Cool Jobs


November 13, 2012

Renewable-energy forecaster Verene Martin's cool job

Renewable-energy forecaster Verene Martin's cool job

Verene Martin works in Seattle for 3TIER, a company that provides forecasts for renewable energy. Martin uses computer models and measurement of rainfall, snowpack and other meteorological conditions to forecast streamflow for hydro-electric power. (Courtesy of 3TIER)

What do you do? I am a member of the team that operates and maintains 3TIER's wind, solar and hydro forecasting system. My primary focus is our hydro system, which provides our clients with predictions of streamflows that impact their hydroelectric plants. This ultimately will determine how much power they are able to generate.

How did you get that job? After I graduated from college, my love of physics and math coalesced with my passion for environmental conservation when I discovered the renewable-energy industry. This eventually led me to study fluid dynamics and renewable energies for my master's degree at the UW. Thankfully, my education and prior experience in the wind industry prepared me for this job by the time the position opened up!

What’s a typical day like? In a typical day, I would probably be working on a few different things, such as creating long-range hydro-forecast reports, setting up new projects in the wind-forecast system, analyzing and implementing improvements to hydro- or wind-power forecasts, answering technical questions from clients, attending planning meetings, handling client requests... the list goes on!

What’s the best part of the job/best thing that’s happened on the job? The best part of my job is knowing that my work is making a positive impact on the renewable-energy industry. Delivering accurate forecasts enables renewables to make the largest possible contribution to the electric power system, and consequently helps to decrease our reliance on non-renewable, non-"environmentally friendly" energy sources.

What surprises people about your job? People are sometimes surprised that meteorological forecasting is useful for more than just TV weather reports!

--NWjobs staff

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