Women of NSSL: Linda McGuckin

Linda McGuckin.
Linda McGuckin.

To celebrate Women’s History Month in March NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory is publishing a series of stories highlighting some women working at the lab. One Q&A segment will be published each Monday in March.

Linda McGuckin is supply technician at NSSL. In December 2015 she was named NOAA Employee of the Month. She was one of two individuals selected for the honor by then NOAA Deputy Under Secretary for Operations VADM Michael S. Devany. McGuckin supports scientific research at the lab, including past projects like the Plains Elevated Convection At Night project, through the documentation of property and personnel, accommodating equipment procurement requests and delivering new equipment and ensuring researchers have the tools they need.

Q: What is it about your job that interests you?
A: The opportunity to work with some of the world’s most distinguished and leading scientist and see and hear about the research they are doing.

Q: Tell us about a project or accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career?
A: The projects that have been most challenging and rewarding have been experiences in support of field experiments such as Warn-on-Forecast, VORTEX2 and PECAN. These projects bring in scientists from across the United States and even the globe to participate in very unique research.

Q: What do you see yourself doing in five to 10 years?
A: In 10 years retirement will be really close – so maybe focusing on personal growth and possibly at that point be able to mentor someone younger.

Mobile Mesonets, and other vehicles utilized in PECAN, are seen at the National Weather Center before leaving for the project.
The Plains Elevated Convection At Night project, PECAN, was a large intensive field project aimed to collect data before and during nighttime thunderstorms. Mobile Mesonets, and other vehicles utilized in PECAN, are seen at the National Weather Center before leaving for the project.

Q: What one day sticks out to you during your career? Do you remember one day in particular detail?
A: Watching the PECAN procession lined up and heading out of the National Weather Center to Hays, Kansas, after many months of planning and coordination by many people getting things ready. I played a very small role but it was fulfilling seeing it all put together at the end.

Q: Where is your favorite place to be?
A: Near the water – beach, river, lake, or pool.

Q: What’s the most unusual job you’ve ever had?
A: Working in the emergency room of a small hospital –it wasn’t really unusual, but was very exciting and fascinating.

Q: What does true leadership mean to you?
A: I’ve heard a lot about “Servant Leadership” and this is a great concept. One needs humility and the ability to serve another in order to lead.

Q: If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
A: Tour guide in some crazy adventure, like river rafting or hiking the amazon… etc.

Q: What would you most like to tell your younger self?
A: Practice discipline and self-control, be quick to hear and slow to speak, don’t let fear stop you. Don’t talk about it — BE about it.

Q: How do you define success?
A: Setting goals, making a plan, following through.