Beth Hall has always loved weather, but she didn't initially realize she could turn that interest into a career. While pursuing a major in telecommunications at Indiana University, she enjoyed her 100-level physical geography courses so much that she inquired about possible career tracks for those interested in meteorology. Learning the various options, she went on to earn a bachelor's in geography, then a master's and PhD in atmospheric science. She served as an assistant and then associate research scientist at the Desert Research Instituted, in Reno, NV, from 1998-2007. She then served as a university lecturer and state climatologists for New Hampshire. While a tenure-track professor at Towson University in Maryland, she developed a minor in meteorology to help students follow a similar path, encouraging students to pursue a career that would include both knowledge of atmosphere and climate and understanding of how they impact society.
Since 2012, Hall has led the Midwest Regional Climate Center (MRCC), a cooperative program between the National Centers for Environmental Information and the Illinois State Water Survey. The MRCC reaches far beyond Illinois, serving the entire Midwest region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin) by explaining climate and its impacts on the Midwest, providing practical solutions to specific climate problems, and developing climate information on issues such as agriculture, energy, the environment, human health, risk management, transportation, and water resources.
"I am extremely proud of the exciting and truly innovative programs that have been developed within the MRCC. I have a great team within this MRCC program and I enjoy working alongside of them," Hall says. "We continually set goals for ourselves and our program and enjoy seeing their excitement attributed to all of the accomplishments that they have help make."
Hall is particularly proud that the MRCC serves and impacts so many people and credits Dr. Timothy Brown, her master's program advisor, with inspiring her to "appreciate the immeasurable impact of building connections and networks within the field along with the gratification that comes with building a program that directly links science to stakeholders' needs."
Hall advises aspiring #womeninscience to "always have a next challenge to be pursuing," whether the challenge is a grant to apply for, a promotion to pursue, or "a project that others argue is not worth doing."
"Have tunnel vision with these and don’t let others discourage you. These are your challenges that you can conquer with your abilities and motivation. Do not allow others to tell you what you should be doing or how you should be doing it. Follow your vision, your principles, and your strengths!"