M a r s h a l l   S h e p h e r d

Marshall Shepard
Research Meteorologist
NASA

P2K: What's the worst day you ever had on the job?

MS: The worst day that I ever have on the job is any day I have to fly on an airplane. That happens quite often as we have to travel to conferences and meetings quite a bit, presenting some of the findings and discoveries that we have made. And I think that one of the liabilities that I have as a meteorologist is that I understand all too well what is happening in the atmosphere. and that makes me uncomfortable in an airplane, But it's a necessary evil in what we have to do.

P2K: What are some of your hobbies?

MS: Outside of work, I am an avid tennis player and an avid basketball player. I enjoy attending concerts and listening to music. I am very proud of my CD collection. I have about 1,000 CDs and I love listening to music. So outside of work I am an average guy. I play sports, I listen to music, I spend time with my wife and family and just enjoy life as much as I can.

P2K: "What do you want to do when you grow up?"

MS: When I grow up I still want to get into the astronaut program if I can. I don't think there has been a research meteorologist on any of the Shuttle missions, and now with the upcoming International Space Station, I certainly think there'll be an opportunity to do some weather and climate research from the space station. So being a part of NASA already I think that hopefully gives me an inside track into the astronaut corps. At some point I'll submit my application and we'll take it from there.

Also I'd like to run for Congress one day!

P2K: How would you answer this question: "If there's one thing I've learned in my career studying weather and climate it's that..."

MS: If there's one I've learned it's that we are still only beginning to understand weather and climate. Relative to physics and chemistry which are sciences which have been around, literally, for hundreds of years, our understanding of weather and climate has really just come about in the last 50 years or so. And we still cannot tell you what type of storm will produce a tornado, why some storms produce lightning and why storms don't produce lightning in some cases. So I guess that what I've learned is that the more questions that we ask and find out, the more questions we generate!


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