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Name That Field
We all know that a meteorologist is someone who studies weather and a climatologist one who studies climate. But other weather and climate scientists have very interesting sounding titles for their job descriptions in their fields of specialization.
One is a micrometeorologist. Now I have practiced this specialization for most of my professional career in meteorology. And, anyone that knows me, a 6-foot two, 240 pounder, instantly realizes that the description does not refer to the practitioner's size (actually, I am more of a macrometeorologist) but to the fact that the specialization of micrometeorology concentrates on very small-scale weather elements. The micro-scale might refer to a small woodlot, a farmer's field, a section of shoreline or even your backyard (see A Matter of Scale).
Then there is the pluviculturalist. This can be a profitable profession if you are consistent and good at it. You see, a pluviculturalist is a rainmaker.
A dendochronologist is someone who studies tree rings to determine seasonal weather variability and long-term climate variations.
One of the more interesting job descriptions that I have come across is that of a paleotempestologist. According to James B. Elsner and Birol Kara in their book: Hurricanes of the North Atlantic: Climate and Society, a paleotempestologist studies the occurrence and impacts of ancient storms from such information as unusual deposits at the mouths of rivers and in wetlands, and changes in vegetation patterns, particularly tree species. The term reportedly was coined by Kerry A. Emanuel, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
That leads me to wonder what we should call someone who specializes in the study of El Niño and La Niña? A meteorpediatrician?
Job titles have come a long way since those practicing the profession were known as weathermen (how politically incorrect that seems today!).
P.S. I particularly hate the appellation given to weather enthusiasts: weather weenie. I'd prefer Weather Aficionado.
Have you a good name for a meteorological or climatological specialist? Or perhaps a better name for those of us who love weather? If so, email me with your special words. I will add the best to this piece. Be sure to include your name and area of residence!
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