June Bacon-Bercey, around 1977
|Born||23 October 1932|
June Esther Bacon-Bercey (née Griffin, born October 23, 1932) is an international expert on weather and aviation who has worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service and the Atomic Energy Commission. She is believed to be the first African-American woman to gain a degree in meteorology.
Early life and education
Bacon-Bercey was born and raised in Wichita. She earned her bachelor's degree in 1954 from the University of Kansas and her master's degree in 1955 from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She earned a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Southern California in 1979.
Bacon-Bercey began her career as an engineer, when she worked for the Sperry Corporation, then worked for a variety of federal organizations including the United States Atomic Energy Commission (as a consultant), the National Weather Service Aviation Branch, and the National Meteorological Center.
Increasing the participation of African-American women in metereology and geophysical science has been a major focus for Bacon-Bercey. In 1978, she published an analysis of African-American meteorologists in the US. She had won $64,000 as a contestant on The $128,000 Question in 1977, which she used to establish a scholarship fund for young women interested in atmospheric sciences, administered by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Bacon-Bercey served on the AGU's Committee on Women and Minorities in Atmospheric Sciences, and co-founded the American Metereological Society's Board on Women in Minorities.
In 2006, Bacon-Bercey featured in a book for young people, June Bacon-Bercey: a meteorologist talks about the weather.
Bacon-Bercey was the first woman, as well as the first African-American, to be awarded the American Meteorological Society's Seal of Approval for excellence in television weathercasting when she was working in Buffalo, New York in the 1970s.
In 2000, she was honored during a three-day conference at Howard University for her contributions including: helping to establish a meteorology lab at Jackson State University in Mississippi, her endowment of the scholarship, and her work in California's public schools. Bacon-Bercey was also named a Minority Pioneer for Achievement in Atmospheric Sciences by NASA.
- Pat Viets (2000-03-15). "NOAA Supporting Conference in Atmospheric Sciences at Howard University". NOAA. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
- Bill Workman (2000-03-23). "Substitute Science Teacher is a Meteorology Legend". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
- Chandler, D.L. "Little Known Black History Fact: June Bacon-Bercey". BlackAmericaWeb. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
- Spangenburg, Ray; Moser, Kit (2012). African Americans in Science, Math and Invention. Revised by Steven Otfinoski (Revised ed.). Facts on File, Inc. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9780816083312.
- Warren, Wini (1999-01-01). Black Women Scientists in the United States. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253336031.
- Bacon-Bercey, June (May 1978). "Statistics on Black Meteorologists in Six Organizational Units of the Federal Government". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 59 (5): 576–580. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1978)059<0576:sobmis>2.0.co;2. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- "June Bacon-Bercey wins $64,000 in TV quiz show" (PDF). NOAA News (Vol 2 No 10). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 13 May 1977.
- Anonymous (1978). "June Bacon-Bercey Scholarship in atmospheric sciences". Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union. 59 (12): 1012. Bibcode:1978EOSTr..59Q1012.. doi:10.1029/EO059i012p01012-01.
- Weil, Ann (2006). June Bacon-Bercey : a meteorologist talks about the weather. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0618599541.
- Workman, Bill (March 23, 2000). "Substitute Science Teacher Is a Meteorology Legend / Weather pioneer June Bacon-Bercey given more honors". SFGate. Retrieved 29 March 2017.