PITTSBORO - Meteorologist Paul Heggen, will be the speaker for the college's third sustainable speaker series in honor of Richard and Rebecca Hayes.
The program titled "Climate Change: Science Without Politics", which will be held at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the Holmes Meeting Room of the Chatham Community Library on the Central Carolina Community College Chatham Main Campus in Pittsboro, is sponsored by the Richard and Rebecca Hayes Endowed Lecture Fund for Environmental Policy and Stewardship through the CCCC Foundation.
Paul Heggen joined CBS17 in November 2017, but he's been fascinated with the weather for much longer -- at the age of 4, he witnessed lightning strike a neighbor's house, and in kindergarten, a tornado skirted the town where his family lived. Some kids would be scared of thunderstorms after those experiences ... instead, they sparked a fascination with weather, and he's studied it ever since.
Heggen grew up in South St. Paul, Minn., but since graduating from high school he's moved all around the country. He attended the University of Denver and earned a bachelor's degree in geography, performing research into the effects of El Nino on weather patterns in the Rocky Mountains.
After graduating, Heggen earned a master's degree in meteorology from Texas A&M University -- his graduate school research focused on lightning patterns within severe and tornadic thunderstorms, a course of study that helped prepare him for forecasting the weather in some of the most challenging markets in the country. Heggen has covered everything from tropical storms along the Gulf Coast to blizzards in the Upper Midwest to tornado outbreaks in the Southern Plains, and now hurricanes in North Carolina. Before coming to the Triangle, Heggen spent eight years at WSMV in Nashville, Tenn. Previous to that, he worked for stations in Tulsa, Okla., Huntington, W.Va., Duluth, Minn., and Beaumont, Texas.
He holds the American Meteorological Society's "Certified Broadcast Meteorologist" seal of approval.
On the awards shelf, Heggen has six Emmy Awards, and multiple Best Weathercast and Best Weather Anchor awards from the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. Just before leaving Nashville, he was voted Best Weatherperson and Best Local Blog by the readers of the Tennessean newspaper.
Richard Hayes has said of the endowment: "We hope that through this endowment, an annual public lecture will be possible at CCCC, to both students and citizens of our community, to provide them with the very best and the very latest science information relating to what is happening to our planet because of global warming; and more importantly, what measures can be and should be taken, by each of us and all of us, to protect and preserve our precious water, soil, and air and the lives both human and animal they support."
Dr. Emily Hare, CCCC Foundation Executive Director, says the college is thankful for friends like Richard and Rebecca Hayes. "We are grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Hayes for their contributions to the college and to the community," she said.
The CCCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization affiliated with, but independent of, Central Carolina Community College. It receives donations of money and equipment on behalf of the college and uses them to promote its educational mission and assist students through scholarships and grants.
For more information about the Foundation, its work and events, visit www.cccc.edu/foundation. For more information about classes and programs at Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.
Meteorologist Paul Heggen will be the speaker for Central Carolina Community College's third sustainable speaker series in honor of Richard and Rebecca Hayes. The program, which will be held at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the Holmes Meeting Room of the Chatham Community Library on the Central Carolina Community College Chatham Main Campus in Pittsboro, is sponsored by the Richard and Rebecca Hayes Endowed Lecture Fund for Environmental Policy and Stewardship through the CCCC Foundation.