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Whitaker, Richard Northcroft (1947 - )

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Meteorologist and Science educator
Born: 15 July 1947
Richard Northcroft Whitaker has played a key role in meteorological research and in its promotion and teaching. He joined the Bureau of Meteorology in 1971 and retired in 2002 at the level of New South Wales Manger of Special Services. After leaving the Bureau Whitaker set up his own consultancy business called “Weathersmart Meteorological Services”. He has also lectured widely to many bodies including the armed services, Apex, Rotary, Kiwanis, yacht clubs, aviation groups, rural industries and the Workers’ Education Authority. Whitaker’s passion for all things meteorological has led him to a successful career in the science communication and the media industry. He works on The Weather Channel’s “This is Australia” program and on Vega FM Sydney radio as “The Weatherman” and has written many technical and lay publications including Australia's Natural Disasters - book about wild weather, earthquakes, droughts and bushfires.

Career Highlights
URL: The home page for this entity is located at http://www.weatherchannel.com.au/Magic94scripts/mgrqispi94.dll?appname=WC&prgname=WC&T...
After two years of national service, Richard Northcroft Whitaker, or Dick as he is commonly known, joined the Bureau of Meteorology. He first worked in forecasting and warnings where he interpreted satellite photographs, analysed numerical prognostic models and compiled public weather/aviation forecasts. In 1981 Whitaker was appointed Officer in Charge of the Facilities and Information Section where he provided government/private clients information and advice on climatology, rainfall intensities, insurance, instrumentation, legal work and student projects.

In 1984 he became Senior Forecaster at the Sydney Regional Forecasting Centre and started developing an interest in promoting meteorology to the general public. As New South Wales Manager of the Special Services Unit (1992-2002)Whitaker initiated the development of precipitation charts now used throughout print and electronic media, advanced print and electronic media presentations, display of satellite photograph on SBS Television and development of the “Farmweather” service, now a national product for delivery of weather forecast information to Australia’s rural industries.

Edited from a biography prepared by Dick Whitaker, 2006

1968Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc (Hons)) completed at Monash University, Victoria
1969 - 1971National Service with the Royal Australian Regiment
1971Diploma in Meteorology completed at the Bureau of Meteorology Training School, Melbourne
1971 - 2002Joined the Bureau of Meteorology
1981 - 1984Officer in Charge of the Facilities and Information Section (now known as Climate and Consultancy Section)
1984Australia Day Achievement Award received
1984 - 1992Senior Forecaster with the Sydney Regional Forecasting Centre
1992 - 2002NSW Manager of the Special Services Unit
2002 - Weathersmart Meteorological Services established

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Annette Alafaci
Created: 12 September 2006
Modified: 21 September 2006

Published by The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on ASAPWeb, 1994 - 2007
Originally published 1994-1999 by Australian Science Archives Project, 1999-2006 by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
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Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 26 February 2007

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