Staff

Management

Sharon Schilling, Executive Director
Sharon Shilling

Sharon is a proud representative of one of the first classes of women to graduate from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1984. She went on to serve 22 years in the Coast Guard before retiring in 2006 as a Commander. In addition she holds an MBA in Business Administration, Management & Operations from George Mason University that she utilized in carrying on in a leadership role as a manager at Battelle Memorial Institute in Arlington, Virginia. At Battelle she managed an $8-10 million budget and as many as 80 employees located in various locations across the United States. Battelle, founded in 1929, is a $6.2 billion private non-profit applied science and technology development company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

Schilling and her husband Kirk (retired USCG Commander) plan to build a home in Madison, N.H. where they had purchased land after spending many summers with family on Duncan Lake in Ossipee.

 

Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Science & Education
Brian Fitzgerald

Brian began his observatory career as a winter intern on the summit in early 2012 after attending the University of New Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation Studies. Following intervening seasons as a Backcountry Hut Naturalist and Education Assistant for the Appalachian Mountain Club, Brian returned to the Observatory as a full-time Observer and Educational Specialist on the summit where he performed daily weather observations and led weather station tours, distance learning programs and media interviews.

After nearly three winters on the summit, Brian headed south to work as the Chief Weather Observer at Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center just south of Boston while going to graduate school at night. In early 2016 Brian graduated from Boston University with a Master’s of Education with a focus in Science Education, and moved back to the Mount Washington Valley to serve as Mount Washington Observatory’s Director of Education. When Brian’s not administering and teaching educational programs and summit adventures, you can find him hiking, mountaineering, trail running, skiing or staring at the clouds. He currently resides in North Conway along with his partner, Stephanie, and their retired sled dog, Pearl.

 

Brenda Sullivan, Director of Finance & Administration
Brenda Sullivan

With an Animal Science degree from the University of Maine, Brenda started her career as a veterinary hospital technician and office manager on the East End of Long Island, NY. After going back to school and completing her MBA, Brenda spent a number of years in central Connecticut as Finance Manager for Protein Sciences Corporation, where her responsibilities included the financial oversight of multi-million dollar government contracts and shareholder relations. In 2017 Brenda, her husband, two dogs and two cats moved to Madison, NH. After continuing to work for the same CT based company for over a year, she decided it was time to focus her attention on her new community by joining the team at MWOBS. With an MBA in Business and years of Finance experience, she now focuses on supporting The Observatory where needed.

Weather Observers

Adam Gill, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Adam Gill

Growing up on the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs, CO. Adam's interest in the weather began with the dynamic weather experienced living in mountainous regions. From major snowstorms with 3 feet of snow during the winter with frequent hail storms with hail up to the size of baseballs during the summer, fascination with weather grew. Enjoying being outside as a kid, Adam joined the Boy Scouts and completed his Eagle Scout as well as playing baseball during the summer months. Hiking in the mountains has always been a fun weekend activity as well as skiing once most trails were snow covered.

Upon completion of high school, Adam attended the University of North Dakota and completed his B.S. in Atmospheric Science in May of 2015. Deciding to take a year off and gain some job experience, Adam would like to persue a Masters or PhD in Atmospheric Science focusing on winter weather and mountain meteorology in the coming years.

After watching weather documentaries as a kid and seeing what the conditions were like at the summit of Mount Washington, Adam's fascination with Mount Washington began. This fall, Adam was offered the opportunity to join the team for the fall season and learn about forecasting and the research that is conducted on the summit.

Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer & Meteorologist
Ryan Knapp

Originally from the Lake Tahoe region of California, Ryan was born into the alpine lifestyle. He came to the Observatory as a winter intern in 2005, and started as a Weather Observer in 2006.

Ryan’s interest in weather started as a child, when he would watch the morning weather report before going skiing. In high school, he enjoyed giving weather reports to fellow students and ski clubbers, and decided to pursue a career in meteorology. He graduated from San Jose State University in 2004 with a B.S. in Meteorology, and spent the first three years of his career as a weather observer for San Jose International Airport.

