Matt Strahan graduated from University of Missouri in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science. His 30-year National Weather Service (NWS) career, beginning in 1992 as an intern in the Elko and Reno, Nevada offices, was spent implementing positive changes to improve meteorological services. As a General Forecaster in the Wichita, Kansas office, Strahan recognized documentation was lacking for the deployment and use of the new AWIPS I forecast system. Taking his own initiative, he created documentation and techniques development that was implemented throughout NWS. He was then promoted to Southern Region as a Techniques Development Meteorologist where he oversaw AWIPS deployment throughout the region. Once that project was completed Strahan was promoted again to Dissemination Enhancement Chief, where he and his team built the first weather.gov website. Having successfully completed the website deployment, Strahan was tasked as the new Meteorologist in Charge of the Key West, Florida office in 2002. During his Key West tenure, Strahan managed the building of a new Weather Service Office while leading his NWS staff during major hurricanes that triggered full scale evacuations and recovery, such as, Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Charlie.
Strahan returned to his Missouri roots when he was promoted to International Branch Chief for the NWS Aviation Weather Center (AWC) in Kansas City. During his 12-year tenure at AWC, he negotiated improved services with airlines, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and was on several committees with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Much of Strahan’s efforts were international diplomacy negotiating weather data exchange protocols that have helped improve aviation safety across the globe. Modernizing the World Area Forecast System (WAFS) was the pinnacle of his successful career.
Scholarships will be given to students that strive to create positive changes through improved public meteorological services. Those changes could be through research, model development, improved communication techniques or new forecast methodology. As Matt Strahan demonstrated during his NWS career, improved services go well beyond a forecast desk. Join us in honoring Mr. Strahan by supporting this scholarship in his name.