How to Become a Meteorologist: Carmella Davis Watkins


Research, Publish and Present!

Ep. 24 - Carmella Davis Watkins - If you are interested in a STEM career, this episode is for you! Listen to her journey through integrating two schools to becoming a meterologist.  Carmella Davis Watkins has dedicated her 35-year career to researching the science behind climate change and weather. Listen in to learn how to use your power as a woman to survive in a primarily male-dominated industry. You will also learn the importance of taking advantage of a science internship as an undergrad to understand the industry better.


    • How to be a strategically smart woman to succeed in a male-dominated industry
    • Utilizing technology to be known and get ahead in your science career
    • Take advantage of an internship as an undergrad to access the opportunities to further your career
    • How to volunteer and give back to the community after having a successful career


"In the Sciences, it's who knows you and what you have been recognized for. It's one thing to be good at what you do and nobody knows it. But in the Sciences, it has to be peer review." -Carmella Watkins

In this episode you'll discover:

How support from Carmella's mother and teachers encouraged her to pursue sciences [1:36]
Carmella talks about her experience being integrated into an originally all-white girls' school [5:18]
Why she switched her major to math plus the support she received from radical professors [8:21]
Why she undertook advanced studies in meteorology plus working in a male-dominated industry [12:26]
The strategy she used to garner support from her male counterparts in the science industry [15:10]
How technology has transformed the science industry making it easier to network [16:59]
The importance of internships in helping you learn the ins and outs of being a science researcher [18:35]
Carmella talks about the STEM initiative she's involved with after retirement [20:03]
How her childhood and young adult life shaped the scientist she became [21:26]


Carmella Davis Watkins became a research scientist and meteorologist after completing her undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Maryland College Park accomplishing advanced studies in meteorology at Penn State.


Carmella Davis Watkins shares the value she found in both the opportunities and challenges faced when integrating a southern high school and subsequently a southern university during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

She found that having navigated these experiences made it possible to overcome the instances of gender and racial bias faced upon becoming one of the first female and Black research scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1975. "I wouldn't trade any of these experiences", she shares.


NOAA website


Sheila Jones
Silvia Mah
Lisa Kleissner

YouTube Video

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