as a Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Officer in the US Navy.
Shannon Graves graduated in 2015 with a degree in Earth Sciences, with a minor in Meteorology & Climatology from the Department of Geography and Planning. Shannon participated in a number of activities within the Minor, but she will be remembered most for her three years as co-host of the WeatherBUFF radio show, and for serving on the Board of the campus radio station (WBNY-91.3 FM). Shannon completed her M.S. degree in Education. Meteorology makes up a good chunk of the Earth Science curriculum, and while most students take only the required introductory meteorology course, Shannon, by completing the Meteorology & Climatology Minor, is well prepared for the curriculum.
Samantha Thomas graduated from Buffalo State College in May 2013 with a degree in Geography with a concentration in Meteorology and Climatology, and a Minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Samantha received the ‘Updraft Award’ for excellence in meteorology & climatology. She completed internships with WKBW-TV in Buffalo and NEWS 12 in the Bronx/Brooklyn, and at the National Weather Service in Upton, NY. She also gained broadcasting experience on campus by co-hosting a weekly weather show on the campus radio station WBNY. Samantha joined the CBS affiliate KGWN-TV, Channel 5 weather team in Cheyenne, Wyoming where she received a 2015 Emmy award for her weather reporting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuGVCuqkB0g. Samantha is currently working at KFDA-TV (Channel 10) in Amarillo, Texas.
Ted McInerney graduated with a degree in Geography (Meteorology and Climatology Concentration) at Buffalo State. Early on Ted set his goal on a career in Broadcast Meteorology – interning at WGRZ in Buffalo, providing weather broadcasts for BSC-TV. Ted was the 2007 recipient of the ‘Updraft Award’ for excellence in meteorology & climatology. Upon graduation, Ted worked for a CBS affiliate in the Quad Cities Illinois/Iowa, and later for a station in Birmingham, Alabama. The Quad Cities gave Ted the opportunity to be on the front lines of the Mississippi’s devastating floods in 2008. In Birmingham, Ted reported on a series of tornadoes that hit Tuscaloosa-Birmingham in Spring’11. For their coverage Ted and his teammates won an Associated Press Award and an Edward R Murrow award. In 2014 Ted was honored by the Alabama Associated Press as Best Weather Anchor. Currently, Ted is forecasting the morning weather for an ABC affiliate (WMTM-TV) in Portland, Maine.
Lindsey Higgins graduated with a degree in Geography, and Minors in Meteorology and Anthropology from Buffalo State. Lindsey’s interest in anthropology grew from taking our Paleoclimatology course, and she also worked in our Paleoclimatology Lab . She completed a summer National Science Foundation internship with Neil Laird at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, studying lake effect weather. Lindsey completed her Senior Thesis studying extreme winter cooling in Watertown, NY. Lindsey was recipient of our 2010 Meteorology/Climatology ‘Updraft Award’ for excellence in meteorology and climatology. Lindsey recently completed her Masters at Ohio State University, in the Department of Geography/Byrd Polar Research Center, studying ice core paleoclimatology. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at Stockholm University, in the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, where her research explores environmental history and climate change in relation to historical land use changes in East Africa through the analysis of microfossils in lake sediments.
Melissa Bender graduated with a degree in Music Education and a minor in Meteorology and Climatology from SUNY Buffalo State. Melissa took a strong interest in the field of climatology, and with a goal toward graduate studies, took on an additional year to complete extra geography courses at Buffalo State. Melissa was accepted at Columbia University. She chose the M.A. Program in Climate and Society, a one-year accelerated degree program that teaches the application of climate science to real-life issues. Melissa worked with the Earth Institute, a large Columbia program focused on global environmental issues from climate change to poverty. The program culminated with an internship with the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning on the greenhouse gas inventory, through the Climate Smart Community Program. Melissa is currently serving as a postgraduate intern with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation/Office of Atmospheric Programs, under the Climate Change Division (CCD) in the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Branch (GGRB). This section assesses and addresses global climate change and the associated risks to human health and the environment. Her focus is on Greenhouse Gas Data System Development and Dissemination.
Jack Kanack graduated cum laude from Buffalo State College in 1983 with a B.S. in Geosciences. Jack has always had a keen interest in meteorology. Jack returned to Buffalo State in 2008 to audit a number of our meteorology & climatology courses and to become involved with other meteorology-related activities. Our ‘Applied Climatology’ course opened Jack’s eyes to weather as a business opportunity. With financing from the Niagara County Business Development Center Jack has started up his own consulting business – Weather Medic Inc. – where he specializes in customized weather analysis servicing both business and individuals. Jack has given back to Buffalo State by working with our students to provide real-life experiences in the business of weather. Jack was awarded the ‘Friend’ award from the Department of Geography & Planning. Jack serves as a Cooperative Observer (COOP) for the National Weather Service (NWS), and was awarded both the ‘John Campanius Holm’ award for 26 years of dedicated observations for the NWS, and most recently, the prestigious NWS ‘Thomas Jefferson’ award for weather accuracy and community involvement. http://www.weathermedic.com
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