Jay Shafer, PhD, Founder and Principal
From an early age of making his own snow plows to chasing Vermont snow storms, weather has always been central to Jay’s life. Jay grew up in the hills of northern New Jersey where he was awake early on snow days eager to shovel and track storms on The Weather Channel. He largely credits his Dad for developing a curiosity for understanding weather. This passion for getting the weather forecast right and helping others has guided Jay’s career.
Jay earned his B.S. in Meteorology at Plymouth State University, where he was introduced to mountain weather, hiking the 4000’+ peaks in New Hampshire's White Mountains. He was an engaged student, from keeping maps orderly in the weather center to serving as President of the student chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). His participation as a researcher on the AIRMAP project reading historic weather journals and diaries to understand historic snowstorms whet his appetite for graduate school.
Everything turned west when Jay took a leap and moved to Salt Lake City, UT to study Meteorology at the University of Utah. Here, his advisor, Jim Steenburgh, taught him how complex terrain influences weather systems. His Master’s research focused on how the much bigger mountains of Utah affect winter precipitation patterns, while his PhD research focused on understanding how, where, and when strong cold fronts develop over the western United States. Jay was also active on campus, including the creation of a student AMS chapter and captaining the winningest “Team Virga” intramural soccer team.
As a first-in-family college student Jay always felt compelled to give back similar educational opportunity. This, along with a sprouting expertise in synoptic meteorology, led him to an opportunity to share his passion at Lyndon State College, where he was hired as an Assistant Professor. Under his tutelage hundreds of students have learned about weather forecasting while fostering their personal growth. His students have attended over 25 graduate schools, worked in over 30 media markets, and have been employed at over 25 companies. His teaching specialities include weather forecasting, GIS, and other courses serving Lyndon’s broadcast and private industry concentrations.
During his time at Lyndon Jay has been involved in the private industry, directing numerous client projects, most involving undergraduate students. These projects have included research on medium-range temperature prediction, and short-term forecasting for winter roadway conditions. Jay has also served as an expert witness on numerous occasions, holding the Certified Consulting Meteorologist credential.
Jay is an accomplished forecaster, nationally ranked in the top 5% of all forecasters. While getting the forecast right is important, helping others make the best decisions with accurate forecasts has been a developing focus of Jay’s work. To this end, Jay’s career has come full circle, with Jay being a go-to person for school closing decision making.
Jay may be found in Vermont’s beautiful Northeast Kingdom playing with his two children, growing garlic, running, or helping a neighbor with his tractor.
David Siuta, PhD, CTO
David is a New Jersey native who grew up fascinated by big east coast snowstorms. He remembers the blizzard of 1996, which brought nearly 3 feet of snow to many east coast cities, as the reason why he chose to pursue a career in meteorology.
After graduating high school in New Jersey, David moved out to Laramie, Wyoming to attend the University of Wyoming, where he obtained a B.S. in Earth System Science and a M.S. in Atmospheric Science. For his Master's research, David began working with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to predict wind speeds in support of wind resource assessment for clean energy. While attending Wyoming, David developed an interest in boundary-layer and mountain meteorology processes, and how they affect wind forecasts.
From Wyoming, David took his interests in boundary-layer and mountain meteorology to the University of British Columbia, where he worked under Prof. Roland Stull and the Weather Forecast Research Team (WFRT). David developed expertise in numerical weather prediction during his PhD, including ensemble and probabilistic forecast methods for winds in mountainous terrain. David maintained the WFRT's operational ensemble forecast system and successfully pioneered efforts in running the WFRT's weather forecast models using cloud computing resources in real time. During his time at the University of British Columbia, David was also the instructor for the undergraduate course in synoptic meteorology, for which he won a department award.
David joined Jay Shafer at Lyndon State College in 2017 to operationalize icing prediction and help develop Northview Weather LLC. He is responsible for developing and running Northview's ensemble forecast system and maintaining Northview's cloud-computing resources. In his free time, David enjoys taking trips to Colorado for mountain climbing and hiking, and exploring Vermont’s Green Mountains.