Citizen Science: Advancing Weather and Climate Science One Observation at a Time

1 March, 2024 | 1:15-2:15pm ET

Citizen scientists in CoCoRaHS, NWS COOP, Skywarn, and other volunteer programs play a vital role in weather forecasting. By filling in gaps in observation networks, their observations help meteorologists and hydrologists issue more accurate forecasts and warnings. Meet the experts to learn how citizens can get involved, how volunteer observations make a difference, and how you can become an even more effective observer.


Ted Rodgers

Theodore (Ted) Rodgers earned his degree in meteorology from Penn State University and worked at Accu-Weather, Inc. for over 4 years before joining the National Weather Service in 1991.  He has been employed by the NWS for over 32 years as a Meteorologist, Hydrologist, Hydrometeorologist and Senior Hydrometeorologist. His current position is Senior HAS (Hydrometeorological Analysis and Support) Forecaster at the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center (MARFC) in State College. Ted oversees the HAS program at the MARFC and is responsible for managing over 2000 precipitation gauges used for daily operations. That includes automated hourly gauges as well as cooperative observers and CoCoRaHS reports.  Ted is also a CoCoRaHS observer himself.


Jason Cooper

Jason Cooper is the archivist at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, specializing in the acquisition, preservation, and management of data at NCEI. He has a bachelor's degree in atmospheric sciences from UNC-Asheville, and a masters in archives management from Simmons College. Jason has been at NCEI for over 20 years. He lives in Asheville with his wife and three boys.



Jennifer Dunn

Jennifer Dunn is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth. Her career in the NWS spans over 20 years. In her position as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist, she is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the office's partner relationship program, and the outreach and education programs. A native of Texas, she enjoys the variety of weather patterns and weather challenges North Texas offers. She holds a degree in Meteorology from Texas A&M University.



Noah Newman

Noah Newman is a Research Coordinator for the Colorado Climate Center and the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network ( at Colorado State University. Noah received his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in 1997 and began his career teaching informal science education in 2002. With experience teaching science - from astronomy to zoology with magnets and rocketry in-between - he currently enjoys teaching how to accurately measure precipitation to people of all ages and backgrounds. Noah has led professional development training sessions for teachers and class presentations for K-12 students since 2005 and has been interviewed multiple times on live TV including The Weather Channel. He continues to lead presentations, classes and webinars across Colorado and the nation.