Employee Spotlight: Dr. George Smith

Dr. George Smith and Augie, on his land in Virginia.

Dr. George Smith and Augie, on his land in Virginia.

Dr. George Smith is Senior Program Manager with Riverside Technology, inc., helping organizations collect, analyze, manage, and disseminate the overload of environmental information about our planet, which is being generated at a pace far exceeding our ability to thoroughly process and digest it.  He is the Riverside team Program Manager for Scientific and Technical Support Services across the NOAA enterprise.  The NOAA Sci-Tech II contract supports NOAA’s Line Office needs for satellite analysis, the weather forecast and climate service missions, as well as fisheries management, coastal restoration and marine commerce.

Dr. Smith served as NOAA’s Weather and Water Goal Lead, responsible for planning and programming approximately one-quarter of NOAA’s budget, related to NOAA’s environmental forecasting mission.  His previous role was as Chief of the Hydrology Laboratory in the Office of Hydrologic Development in the NOAA’s National Weather Service, and the Senior Hydrologist for NOAA’s Hydrology Program.  He is a native of New Jersey, and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., Civil Engineering) and the University of Florida (M.E., Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering).  

Dr. Smith lives in Moneta, Virginia with his wife Margaret, four horses and six cats.

1.  What three traits describe you? Stable and consistent, Passionate and determined, Fair and understanding.

2. What are you most excited or passionate about in your career? Helping people solve their problems and improve their situations

3.  What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? Waiter/dishwasher at a weight-reduction facility (The Englewood Cliffs Milk Farm)

4. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.  I could start a cross-country drive with a box of chocolate on the seat next to me and all of it would make it to the other coast.  My wife thinks that’s great.  Any chocolate that comes into the house is hers.

5. If you could have a dinner party and invite any four people, dead or alive, who makes the guest list? Someone who walked across India with Gandhi on the Salt March, a native America from the time before European contact, a farmer from China, and a non-violent convict exiled to Australia while it a British penal colony.

6.   What kind of music do you listen to? A good question.  I just checked my Pandora stations: Southern Rock, Margaritaville, The Band, Jimi Hendrix, The Moody Blues, Instrumental, The Who, 70s Rock, The Beach Boys, Jethro Tull, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles. Sounds like anything pre-1990s to me.

7.   You can only eat the same three foods for the rest of your life. What are they? Pasta and broccoli, Broccoli and pasta, Did you say I need to name three?

8.   If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? Establishing a human settlement on Mars. Oh, you mean past historical?

9.  Tell us about your most unique travel experience. Participated in the first World Solar Challenge, where entrants drove solar-powered cars across Australia from Darwin to Adelaide.  Camped for several weeks in the Outback while supporting a team of junior college students and their car.

10.  What’s on or in your nightstand? A cat.

11.  What’s your biggest pet peeve? People getting wound up about things they can’t change.

12.   What movie could you watch over and over? None of them.  I’d rather be doing than watching. If I were caught up and it was a rainy day perhaps Casablanca. There are subtleties in every scene.