Alumni Profiles - Rebecca Pauly

Rebecca Pauly

Rebecca PaulyGraduation year: Spring 2013
Major: Meteorology
Hometown: New Tripoli, PA

What made you initially attend Millersville?
I chose Millersville because they are one of the only universities in Pennsylvania that have a meteorology program. I was impressed with how good the program is. I ultimately chose Millersville over the other schools with a program because of how affordable Millersville is.

Were you involved in any organizations/groups during your time at Millersville?
I was a member of the American Meteorological Society Student Chapter all four years of my time at MU. I was also in the University Choir for four years, Allies (gay-straight alliance on campus) and the Mixed Martial Arts Club.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in meteorology?
When I was a junior in high school, I took a physics class where I developed a deep interest in the subject. When it came time to go to college, I did not want to major in something as broad as a physics degree. Meteorology is essentially applied physics. I also always thought weather was cool, so the choice made sense.

What have you been involved with since graduation? Did you hold any jobs during this time?
Since graduating, I have been working on my master’s degree in Atmospheric Science at the University of Wyoming. I plan to defend my thesis at the end of the summer.

Can you tell me about your new job you’ve accepted at Science Systems and Applications Inc. (SSAI)?
The job that I have accepted at SSAI is a contractor position working as a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. I will be primarily working with the Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL) which will be flown on a C130 Aircraft for a multi-year field project. The name of the project is Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America (ACT-America). It will focus on studying the sources and sinks of carbon emissions in the US. I will be providing planetary boundary layer information using the CPL.

Did you have a favorite class or memory from your time at Millersville?
My favorite memory from Millersville is of the field work I was fortunate to be a part of while there. My favorite project was the DISCOVER-AQ project in Aberdeen, Maryland. I developed some lasting friendships with my colleagues on that project. It was also when I first developed my interest in working with lidar. Getting to spend a month in the summer on the Chesapeake Bay launching a tethered balloon was a fantastic experience.

How has Millersville helped you achieve success?
The meteorology program at Millersville prepared me very well for graduate school. I have done very well in my classes as a result of the wonderful professors I had at Millersville. The research opportunities also have made my research at Wyoming much easier because of the experience it provided me with in working with atmospheric data. Having field work experience also was a major contribution to me getting the position with SSAI.

What advice would you give to current or future Marauders for their time at Millersville?
I would tell students to take the time they have at Millersville to make positive connections with their fellow students, faculty, staff and even MU alumni. Even though Millersville is a small university, there are graduates from Millersville all over the country and in many areas of work. The connections you make today may open a door for you later. The ability to network is one of the greatest skills you can develop during your collegiate careers.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy running, hiking, reading and sewing.

Do you have any ultimate career goals?
I eventually see myself teaching meteorology or physics either at a high school level or at a collegiate level.