It was in the Bay of Campeche on the world’s second largest offshore oil platform installation barge that UNC Asheville graduate Jenny Hibbert ’09 realized she’d found her passion.
“This was the best experience of my life,” Hibbert says of her stint as resident weather expert on the crane barge Saipem 7000, a monstrous vessel with two towering cranes, each capable of lifting 7,000 tons. The barge installs large oil platforms, and it was Hibbert’s job to monitor and forecast tropical weather during the work. Many lives depended on her. She is now operations manager of the forecasting division for Fugro GEOS in Singapore.
Meteorology was not in Hibbert’s plans when she entered UNC Asheville in 2004 after graduating from Chapel Hill High School. “I’d had the idea of majoring in physics, but the prospect of so much math was scary. Dr. Doug Miller pulled me aside one day and told me, ‘Don’t let being afraid of the math be the reason you don’t major in meteorology. You can do this.’”