Read Jennifer’s bio to learn more about her work.
How did you first hear about the AMS Station Scientist initiative, and why did you decide to fill the role of “Station Scientist?”
Years ago, I attended the national AMS [American Meteorological Society] conference in Seattle, where I heard a lot of discussions about the role that meteorologists could play in their newsrooms.
I’ve been covering science/environmental stories for more than 15 years — it just seemed natural for me to ask my news director if I could take on this role. While the idea isn’t new that meteorologist can be tapped as the Station Scientist, I think with the recent changes in climate patterns and more awareness about our Earth, news management teams across the country are looking to us to address what’s going on.
As a Station Scientist, what challenges have you encountered in presenting scientific topics to your viewers?
I think one of the biggest challenges is making sure the information is accurate and balanced. Another challenge we are faced with is finding ways to make the the story easy to understand when the information is complicated.
Which Earth Gauge materials have you used and how have you found them helpful?
The weekly newsletters have been a great resource. They provide me with timely information that pertains to our area and help me to come up with ideas for a weekly segment on the web for our The CBS4 Project Green Colorado section.
Why do you think that providing environmental information to your viewers is important? What has been your viewers’ response to increased scientific/environmental content?
We are lucky in Denver and the state of Colorado because the folks who live here are eco-friendly and environmentally savvy. They are eager to find ways to save money and to look for ways to protect our Earth by just changing things they do in their daily lives. We’ve seen increased traffic to our website when we cover certain types of environmental stories.
Can you explain the partnership between CBS4 and The Wildlife Experience? How does it educate Denver-area youth about weather and the environment?
CBS4 is a proud partner of The Wildlife Experience, an educational and entertaining museum that connects visitors with wildlife and habitats in a fun learning environment. Earlier this year, CBS4 worked closely with The Wildlife Experience on the opening of their major expansion called Globeology … [in which] visitors can experience seven different biomes.
CBS4 and The Wildlife Experience also partner together to provide Project Green Weather Visits from the CBS4 Weather Team. The CBS4 Project Green Weather Visits are geared towards 3rd- 5th grade students and are 40 minutes in length. The presentation includes a 30-minute presentation and a 10-minute weather video by a member of the CBS4 Weather Team. The school weather visits are highlighted in a newscast that same evening. Each student who attends the presentation receives a Project Green Weather Guide that includes facts about Colorado weather and wildlife.
What is one environmental topic affecting your community that you feel strongly about, and have you covered it on-air or in other ways?
Transportation and water. When I’ve covered some of these stories they’ve mainly been as news stories.
Where do you see Earth Gauge and the Station Scientist initiative going in the future?
I think the Station Scientist initiative will only continue to grow. As more and more people across the country are affected by floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other weather phenomena, I think viewers will look to their meteorologists for more explanations on what’s causing them, how they form and why are they occurring.
As more newsrooms expand the stories they cover on the environment and weather, I think the information and resources that Earth Gauge provides will continue to grow as well. One of the best examples is the recent addition of Climate Facts … while I haven’t found the right opportunity to use it just yet, it’s information I might be able to use in a future story or weather broadcast.