Roger Daley

Atmospheric Science

Principal constructor of the Canadian numerical weather forecasting system

"Don’t worry if you have not made a choice of career. It can come anytime from grade school to graduate school. But for a career in the natural sciences get a good foundation in math."

So You Want to Be a Meteorologist

Daley decided to become a weather forecaster because, he said, “I wanted to do something practical with my education, something that would help people in ordinary life.” The physics of weather seemed more practical to him than nuclear physics, for instance.

Daley liked to remind people, “Scientists don’t say ‘I.’” Science is a group effort. Ideas evolve and are always based on the thinking of those who came before. Every scientist has colleagues, and virtually all scientific papers have multiple authors. When referring to the global forecasting system he worked on, Daley always used to say, “We did this,” or “We implemented that.” Yet in his obituary, one of his colleagues at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory said, “Having Roger on your science team is like having Michael Jordan on your high school basketball team.”

Daley felt that for a career in the natural sciences one ought to make an extra effort to get a good foundation in mathematics, because mathematics opens many doorways to countless research and job opportunities.


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