Ryan came to Mount Washington for the unique weather, and to explore and study the worst weather in the world. When he’s not watching the weather, he enjoys backpacking, ski boarding, aggressive inline skating, traveling, video games, and movies.

Tom Padham, Weather Observer & Education Specialist
Tom Padham

Tom started his Observatory career as a summer intern in 2011, and returned in 2013 to learn more about this unique and fascinating place. His internship provided real-world knowledge and experience to help him complete his senior year at Pennsylvania State University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology in 2012. Like many meteorologists, Tom discovered his passion for weather at an early age. Growing up in northwestern New Jersey, he was fascinated by the ever-changing weather—especially the extremes, like the blizzard of '96 and Hurricane Sandy.

An avid hiker, Tom is working to become a state high-pointer. He is thrilled to be returning to Mount Washington, and plans to make the most of the opportunity by expanding his knowledge of the weather and the mountain, while sharing that knowledge and passion with visitors.

Ian Bailey, Weather Observer & Meteorologist/Education Specialist
Ian Bailey

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Ian has been a passionate weather enthusiast from a young age. After a large tree outside his childhood home was struck by lightning, he became fascinated with extreme weather and has strived to become a meteorologist ever since. Intense blizzards, major floods, and even several tornadoes have been major severe weather events for Ian to learn from. Upon completion of high school, he set his sights on higher education in meteorology.

He finished his first Bachelors degree in 2012 in Atmospheric Science, and his second Bachelors degree in 2016 in Journalism, both from The Ohio State University. In between these degrees, Ian was brought on as a summer intern for the Observatory in 2015. He fell in love with the Mountain and the Observatory, and was fascinated each and every day with the beautiful and extreme weather that graces the Mountain’s summit. When he left the Mountain at the end of the summer, he swore that someday, he would return to his home-away-from home.

Back in Ohio, he accepted a Graduate School offer at Ohio University in 2016, and worked as the Associate Director of Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis. After 2 years of running the weather laboratory and tower, teaching meteorology classes, and completing his graduate work, he received his Masters degree in Geography with an Atmospheric Science focus in 2018. Shortly after his graduation, he accepted the offer to rejoin the Mount Washington Observatory team as a Weather Observer and Education Specialist. And he is very excited to be back, working at the home of the World’s Worst Weather; his brand new home.

Jay Broccolo, Weather Observer
Chloe BoehemJay was born and raised in Westerly, Rhode Island. Having grown up along the southern coastline of RI gave Jay the opportunity to experience all sorts of diverse and extreme weather from hurricanes to Nor’easters. Jay’s enthusiasm for the outdoors and the natural world only increased since childhood. His parents insisted that he spend as much time outdoors as possible. He joined the Boy Scouts and spent a weekend every month, regardless of the weather, learning useful outdoor skills, camping, and hiking all over New England. He became enamored with the White Mountains, but specifically Mt. Washington, its geology, and unique extreme weather.

Following graduation of high school and obtaining his Eagle Scout, Jay attended the University of Rhode Island. In the middle of his second year he took a semester off and lived in Boulder, Colorado where he had the opportunity to experience mountain weather and hiking the Flatirons. After returning home he continued and completed his B.S. degree in Geology and Geological Oceanography at URI. While at URI he also attended a Geology Field Camp operated by University at Buffalo, geologically mapping various regions Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

With the completion of his Bachelors, Jay went on to work in the oilfield industries as a Mud logger on drill-ships in the Gulf of Mexico. After a couple years of working offshore and not feeling fulfilled with his career path, he interned at Mt. Rainier National Park where he was charged with observing and recording the weather on the mountain while conducting various research projects. Upon completion of the internship, Jay attended the University of Leeds in Leeds, England and completed an MRes in Climate and Atmospheric Science where he focused on factors that influence the development and intensification of extratropical cyclones over the Northeast United States.

