|COD AMS Treasurer: James Baugh
Focus in Field: Severe Weather and Disaster Preparedness
When I was in kindergarten, I got to dress up as “what I wanted to be when I grew up” one day. I wore a lab coat and brought a weather map and wanted to be a weatherman. As I got older, plans changed and I realized I was actually afraid of thunderstorms, I decided to go into culinary arts and restaurant management. Plans changed again. In July 2010, my house flooded from heavy, training thunderstorms. In the midst of clean-up I was able to find the preserved picture from that day in kindergarten. That disaster left us slightly unprepared for the 2011 “snowmageddon” Groundhog Day blizzard. Later that year, I got to meet disaster preparedness expert and storm chaser Eddy Weiss who is the founder of Chasing4Life, he became a mentor to me. So, going into my senior year of high school, with advice from Eddy and many events shaping my decision, I decided to jump back into meteorology and started to immerse myself with weather information. I took online courses, read books, and quickly overcame my fear of storms by going outside to study them. I wanted to help prevent what happened to me from happening to others and decided to use meteorology as a way of doing that, I now volunteer with the Chasing4Life Disaster Response Team to help victims of disasters, as well.