Peter J. Gabrielsen
Chief hydrologic services for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service
Posted January 2007
When it rains, it pours. And when it pours, Peter Gabrielsen is there to warn people of any impending danger.
As chief of hydrologic services for the eastern region of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Gabrielsen, a 1982 Forest Engineering graduate who also received his master's from ESF in 1986, is responsible for delivering quality forecasts people can trust and use for public safety, hazard mitigation and planning.
The primary mission of the National Weather Service is the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. With an economy increasingly driven by water resources, observing the weather, forecasting it, and understanding the impact it can have on day-to-day life, business and home is important.
Gabrielsen manages the water resources program for 26 forecast offices in a 16-state area which issue timely forecasts, watches and warnings due to river flooding, hurricanes, snowmelt and heavy rain. The offices provide weather data and forecasts to the public and work in a partnership with the media and private sector to provide value-added information to their customers. Another important component of Gabrielsen's job is educating the public on the dangers posed by flooding, particularly for people traveling in a car.
The Forest Engineering alum takes the Weather Service's motto of "service above self" to heart. He works to promote science and engineering among minorities and school children and partners with state and federal government officials to continue support for the National Weather Service water resource program.