With his intrigue in extreme weather events and his love for Mt. Washington, Jay is more than excited to be interning here at the Mount Washington Observatory, home to the World’s Worst Weather. In his off time, Jay enjoys the outdoors, board and video games, reading, and learning to play the piano, just to name a few.
Anthony Grimes, Weather Observer
AJ Grimes

Born and raised in Milford, Massachusetts, AJ has been interested in extreme weather of all sorts since childhood. From witnessing tornado outbreaks in Oklahoma to blizzard conditions in Colorado, he knew at a young age that weather was going to fascinate and engage him toward a career in meteorology.

AJ finished his Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Central Florida in 2012. Upon completion he accepted a position at the Observatory as the summit museum attendant, working the summer seasons from 2012-2017. In 2018, AJ received his Masters degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Atmospheric Science from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. He is excited to return to the summit and continue his journey with the Observatory as a Weather Observer.

In his off time, AJ is a drummer and stays busy playing for several bands and projects. He has a passion for making desserts and is constantly looking for new and exciting recipes. He also enjoys snowboarding, archery, discovering new music and spending time with his cats.

Marty, Observatory Mascot
Marty

Marty is Mount Washington’s only permanent resident, holding court as the most recent in a long line of famous feline mascots.

Before coming to the Observatory, Marty lost his home to a fire and was taken in by the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire North (formerly Conway Area Humane Society). In January of 2008, Marty won more than 8,000 votes in the first ever Observatory Mascot Primary and was donated to the Observatory by the Humane Society. He was quickly regarded as a good fit for the mountain because of his adventurous attitude and presumed Maine Coon Cat pedigree.

Marty enjoys romping around with the summit crew and exploring his massive home, the Mt. Washington State Park Sherman Adams Visitor Center. Off the clock, he enjoys stalking the water cooler, chasing bouncy balls, napping in odd positions, and being brushed.

Staff

Keith Garrett, Director of Information Technology
Keith Garrett

Keith brings over 20 years of experience in IT hardware, software and business networks. He has experience in working with municipalities, non-profits and individuals.

Prior to his work with the Observatory Keith was the owner of Wolfeboro Computer Solutions in the Wolfeboro and Lakes Region area. His services spanned all aspects of IT including repair and maintenance of a wide range of systems.

Keith and his partner Michelle enjoy identifying local plants and lepidoptera, as well trudging through swamps and bogs.

 

Krissy Fraser, Director of Marketing & Events
Krissy Fraser

A Massachusetts native, Krissy started her career as a Communications Project Manager at Fidelity Investments, Crosby Group. Eight years later, in 2006, she took a leap of faith and left the corporate world to relocate to the Mount Washington Valley.

Krissy has enjoyed working for ski resorts in positions ranging from sales and marketing, to public relations, and even ski instruction. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Krissy brings a wealth of experience and a well-rounded approach to her role as Director of Marketing & Events.

Krissy lives in Jackson, N.H. with her partner Fred and his two boys Alex and Ethan  where she spends her free time outdoors, skiing, biking, hiking, and gardening.

Eric Kelsey, Director of Research
Eric Kelsey

Raised in picturesque New Hampshire, Eric has always loved observing the constantly changing weather. As a young adult, he took his passion for extreme weather to tornado alley, where he chased severe thunderstorms and worked as a broadcast forecaster while earning his degree in atmospheric science at the University of Missouri—Columbia. After earning his master's degree in atmospheric science at the University at Albany, Eric merged his interest in weather, environmental stewardship and New England's unique climate by studying climate signals recorded in ice cores for his PhD at the University of New Hampshire.

Eric joined the Observatory staff in 2012 as a jointly-appointed Director of Research and Plymouth State University Research Assistant Professor in Atmospheric Science. He is excited to be working in the White Mountains, a place he has skied, hiked, bird watched, and camped his entire life.

Eric resides in Ashland, NH with his wife, Julie, and their daughters, Sophie, Madelyn and Tessa.

