Biography of James Vavrek

Mr. Vavrek received his B.A. degree in 1971 from California State University at Long Beach
in geography and his M.S. degree in 1975 from Indiana State University in earth science,
specializing in remote sensing and meteorology. For nearly thirty years he has taught
middle school science for the School City of Hammond in Indiana. He has been involved in
science fairs, Science Olympiad, expanded science studies, Indiana Meteorological Mesonet Program,
Indiana Student Weather Network and Atmospheric Science Education for Teachers at
Purdue University. Mr. Vavrek has received numerous local mini-grants for establishing and
maintaining a student weather station at school, National Science Foundation summer program
grant and a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program grant for enhancing
atmospheric science education. His professional involvement includes past and present
participation in the American Meteorological Society (BSPMOE-Board), Hoosier Association of
Science Teachers, Indiana Earth Science Teachers Association Regional Representative,
National Lightning Safety Institute Board, Lightning Safety Group, National Earth Science
Teachers Association, National Weather Association, and Phi Delta Kappa. Other atmospheric
cience education involvement includes state, national, and international presentations on
meteorology, over thirty informal papers on meteorological topics, public/commercial radio,
television, cable television, magazines, and newspaper contributions, Franklin Institute's
national traveling exhibit "Powers of Nature, American Red Cross "Masters of Disasters'
contributor and reviewer, and has reviewed NOAA-National Weather Service Technical Memoes.
His primary focus is to improve atmospheric science education and weather safety by assisting
students and teachers by acting as a resource. This is accomplished by keeping the most current
weather education resource listing available, by identifying books, weather instruments,
web sites, video, organizations and societies, safety, and by writing informal atmospheric
science education papers not usually covered in textbooks or supplemental teaching materials.