Selects Employee of Month
For Public Safety/Management Initiatives
age 4, Ross Dickman was already wondering about the weather.
He didn’t understand why it snowed when the temperature
was above freezing. Today, as program manager at the National
Weather Service’s eastern region headquarters in New
York, he’s still wondering about weather – as NOAA’s new
Employee of the Month.
Ross is being honored for his innovative, highly effective
approach to boosting public safety and staff productivity
through his responsibilities for AWIPS – or Advanced Weather
Interactive Processing System.
gives weather forecasters the ability to analyze data
from many sources, rapidly develop weather forecasts and
warnings, and almost instantly get information out to
transforms complex weather data into easily understood
graphics, readily available via the internet. It instantly
converts weather warnings and forecasts for broadcast
over NOAA Weather Radio. Perhaps most importantly, it
enables meteorologists to devote more time to monitoring
began monitoring and predicting weather as soon as he
could – as chief forecaster at the Daily Collegian, Penn
State’s newspaper. His work there, while earning a Bachelor
of Science in Meteorology, helped him land a spot as an
intern at the San Francisco forecast office. Stints in
Boston, then as lead forecaster in San Juan followed.
In 1995, Ross became manager of the Aviation and Severe
Weather Programs at NWS’s eastern region office. About
three years ago, he became AWIPS program manager. Under
his direction, the eastern region became the first to
commission AWIPS in all of its field offices, saving both
time and telecommunications dollars.
that full staff commitment and cooperation were essential
to the process, Ross organized and led teams to look at
policy development and use of software and hardware. To
streamline the process, he created a home page to transfer
information to the field. He worked with NWS headquarters
to keep things running smoothly. And once AWIPS was installed
and operational, he make sure that all eastern region
field offices could take full advantage of its capabilities.
Ross accomplished this by developing transition and implementation
plans, creating a technical team, organizing and leading
workshops, and generally selling the program and need
for change to all field personnel. New applications and
systems have changed the way NWS forecast and warning
products are produced. Eastern region offices now issue
graphical forecast products, and Ross’ efforts are assisting
NWS to meet its goal of producing graphic products for
use on many levels.
NWS Graphical Product
the weather, Ross relishes treasure hunting with metal
detectors and helping out in his family’s florist business.