We all reach milestones of happiness, heartache, and hope in our lifetime – graduation, recovery from illness, marriage, and children, to name a few.
On June 30, I will reach a milestone with my retirement. Since 1991, I have had the honor, privilege and absolute joy of providing PG&E Diablo Canyon marine and weather forecasts to our customers along the Central Coast.
After June 30, I will no longer send daily weather forecasts by email or broadcast them on the KVEC morning news radio with Andy Morris and Scoot Taylor. However, I will still appear on Dave Congalton’s show and write weekly forecasts for The Tribune and Santa Maria Times. The weather column will be reduced to once a month instead of once a week.
This will give me time to write a book on the weather and finally organize my photos; more importantly, I will be able to take long trips with my wife, Trish, and have more time to volunteer. We have no intention of moving, as we believe, especially after taking into account the climate, that there is no better place to live.
Goodbyes remind you of things you often take for granted, but the community support I received over the years was definitely not one of them. I feel lucky and blessed to have a job that makes saying goodbye so difficult.
The people I have worked with are some of the sharpest and most dedicated I have ever known.
The first part of my Diablo Canyon Power Plant career was at Tenera Environmental Services. I deployed and calibrated seawater temperature loggers from numerous monitoring stations along the Pecho Coast, maintained the Diablo Canyon Waverider buoy, Pressurized Ion Chambers (PICS) and I participated in oceanographic surveys that required scuba diving and the operation of boats.
I was then hired by PG&E as an environmental specialist, then as a communications representative where I had the great privilege and challenge of writing a weekly column on our oceans, our atmosphere and our biosphere. .
Throughout my career at PG&E, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to various branches of the military – particularly groups at Vandenberg Space Force Base – non-profit organizations, community safety organizations such as fire safety boards, corporations, and many service clubs ranging from Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and Rams, Great AgVenture, League of Women Voters, and just about every high school in San Luis Obispo counties and northern Santa Barbara. I’ve also spoken to Cal Poly, Caltech, Stanford, MIT, Alan Hancock and Cuesta College, Kairos Power, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. I have given tours of the nuclear power plant to more than 25,000 people in the United States and around the world.
I have served on the boards of the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers, Central Coast Aquarium, PG&E Employee Veterans Resource Group, and United Way of San Luis Obispo County, and I Have volunteered for the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, American Red Cross, American Cancer Relay for Society Life, Earth Day at Montaña de Oro National Park, and other causes.
That said, coaching my daughter and sons’ soccer and basketball teams while they were growing up has been the most enjoyable and rewarding.
The most satisfying part of my job has been hearing from someone who has decided not to go fishing in the Pacific or take a road trip due to the extreme weather forecast. Best of all, it was the students who wrote to me and decided to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) after a weather balloon launch or a visit to Diablo Canyon.
I came to work at Diablo Canyon because I believe nuclear energy can, and will, play a vital role in helping our country become energy independent and reduce carbon emissions. Throughout my time here, I have contributed to this goal and in doing so, I have also had the opportunity to provide service to our community.
In closing, I hope you all have favorable winds and seas to follow.