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Jim Murphy
Meteorologist and Mars Research Scientist
NASA Ames Research Center
Mountain View, California

My interest in meteorology probably stemmed from my moving with my family to New Orleans, Louisiana when I was 11 (1973). New Orleans gets many intense thunderstorms during the year (which I greatly enjoy experiencing!!), and is generally a warm, humid place, but can on occasion get very cold in the winter. (I remember one February morning when it was 16 degrees Fahrenheit, which for people who live in the northern U.S. is not anything too significant, but for New Orleans is absolutely frigid!!) It was the variety of weather that interested me and prompted me to learn about the causes of the different types of weather. I have always been amazed by the destructive power of weather, and I think it is neat that though all the people in the world live in different places and have many differences among the way they live, they all, on everyday of their lives, have some interaction with weather!

My Family and I

I am 34 years old (though I often don't think I am that old!).I have been married for nine years. I have three children: a seven-year-old daughter in second grade, a four-year old son, and a 7-month old son. We live near San Jose, California. I enjoy working on my research, playing with my kids, working on my house with my wife, and playing soccer, among other activities. I recently had knee surgery because I injured my knee playing soccer last spring. One advantage of doing the type of work I do is that while I was on crutches, I was still able to come to my office and work. My job does not require much carrying or walking, except carrying my books and lunch to and from my car, and periodically walking to the 'treat room' (as my daughter calls it) to get a soft drink or candy bar.

My family and I recently enjoyed watching the lunar eclipse which occurred. We gathered with our neighbors, drank hot chocolate, and watched the moon disappear (or at least darken) as it entered the Earth's shadow, and then brighten as it reemerged from the shadow. Being the children of a meteorologist/planetary scientist, my kids get subjected to being dragged out into the rainy or starry sky to view yet another 'neat' thing that I want them to see. Sometimes they think it is cool (watching the space shuttle fly overhead; seeing a thunderstorm, which is quite rare where we live) and sometimes it is 'boring' (comet Hyakutake, which they could not see well).

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