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State Climatologist Replaced

Gov. Deal tosses out longtime expert David Stooksbury and assistant Pam Knox

A tornado seems to have hit the State Climatologist's Office.

For more than a decade, UGA professor David Stooksbury has also served as Georgia's state climatologist. He and assistant Pam Knox have been the go-to guys for all things weather--drought, rainfall, El Nino, La Nina, tornadoes, climate change.

They kept massive amounts of data on their website, with links to NOAA sources and other valuable sites for everyone interested in weather, from folks planning to plant to folks planning a picnic.

Late last week, Gov. Nathan Deal replaced the Dynamic Weather Duo with men from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. On Sunday, Stooksbury said with a smile that he had learned more about what transpired from an article in the AJC than he did from the governor's office. His replacement, he said, "was a solid professional."

Tom Crawford, who writes a news page about Georgia politics, reports on the removal.

Laurie Anderson September 13, 2011 at 03:18 PM
David Stooksbury is protected by tenure so can appear to be gracious about this whole fiasco, but what a shabby way to treat people. Where is the independence in placing the State Climatologist in a state agency where they are subject to the ideological biases of the administration? In addition, Pam Knox is arguably even more qualified to be State Climatolgist than Stooksbury. Having served as the State Climatolgist of WI (an arguably more advanced State until the recent Koch Brothers financed Scott Walker take-over), she came to the GA position with nine (9) years of experience, knowledge and expertise. For the Governor to secretly sign an executive order and leave it to the media to inform the parties affected is shameful. What was the UGA role in this fiasco? Of course, we already know that UGA will just parlay away local resources as they did with our local NPR radio station to cover their poor investment in a TV station. If this is the "new normal" in the ideological wars consuming this country, we all will be far poorer.
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) September 13, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Laurie, I couldn't agree with you more about how gracious and professional David and Pam are now and have always been in their positions as head and assistant state climatologists. As a reporter with a print publication, I attended their press conferences for many years, and found them enlightening and entertaining. Both were always happy to comment on drought, severe weather, climate change or other weather-related issues. It's so disappointing to learn they were not treated with the respect and courtesy they always exhibited. On Thursday, I will be asking Michael Adams at his press briefing questions about how the replacement was handled.

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