Clara Deser - NCAR Senior Scientist; Head, Climate Analysis Section

Observing the Natural World

What influenced you to pursue a career in science?Clara Deser hiking

As a kid, I always enjoyed making maps and I loved math and making observations about the natural world around me. So it was a pretty natural decision to pursue a career in science, and climate science research in particular. Also, my father is a theoretical physicist and encouraged me to pursue a career in science.

Who are you at work and what does a typical workday look like?

I am a senior scientist and head of the Climate Analysis section at NCAR. I have a group of several postdocs, graduate students and associate scientists with whom I work. A typical workday includes scientific discussions with members of my group and other colleagues, attending to paperwork, thinking about new results, and writing or editing journal articles.

Who are you outside of work?

Clara Deser in the Swiss Alps.

I belong to a wonderful chorus; I like to hike, cook, and play the piano.

What has been your favorite work-related experience?

Mentoring postdocs has been my favorite work-related experience to date.

The Power of One: If you could thank only one person for academic or career support, who would it be?

I would thank my PhD advisor, Mike Wallace. He continues to be an inspiration to me and without his down-to-earth encouragement of my particular talents, I would not be where I am today.


What advice would you offer to someone interested in a career like your own?

My advice is to pay attention to what makes you happy and fulfilled in your work, and to believe in yourself, that you have something unique to contribute.