Sim Aberson

Sim Aberson
Location of Interview
Collection Name

NOAA Heritage Oral History Project


NOAA Heritage Oral History Project aims to document the history and legacy of NOAA through compelling interviews with its leaders. These firsthand accounts provide an invaluable resource that preserves NOAA's significant contributions to environmental research and management, fostering a deeper understanding of NOAA's vital role in shaping our understanding of the Earth's oceans and atmosphere.

Date of Interview

Fantastic Transcripts


"Dr. Sim Aberson is a meteorologist at NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, located at AOML in Miami, FL. His research has focused on observing systems to give Hurricane Specialists at the National Hurricane Center information to improve their hurricane forecasts. He participates in NOAA’s annual Hurricane Field Program and has worked with different observing platforms, especially dropwindsondes, to optimize sampling from Hurricane Hunter Aircraft and the way the data are assimilated into forecast models. Sim began his NOAA career in 1981 as a high-school student intern; in fact, his first project with NOAA was work to improve how dropwindsonde data can be obtained from aircraft, quality controlled, sent to forecasters, and ingested into models to improve forecasts. He originally became interested in hurricanes when he moved to Miami Beach from his upstate New York hometown; retired science teachers next door taught him how to listen to NOAA Weather Radio and track hurricanes during the season. He’s wanted to work with hurricanes ever since. Sim received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology from Penn State, and his PhD from the University of Maryland – College Park. His other work interests are in promoting diversity, inclusion, and belonging amongst everyone who works at and with NOAA, and in promoting collaborations across different line offices. He lives in Dania Beach, FL, with his husband, who also works at AOML as a systems administrator, and his two blue cats. His hobbies include collecting tropical fruits and vegetables and rare palms in his garden, cooking, and books, theatre and film." -- Source: “Sim Aberson highlighted in NOAA Research’s Profiles in Diversity” - NOAA’s OAR Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity Program Office

Scope and Content Note
The interview with Dr. Sim Aberson provides a comprehensive account of his personal and professional journey in meteorology. The interview delves into Aberson's early experiences, including his high school independent study on hurricanes and his visit to the National Hurricane Center. He covers his involvement in hurricane research, data collection, and the development of hurricane models. Aberson's academic pursuits and the influence of his education on his career are explored, shedding light on his unique perspectives and contributions to the field. Additionally, the interview provides insights into Aberson's pivotal role in leading the program for drawing flight tracks and verifying forecasts, showcasing his advanced expertise and significant impact on hurricane research and field programs. The interview offers a valuable historical perspective on the evolution of meteorological research and technology, as well as the personal motivations and experiences that shaped Aberson's distinguished career.

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