Rebecca Scholand, Summit Operations Manager
Marty Basch

Rebecca, originally a native of Long Island NY started her career with the Mount Washington Observatory in 2010 as a summer Intern. She quickly found a love and passion for the Observatory that drew her in for a second winter internship. Still feeling the draw of the summit, she continued on as temporary Outreach Coordinator, Museum Attendant, and Operations Assistant before a Weather Observer position became available. During her time as a Weather Observer she also acted as the Education Specialist and Shift Leader for her shift. In the spring of 2014 Rebecca left the Observatory in pursuit of expanding her background. After several years away working in the Outdoor and Hospitality Service Industry Rebecca has returned as the Summit Operations Manager. She is excited to be leading the summit staff and continuing to support our mission

From a personal standpoint Rebecca enjoys calling the Mount Washington Valley home. An outdoor enthusiast at heart, the area offers a plethora of activities while providing the perfect backdrop for her small family.

Marty Basch, Windswept Editor
Marty Basch

Marty joined the Observatory family with the fall 2007 edition of Windswept, Mount Washington Observatory’s quarterly member magazine.

When not editing Windswept, Marty writes about the outdoors, travel, and sports. He has a weekly syndicated outdoor adventure column and his work appears in local, regional, and national publications. Marty has written a few books and won several writing awards including a prestigious Society of American Travel Writers Lowell Thomas Gold Award and several North American Snowsports Journalists Association Harold Hirsch Awards. He has also worked in television and radio.

An avid cyclist, Marty has ridden from Maine to Alaska, Canada to Mexico, and in Arctic Scandinavia. He once competed in the bike race up Mount Washington, stopped to eat lunch and didn't finish last. Marty also skis, snowboards, hikes, and paddles. Marty has climbed the White Mountain Four Thousand Footers and is the author of "50 Best Hikes in New England" (Countryman Press).

Marty is a Boston University graduate and Explorers Club member. He lives on a Mount Washington Valley dirt road with his wife, Jan.

Samantha Brady, Retail Manager 
Samantha Brady

Samantha, originally a native of Boston, MA started her career with the Mount Washington Observatory in 2012 on the summit as retail museum attendant. After her first year being part of the summit staff decided she wanted to move up here and become a full time employee of the Observatory. She spent 4 years fulfilling the role as retail museum attendant for both the Extreme Mount Washington Museum as well as the Weather Discovery Center. She currently has taken on the role as  Retail Manager.

She is an avid hiker, skier, mountaineer, and outdoor enthusiast. When she’s not busy doing her own thing outside she volunteers her time for the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue Team. She also had worked with Backpacker Magazine for a 5 month period. During that time she would give presentations at outdoor retailers trying to educate and inspire others to get outside more and what the proper equipment would be to do so. After visiting all of the lower 48 states on that trip, Mount Washington Valley is where she calls home.

Will Broussard, Outreach Coordinator
Will Broussard

Will comes to the Observatory from Antioch University New England graduate school, where he studied conservation biology. With an undergraduate degree in biology and extensive training in environmental education, he is thankful for the opportunity to share his love of science education with area students as the Observatory's Outreach Coordinator.

Will's hobbies include walking, bird watching, and cooking strange meals. The midcoast Maine native is excited to experience Mount Washington's myriad meteorological phenomena, especially altocumulus lenticularis, temperature inversions, and rime ice.

Dr. Peter Crane, Curator
Dr. Peter Crane

Peter oversees the Observatory's Gladys Brooks Memorial Library, which features books, maps, prints, photos, and other material relating to the Observatory, Mount Washington, and the White Mountains.

Peter has lived in the White Mountains for more than thirty years, and has worked for the U.S. Forest Service and Appalachian Mountain Club in resource management, public information, and educational roles. He began his Observatory career in 1988 as a weather observer, museum manager, and Summit Shift Leader. After three years of summit duty, he served for several years as Director of Programs before transitioning to his current position.

Peter did his undergraduate work at Harvard College, and earned his doctoral degree in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. An avid year-round hiker, he is also a volunteer trail maintainer for the Appalachian Mountain Club, a member of Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR), and serves on the board of the New Hampshire Outdoor Council.

