NSSL People: Working at NSSL
The National Severe Storms Laboratory hires meteorologists, hydrologists, physicists, engineers and computer scientists at the master's and Ph.D. level.
Government jobs are found mainly within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and include positions with the National Weather Service and other NOAA research labs, such as the National Severe Storms Laboratory; there are also research positions at joint institutes, cooperative partnerships between NOAA and universities, such as the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS).
The National Weather Service (NWS) is composed of headquarters offices, national centers, regional centers, and field offices for meteorological and hydrological services. Local forecast offices are located all across the country including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Jobs within the Federal Government:
- United States Office of Personnel Management: USA Jobs
- U.S. Department of Commerce: Commerce Opportunities On-line
Jobs through the University of Oklahoma:
OU/CIMMS employees enjoy the excellent benefits provided by the University of Oklahoma while working at the NSSL. CIMMS and the University of Oklahoma are equal opportunity employers.
Other places to look:
In case you were wondering: There is no “Storm Chaser” job description at NSSL. The only time people chase storms for NSSL is when a special project is being run to collect data in the field. These projects are somewhat rare. When a project is running, some of the scientists are asked to donate part of their time to help with data collection during storm intercept operations. Sometimes, employees even donate their own personal time (i.e., unpaid time) to help out.
When we do go to the field to collect data, our “storm chasers” are NSSL employees, University of Oklahoma students, or collaborating scientists from other laboratories or universities. Consequently, if you have an interest in this type of work, it is important that you obtain a degree in meteorology or a related field—physics (lightning research), electrical engineering (radar design and fabrication), etc.—and have some ties to the type of research we are conducting at the time of the field project. Note that nearly all of our meteorologists at the lab have master's degrees or PhDs.
Government regulations make it impossible to accept offers from the public to do volunteer field work for any tornado intercept programs. Legal liability issues prevent NSSL from accepting volunteers.
Students interested in positions with NSSL or NOAA may find useful information at the following websites:
- NOAA Office of Education
- NOAA Workforce Management Office Special Programs
- NOAA Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)
- NOAA Opportunities for Students
- NOAA Pathways Program
- NSF Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP) Opportunities at NOAA
- Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS): current job listings