Alumni Profiles

  • Watching the Weather

    Bird gains confidence at SC4, follows her dream to the National Weather Service

    Meagan BirdSC4 gave Meagan Bird a sound start academically and helped her gain the self-confidence she needed to set out and achieve her childhood dream of becoming a meteorologist.

    Bird, a former oceanographer for the Navy, is currently working as a meteorologist intern at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Indianapolis.

    She says she knew she wanted to be a meteorologist since the sixth grade when they had to keep a weather journal for class. "I remember looking out the window and thinking this is something I am really interested in, I know I can do this."

    She also says SC4 helped her get there. After graduating from Yale High School, she was set to start classes at Central Michigan University but opted at the last minute to attend SC4.

    "I wanted to stay closer to home, and being at SC4 eased the financial burden and helped me ease my way into college," Bird said. "Coming from a small town I wasn't confident and being at SC4 was my first step into adulthood and learning how the world worked. I pushed myself to do activities and gained self-confidence while there."

    While at SC4, Bird was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa and was active within the club, holding an officer position. She graduated with honors in 2006 and transferred to North Carolina State University where she spent the next several years working toward a bachelor's degree in meteorology.

    After graduation she took a job as an oceanographer at the Naval Oceanographic Office on Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. While there she was the Glider Data Lead and a Lead Glider Pilot.

    "A glider looks like a mini airplane or torpedo and is about a meter long and weighs roughly 125 pounds and is autonomous," she explained. "We would put them in the water all over the world as a way to collect data and we operated these gliders from a room in southern Mississippi."

    Bird said with the Navy she was also able to travel the world and worked out at sea for months at a time but she had the desire to move closer to home. She also felt she would have regrets if she didn't try to work with the National Weather Service, a place she had always aspired to work.

    Her advice to current students? Keep with it and don't let others detour you from your dreams.

    "Sometimes you just won't be able to get where you need to go until you follow that next opportunity."