Dan Dawson spent much of his childhood split between suburban Ohio and Saudi Arabia, where his father’s work as an aircraft mechanic often took him. While neither of his parents were scientists, they have always encouraged his interests and dreams. His grandfather was a college computer science instructor, and turned him on at an early age to the wonders of science. His family eventually moved to central Indiana and settled down, where he attended middle school and high school in Plainfield, IN, attending the same church and youth group as Nathan Gilmour.
Dan has always been interested in the weather, and a childhood fear of thunderstorms and tornadoes set him on a course that would lead to him attending Purdue University, majoring in atmospheric dynamics, with a minor in computer science. From there, he set his sights on the southern Plains, where the buffalos and tornadoes do roam, and entered into the graduate program in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. He graduated with his M.S. in 2004, and Ph.D. in 2009, both in meteorology. It was there he met his wife of nearly five years, Robin, and they have one rambunctious 14 month-old son, Dan Dawson III, or Danny 3.0 to his friends. He and his wife are both avid stormchasers, having seen on the order of 100 tornadoes each, many of them while chasing together.
Dan now works at the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms in Norman, OK, as a research meteorologist. His areas of expertise include computer simulation of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, analysis of radar observations of storms, and development of techniques to model cloud and precipitation formation and evolution within storms.
He currently attends Wildwood Community Church, a non-denominational evangelical church, and considers himself a broadly orthodox, “big tent” evangelical Christian who has benefited both from conservative and progressive expressions of the faith. He has a deep heart both for promoting a better understanding of science among Christians, and of religion and faith among his fellow scientists.