The “I have survived dangerously inclement weather in the name of science” badge


In which the recipient has experience extreme weather hazards, all in the attempt to get data for science.



  1. Chainsaw, axes, and a hacksaw, in a flooded stream, during a crazy heavy thunderstorm.

    … it threatened a historic structure.


    At the same time, I agree w the MTU comment, Bryan.

  2. Nor’easters on a small NOAA fisheries ship–The North Atlantic in February is exactly what you see in “A Perfect Storm.” Thank goodness for harnesses!

  3. Far western Nepal, 12 days into the Himalaya on foot along the Seti River, ~12 miles from Chinese border, crossed an active avalanche chute during a vigorous thunderstorm to sample two rivers at their confluence.

  4. Moving boulders in a creek in a burned forest area in the rain to save a house, later watching creek flow 8 ft deep from only 12 feet away, tossing head-sized rocks over the bank (couldn’t see it through the rain until I got that close) and after the storm, sent debris flow data to USGS.

  5. Traveled by snow machine through a blizzard on the Alaskan North Slope to install time-lapse cameras on a lake.

  6. Metal airboats, Everglades, and daily thunderstorms. Every summer I put myself at risk; the tallest thing out there is the cage of my airboat, and no dry ground for miles!

  7. Crawled across an ice-covered boat deck at night to take samples for a time-course experiment during a snow-storm on the Chesapeake Bay. Fun times.

  8. Got caught without shelter in an insane wind/hail storm in the Australian Outback while studying the behavior of Chestnut-crowned Babblers and had bruises on my arms and shoulders for two weeks from being pummeled by hailstones.

  9. Survived a night and following day of severe thunderstorms, 50-70 mph winds, and an unverified tornado in super-dry boreal forest while doing inventory work at the peak of forest fire season on the only high point in the area.

    Survived severe storms on a lake with 7 foot waves and a dinky little boat and 50 mph winds. Several times. The seasoned fishermen shook their heads at us and called us crazy.

  10. Have ridden out one typhoon and two hurricanes at sea. The last hurricane we had to stay in 30 ft swells off the continental shelf, because the swells on the shelf were 50 ft.

  11. Various hurricanes, including a Category 5 that went directly over us. Evacuated (another badge!) and spent the night in a hotel with a friend while both of us had active giardia infections. The next day, the bulk of the country was without power, and I still lacked export permits for my samples, so I hitchhiked (took a while to find someone going, since with no power, none of the gas stations were open, so no public transport was running either) with everything I had in the country to the capital to wait until power came back up and I could get permits to leave.

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