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James Hocker

Program Manager
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
Climate, Hazard Impacts

James Hocker earned his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology in 2004 and his Master of Science in Meteorology in 2006, both from the University of Oklahoma. His masters degree focused on a 10-year analysis of severe storm activity in Oklahoma – specifically, supercell and squall line thunderstorms.

James’ interests in meteorology started at an early age while growing up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. His weather memories include major hail storms (Mayfest 1995), seeking shelter numerous times due to tornadoes, and powerful squall lines blowing through in the middle of the night. These experiences drove James to study meteorology at the University of Oklahoma beginning in the fall of 2000. 

Since graduating in 2006 Mr. Hocker has held several professional positions at the University of Oklahoma. During 2007-2008 James worked for the Dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences as a Research Associate for the newly formed Office of Weather Programs and Projects. In this position, James worked with a team of researchers to develop a guidance document to help the country of Croatia modernize their national weather service office. This work involved several trips to Europe to meet with staff of the Croatian Hydro-meteorological Service.

In late 2008, James transitioned to a new position at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey as program manager of a new regional program called the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP). The mission of SCIPP is to help communities and local planners throughout the South (a region including Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi) increase their level of preparedness for climate extremes such as severe storms, hurricanes, droughts, floods, extreme temperatures, and wildfire. In this position James is responsible for co-managing the day-to-day activities of the program along with a program manager counterpart at Louisiana State University.

James’ interests in meteorology and climate are quite diverse, though they tend to be heavily focused on applications. James is particularly interested in researching where, how, and why high impact weather events have occurred in the past, and how conditions have changed over time. In addition, James has a strong interest in mapping and undertakes much of his research using a tool called Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS allows many layers of information to be viewed simultaneously for more in depth analysis.

In his spare time, James enjoys spending time with his family. His hobbies include following ice hockey and college football, hiking, skating, photography, and traveling.