connec t ion Volume 3 — Issue 11— November 2012
Weather is occurring 24/7, and that means someone
is working long hours at the Oklahoma Mesonet.
Undergraduate students from the University of Oklahoma’s
Meteorology School are hired by the Mesonet to work in the
Mesonet Operations Center on the third floor of the National
“The Mesonet Operations group is responsible for monitoring
communications with Mesonet stations,” said Cindy Luttrell,
Lead Operator at the Oklahoma Mesonet. “Undergraduate
students are hired as Mesonet Operators and assist with
many monitoring tasks. This is not a study-at-work job!
Mesonet Operators troubleshoot communication problems
with Mesonet sites, ensure all collectable data are retrieved
from the sites, provide remote assistance to Mesonet field
technicians, assist Mesonet data users with technical
–by Stephanie Bowen
Students Play Important Role
on the Mesonet Team
Michael Haueter, a junior meteorology student, has been a Mesonet Operator for two and a half years. The student operators
work long hours, including during storms, weekends and holidays. They are vital to the operations of the Oklahoma Mesonet.
problems, and verify that all Mesonet web sites and software
Since collecting weather data is a 24/7 job, Mesonet
Operators work through finals and holiday breaks. From 8
am to 7 pm on weekdays, they are on duty, and they work
holidays and weekends from 9 am to 12 pm.
“This means our student operators stay in Norman over
school breaks rather than heading home like their fellow
classmates,” Luttrell said. “Although rare, problems
sometimes occur after hours and the Mesonet Operator
will come in to help resolve the issue. During significant
weather events, Operators stay after hours to ensure data
are available for emergency managers, NWS forecasters,
and the public.”