Linda & Hank Dresch, Volunteer Coordinators
Linda & Hank Dresch

Linda is the daughter of Mount Washington Observatory co-founder Robert S. Monahan, and enjoys continuing her father’s legacy as volunteer coordinator with her husband, Hank.

Married for more than 40 years, Linda and Hank have one daughter and two very active grandsons. During Hank's 30-year U.S. Coast Guard career they lived in several locations including Alaska and England. Linda’s diverse career has spanned positions with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska, and the Editorial Staff of the Wall Street Journal. Linda and Hank both also had "retirement jobs" in Portland, Maine, where they continue to volunteer at Merrill Auditorium. They have been very active volunteers wherever they have lived.

Linda and Hank now reside in Jackson, New Hampshire, where they keep very busy with year-round activities in the great outdoors.

Pete Gagne, Information Technology Manager
Pete Gagne

Pete started his career as a microwave radio equipment technician for the Air National Guard, traveling the world to install and repair equipment. With a degree in Industrial Technology from the University of Southern Maine, he worked as a consultant in the optical disk field and then as a field engineer for Netflix before joining the Observatory staff in 2010.

Pete and his partner, Kathy, are avid hikers and winter sports enthusiasts. The Maine natives moved to Jackson, New Hampshire in 2009 to be closer to their favorite outdoor playground, and one year later Peter completed his goal of hiking all 48 four thousand footers.

Pete describes his role at the Observatory, which offers an ever-changing mix of field and office work, as "a dream come true."

Larry Martin, Museum Attendant
Larry Martin

A native of Wisconsin, Larry graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduation Larry started a career in the computer software industry. Mainframe computer software became his specialty beginning in Eagan, MN then working in various locations throughout the country(as well as Japan). His final destination was Boston and after 17 years working as a contractor at the Mass DOR, Larry and his wife, Donna designed and built a house in Glen, NH. Larry has always had an interest in science and the outdoors. He is a skier, bicyclist, hiker and paddler. After moving to Glen, Larry became a weather enthusiast.

Steven Whitaker, Facilities Coordinator
Steve Whitaker

Starting at a young age Steven has always been captivated with mechanical components and their workings from rebuilding motors to heavy equipment repairs. You will find him up for the challenge with a unique ability of troubleshooting just about anything that is broken.  He is a graduate of both Diesel Technical Institute and Johnson & Wales University. 

He relocated to the White Mountains area 25 years ago from Providence, RI with growing up on the northerly beaches of Rhode Island. Having also lived in Japan, Florida, Maui and California he now calls New Hampshire home.

Soon after moving to the Mount Washington Valley he built his Glen log home that he resides in today. When he’s not tackling home or mechanical projects, Steven enjoys snowboarding and both summer and winter hiking. He has a love of the mountains and you will find him outdoors most of the time enjoying the area. The opportunity to work for Mount Washington Observatory and getting to revisit one of “the most interesting weather experiences ever”.

 

Stephanie Turnbull Fitzgerald, Membership & Database Coordinator
Stephanie Turnbull

Stephanie has been on a steady move north since receiving her Masters in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Massachusetts, she headed back to Boston after school to work for Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum and the State Library of Massachusetts. After a few years, she knew she was done with city life and when the opportunity arrived to move to the Mount Washington Valley, she took it.

While Stephanie started working at the Observatory in the Summer of 2016 as a contract worker, it only took a few months before she was hooked and joined the valley staff full time. Between her background in organizing and curating information and her experience in various customer service roles, Membership and Database Coordinator seemed like a perfect fit. She currently resides in North Conway along with her partner, Brian, and their retired sled dog, Pearl.
Mary Anne Sledzinski, Finance/Administrative Assistant
Mary Anne Sledzinski

Mary Anne grew up in the Great North Woods of northern New Hampshire and has made her home in the Mount Washington Valley since 1988 where she lives with her husband John and a rescue dog named Shadow.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and has a passion for problem solving and helping people. She frequently volunteers for local nonprofits and serves as Secretary for the Board of Directors of Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation.

