Deirdre Kann’s distinguished career includes 30 years at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and 23 years as the Science and Operations Officer at the Albuquerque National Weather Service.
She recounts how she was introduced to the atmospheric sciences. “My house was hit by a tornado when I was in fifth or sixth grade, and everybody thinks that’s it, but it is not. It did pique my interest in weather and the outdoors, but I loved math. I pursued a degree in mathematics with absolutely no idea what you did when you graduated, but my physics instructor often told me that ‘Meteorology is what you should study.”
Kann earned her BS in Mathematics at Towson University, continued her education to obtain a PhD in atmospheric sciences from Purdue University.
Deirdre found meteorology to be quite a fulfilling career. “If you can get a job that you’re passionate about, you are the luckiest person in the world. Following graduate school, my first job was research-oriented, but when I got the job at the (National) Weather Service, the focus switched to operations, and over the years I gained great respect for both aspects. The idea of being a true public servant, to make forecast products and warnings that you’re hoping would save lives and property, is very rewarding.”
Now in retirement, she continues to educate and contribute to the community. “Our local Oasis (Albuquerque, NM) contacted the (National) Weather Service to inquire about popular tours I was doing for outreach. I began teaching in both the intergenerational tutoring program and Oasis classes right after I retired!”
For Deirdre, continuing to learn and grow throughout life is essential. “I am the product of two lifelong learners. My parents were incredible people. We did many interesting things as kids.”
My mother used to say, “You go to college to get educated, not to get trained.”
My father used to say, “Don’t ever pass up an opportunity to do or see something you haven’t done before.”
Check out Deirdre’s class this June!
#372 – Seeing is Believing: The Science Behind Atmospheric Optics
Tuesday, June 27
10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Instructor: Deirdre Kann, National Weather Service (Retired)