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David Novak (PhD, 2009)

Demetrios Caroussos tossing clams over a boat

David Novak is the Director of the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland where he oversees national forecasts for heavy rainfall, snowfall, and hazardous weather. He received a PhD from SoMAS where his research involved numerical models to understand hazardous weather conditions and predict their occurrence.

David’s interest in weather has been life-long. “Growing up in the extremes of Minnesota, I’ve been fascinated with the weather, and in particular, snowstorms.”  His dissertation work was an extension of this passion, where he studied localized heavy snowfall events, also known as mesoscale snowbands.

According to David, while at SoMAS he “learned to consider alternative viewpoints. Marine scientists, climate scientists, and meteorologists may think differently, but sharing those diverse views leads to a better solution. Appreciating and leveraging the diversity of viewpoints is critical to my job today.”

David was pushed to “think even bigger, work even harder, and achieve even more” at SOMAS. His advice for students is to seize opportunities that take us out the our comfort zones and expand our thinking.

David has developed a fulfilling career that combines his interests in hazardous weather, his passion for helping others and applies the technical skills he developed at Stony Brook University. “I love being at the heart of the nation’s weather forecasting service and science. Whether it be an accurate forecast of a hurricane, winter storm, flood, or heat wave, I know the information we provide every day really does matter to people’s lives. I love being at the center of these advances, and in a position to influence the direction of our service, while at the same time learning from the best talent in the nation.”