I’m about to log off for the last time and pack up my things. My two months with NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division was all too brief, but what an adventure! This placement was the first stop on my year-long sabbatical from high-school teaching back in ‘Old Blighty’. There is no real objective for this professional pause; rather the pushing of the refresh button and a chance to renew knowledge and perspective. Pieter Tans may have been a little put out on the first day when I stated such with a polite smile, but with many potential avenues to explore there was no concern! Indeed on only my third day, Sonja Wolter had hooked me up with Jack Higgs and her husband Steve which led to participating on the CAR vertical profile flight above Briggsdale. That experience quickly confirmed what I had subconsciously known, which was the dedication, professionalism, teamwork and collaboration that makes the scientific method work. And here I was in a place where all that was happening with determination and passion. It is no doubt that the people here all take pride in your work and believe in it with their hearts and souls. Attending meeting and seminars may have thrown me out of my comfort zone, but I was just as intrigued in the process behind it all: the debates, brainstorming, and to the light humour to keep sanity. I found myself absorbing this energy, and delighted in working with the outreach team on tours and school workshops. I had become a passionate ambassador of the GMD myself, using my expertise to ensure guests went away feeling that passion too. My old university (UEA) is keen to have me join an AirCore flight, thanks to Tim Newberger’s and Jack Higgs’ enthusiastic tolerance to have this joyrider along one of theirs! But I’ll take much more than renewed knowledge with me. Thank you everyone at the GMD, and those in other departments who I worked with. Thank you for the memories, the reinvigourating passion, and the hospitality. I will miss you as I move on, and will be comforted by the keeping tabs on fantastic work you are doing. Cheers!
Published by Kit Rackley
13 years as a Geography high-school teacher, now freelancing as an educational blogger, author, consultant, speaker & trainer. Higher Education Champion for NEACO based at the University of East Anglia. Consultant to the Geographical Association. Pronouns: they/them. See: https://geogramblings.com/about/ View all posts by Kit Rackley