In early June 2005, I moved to Oklahoma for a 10-week undergraduate meteorology research program (REU). Prior to this trip, I had never been on a plane and had never been outside of Washington, Oregon, and southern British Columbia. Undoubtedly, if I had not been accepted into the REU program, I would not have become a storm chaser and probably would not have become a meteorologist.
Shortly after moving to Oklahoma, my two roommates, Kate Horgan and Elise Johnson, met several seniors in the meteorology program at the University of Oklahoma (OU), including storm chaser Gabe Garfield. Gabe offered to take us chasing with him and his brother on June 10th, and I eagerly accepted. I am very grateful to Gabe for kindly allowing us to come with him a couple of times, and for teaching us what he knew about storms and chasing.
I saw at least three supercells and one tornado this June, which was more than enough to get me hooked on chasing. This chasing experience played a large role in my decision to go to OU for graduate school in 2006. I wanted to see storms in person, rather than just study them from a computer. The rest is history!