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Name: Andrea K.
Status: student
Age: 16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 12/10/2002


Question:
My dream since I was a little girl was to become a tornado chaser! I feel that they are the most fascinating things ever to be seen! But there is one problem, every time I ask someone if they think i should become a Tornado chaser, they either tell me that it is the most stupidest idea they have ever heard or they joke about it. Even my dad says it is a very stupid choice for a career but it is something that has always been a dream of mine. It really hurts me when they say things like that but it never makes me not want to become one. I do not have a clue as to what to do about my family and friends. I am afraid that they would get upset with me if I start to study up on it. Could you please help me with this. I am so lost!


Replies:
In high school, you will need to take as much math and science as possible. English is important too. Another good course to take is computer programming. If you can learn a little electronics, this can be fun. Consider doing science contest work such as SSIP from NASA. When you get to college, you will need to major in Meteorology. A strong physics background will be necessary.

If you change your mind along the way, all of these courses can apply to many other areas. Read up on the TOTO project, and ask the science teachers in your school for any contacts that might be made with meteorologists and any job shadowing that you may wish to do.

Aside from having nerve, you must have a clear and deep understanding of the phenomena and a good handle on how to do scientific research. It is much hard work, but can be very rewarding.

---Nathan A. Unterman


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