Mary Anne is excited to be the Finance/Admin Assistant and Summit Volunteer Coordinator for the Observatory and enjoys assisting her coworkers and volunteers by providing support to accomplish the mission and goals of this historic and important scientific research institution. In her free time, Mary Anne enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family, and taking in the scenic beauty of the mountains. “Be kind, stay positive and do good deeds.”

Nikkole Wowaka, Summit Museum Attendant
Nikki Wowaka

Nikki grew up in the Hudson Valley and lived her life along the Hudson River, always spending time outdoors adventuring. She spent her childhood helping others and the environment with her girl scout troop, as well as pursuing her personal interest in arts like singing, painting, drawing, and much more. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rhode Island as a double major in Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Marine Biology, and a minor in Underwater Archaeology. She has spent time working in the Catskills in NY, and traveled this summer spending time volunteering at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans and then went up to intern at the National Marine Life Center in MA. After working as a Naturalist at Dinosaur State Park in CT, she is moving to northern New Hampshire and plans to apply for graduate school in the near future with a focus in Climate Change Biology. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors, scuba diving, painting, making crafts, and writing and illustrating books.

Carrie Slife, Summit Museum Attendant
Carrie Slife

Having grown up thirty minutes from where the Appalachian Trail passes through Catoctin, Maryland, Carrie’s passion for the outdoors began as a teen, hiking local trails and marveling at their rich history. In 2002, after­­ graduating from Penn State University with degrees in Advertising and Psychology, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and it was not long before she made her first trip to the White Mountains, once again seeking to hike her beloved AT, and many other trails since, within the National Forest.

In Boston, Carrie’s professional pursuits led her first to the hospitality industry and later to earn a Master’s degree in Interior Design from Suffolk University­­­­­, after which she practiced as an Architectural Lighting Designer for nearly a decade. Although very much a “city person” during the week, most Friday evenings were spent heading north in the car to hike, camp, and ski, and more than a few Monday morning commutes on the T were spent daydreaming about the next outdoor adventure. Having been consistently drawn to the White Mountains over the years and needing respite from city life, Carrie accepted a seasonal position at Bretton Woods in December of 2018 and having found a tribe of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts, soon realized she would not be returning to Boston.

Carrie is thrilled to now call North Conway home and excited to share her enthusiasm for the outdoors and the Observatory’s mission with visitors to the summit. She admits freely that the opportunity to live and work at the summit of Mount Washington far exceeds her wildest Monday-morning commuter daydreams.­

Interns

Ethan Rogers, Summit Intern
Ethan Rodgers

Ethan is a meteorology major in the general option at Penn State. A rising Junior, minoring in Geographic Information Systems. He loves all things weather, as well as map making. Tracking the weather and making maps are a couple of his hobbies, but other hobbies include go-karting, listening to music, hiking, and playing baseball/softball.

Austin Patrick, Summit Intern
Austin Patrick

I grew up in Crestline, Ohio and graduated in Spring 2019 from Ohio University with a Bachelor's in Geography-Meteorology

I have focused my education and studies on extreme weather and the communication of it. I have also branched out into the field of Emergency Management and I will be pursuing a Master's Degree in Emergency Management at Millersville University. I have been fascinated with extreme weather from an early age since Ohio is prone to all sorts of extreme weather. After going storm chasing in the Plains and experiencing flooding and blizzards, Mount Washington will be another opportunity to experience extreme weather. I have experience forecasting as Lead Forecaster for Ohio University'S Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis and helped promoted weather safety for Southeast for my 4 years at OhioU.

