Wendy Sue Parker
B.S. Geography/Meteorology, 1997
B.A. Philosophy, 1997
Dr. Wendy Sue Parker received recognition from her professors and the University while earning double major degrees at NIU. In 1997, Dr. Parker graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Meteorology, both summa cum laude, and was named the NIU Lincoln Laureate that year. Professor David J. Buller, Chair of the Department of Philosophy, says “[she] stands out as the single best student I have ever taught.”
After NIU, Dr. Parker continued her study of meteorology and the philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh, the internationally acknowledged top doctoral program in History and Philosophy of Science. There she was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and the Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship.
After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Parker held fellowships first as a Congressional Science Fellow working on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Two postdoctoral fellowships followed, one at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University, and then in the Science Studies Program at the University at San Diego. In 2006, Dr. Parker accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ohio University where she is currently employed. She was recently promoted to Associate Professor.
Of her interdisciplinary research into epistemological questions regarding meteorology, renowned philosopher of science, John Norton, has credited her with initiating a new subfield within the philosophy of science—philosophy of meteorology. Dr. Parker’s research demonstrates that method, explanation, and confirmation in meteorology are unique to the philosophy of science, and meteorology must be understood within a different epistemological framework than other sciences.
At Ohio University, Dr. Parker has developed and taught more than a half dozen courses, presented a number of prestigious invited papers, and published five manuscripts. In 2008, she received the Ohio University Challenge Grant and a three-year National Science Foundation Grant to examine ensemble climate prediction. NIU Meteorology Professor David Changnon, says, “Even though she has just started her academic career, Wendy has already made a huge impression on her field. Her ability to address important issues to two or more disciplines is rare among scientists.”
Dr. Parker’s professional and public service is impressive and spans several arenas. She reviews grants for both the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency. She serves on a number of committees at Ohio University and she is a referee for a number of important scholarly journals.