A Man for All Seasons

COUNTING clouds and playing with weather balloons characterises a typical work day for weather observer Jackson Browne.

The Griffith Science (Physics) graduate has been working for the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) since 2010.

After securing a BOM cadetship, Jackson was posted to his current position at BOM’s Brisbane headquarters.

In his work, Jackson uses scientific instrumentation, electronic equipment, computers and radars to collect and record high-quality meteorological data for climate, forecasting and aviation purposes.

Among the most fun and fascinating instruments heuses is called a weather balloon, which carries a small, expendable measuring device called a radiosonde, to help gather information on atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity.

“We release a weather balloon every twelve hours and make visual observations of the state of the sky,” Jackson says.

“Variety” is what he says he likes most about his work.

The atmosphere is constantly changing and every day is a bit different,”Jackson says.

“It is also rewarding to contribute a valuable service to the community.”

Jackson’s position at the Brisbane stationhas seen him cover some of the biggest weather events of all time such as Cyclone Yasi and the Brisbane floods— but he says the wind behind a meteorology career can blow a person in any direction that interests them most.

“This job would appeal to anyone who wanted to see more of Australia,” he says.

“Postings can range from small outback towns to tropical islands, to stations in the Antarctic, to an office job in a capital city.”

Jackson says his qualifications in Science from Griffith gave him an edge when looking to work at BOM.

“My physics major gave me the graduate qualities that my employer was looking for,” he says.

Meanwhile, he says his degree improved his general “problem-solving and communication skills” — essential in life and any job.

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