When I'm not watching radar or the news for weather events you can catch me going to concerts or the movies. I am a nerd at heart and enjoy things like video games, board games, and binge watching television series. I also enjoy volunteering and attending community events in my free time Austin Patrick Lead Forecaster Scalia Lab for Atmospheric Analysis Ohio University Department of Geography Athens EMA Intern

Ben Charles, Summit Intern
Ben Charles

Ben Charles was born and raised in Sparta, New Jersey. Ben first became interested in the weather when experiencing severe thunderstorms and Nor-Easter’s in New Jersey. Ben is a recent graduate from the State University of New York at Oswego where he studied Meteorology. After spending four years on the shores of Lake Ontario and experiencing lake effect snowstorms, Ben's passion for Meteorology grew. In 2018, he had the incredible opportunity to travel to Tornado Alley as a storm chaser which ignited him to study and observe extreme weather conditions. When Ben isn’t watching the weather, he enjoys hiking, skiing, fishing, hunting, and mountain biking.

Emma Penafeil, Summit Intern
Emma Penafiel

Emma grew up in Reading, Massachusetts and is a rising junior Earth and Planetary Science major at Johns Hopkins University.

Growing up in the Northeast has fostered a love for the outdoors in Emma, including an attraction towards the extreme weather the area can experience. Ever since she was a young girl, she has enjoyed watching lightning strikes during storms or shoveling snow as it continued to fall around her. Her fascination in extreme weather was truly ignited, however, when she took her dog out while the remnants of a hurricane blew overhead. She stared into the sky and was enraptured by the intense winds above her.

Going into college this interest shown through as she quickly took up the earth sciences. While she is more accustomed to cutting, crushing and cataloguing rocks as a research assistant in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department, she is more than excited to start her journey in weather forecasting.

Emma also enjoys playing field hockey, reading and hiking. She cannot wait to explore the region more.

John King, Summit Intern
John King

I am John King from Barkhamsted, Connecticut and am in my Senior year studying Environmental and Energy Resource Management at West Virginia University. I am really interested in wind and am looking forward to applying my experience this summer into wind research for wind turbines. Growing up in New England and having grandparents do 60 years of volunteer work with the Appalachian Mountain Club in Massachusetts, I have spent a majority of my life between mountains. In my free time I spend my days either hiking, surfing, snowboarding or bouldering. In my off time from the Observatory I will be working as a zipline guide in North Conway.

Anna Smith, Summit Intern
Anna Smith

Though she didn’t move to New England until 2010, Anna has been visiting the White Mountains since she was a kid. Her love for Mount Washington was sparked by pictures of rime ice, something she had never seen before, and something that signified she had much yet to explore. Though already interested in studying weather phenomena, knowledge that such a place existed led her to becoming an Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Major at Stony Brook University in New York. Partaking in research at Plymouth State University further encouraged her interest in alpine meteorology, climatology, and, with the help of a few natives in New Hampshire, ecology. While PSU’s location additionally permitted her to visit mountain ranges she had not explored before, she could not wait to get back to the trails and observatory waiting on Mt. Washington.

When not studying, Anna is often found playing with her dogs, running around with her camera, reading a book, or waking up early to catch a sunrise. One of her favorite pastimes is hiking, so coming back to work in the mountains after a year of studying on Long Island (highest elevation of about 120 meters) is one of the best things she could have asked for.

Charlie Peachey, IT Intern
Charlie Peachey

Charlie grew up in Concord, Massachusetts and graduated from Concord Carlisle High School in 2018. He will be entering his sophomore year at Plymouth State University this fall, where he is currently pursuing his degree in Meteorology with a minor in Technical Mathematics.

Charlie developed a passion for meteorology while in high school through the work that he did for his school’s weather club. He spearheaded three different weather balloon launches and he presented at two different American Meteorological Society annual conferences. Charlie got the opportunity to intern this summer because of the GeoPaths research project that he is currently a part of. This summer he is excited to gain a better understanding of the weather instrumentation used around the summit and how to create various weather maps using local data from and around the observatory.

During his free time Charlie likes to explore the White Mountains, hike, ski, and ice skate. When he is not exploring, Charlie loves to play ultimate frisbee and he is the captain for Plymouth State’s team, The Pioneers.

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