2013-08-09 22.07.56

If all of my thoughts are constantly sitting on my computer’s hard drive or in my head, they have a 0% chance of helping anyone.

I began blogging during the summer of 2009 with a simple Blogger site: dananimal.blogspot.com. Without context, most people might think my blogging is for “personal branding” or some sort of vanity exercise. Precisely to the contrary.

After being laid off due to the economic downturn early 2009, I felt that all signs were pointing toward a personal, philosophical, and spiritual journey further outside of my comfort zone. While backpacking throughout New Zealand that summer (winter in down south) I reconnected with my undying purpose to serve society by aiding those in the midst of ambiguity. From being a soft ear to deeply troubled neighbors, to helping friends launch new adventure voluntourism businesses. From hosting Startup Weekends, to serving as a high school basketball coach guiding young men on more than their quest for a championship.

Lake Wanaka 2009

Whilst visiting the beautiful town of Wanaka in the Southern Alps, I consider the fact that if all of my thoughts were constantly sitting on my computer’s hard drive and/or in my head, they had a 0% chance of helping anyone other than me. How selfish is that? (Not to mention mind-blowingly simple). I inherently believe there’s a large chance that none of my thoughts will become anything more than letters on a page of the internets. But, there is that off chance that one of my thoughts, one of my posts, even one sentence of my blog may be useful to somebody else. To that end I find blogging as selfless as one can possibly be.

Now if only to take that ultimate step of selfless conveyance of perceived truth without the Theory of Mind. Here we all could learn a thing or two from FAKE GRIMLOCK:

Truth Go Ahead Try It

“What’s the purpose of what you’re doing?”
(Question to FAKE GRIMLOCK because he dresses up in and assumes the online persona of a Giant Robot Dinosaur)

Answer: “It’s a proof of concept, it’s to prove a theory. And it’s to prove that who you are doesn’t matter. In fact, truth requires that you aren’t anyone, because if you’re someone, whatever you say is always biased. It’s influenced by what you know about that person.”

Interview with FAKE GRIMLOCK

Is Sustainability Dead? Teddy Bear has the Answer

I might argue that sustainability doesn’t work. You cannot keep anything the same forever; why do you think people die? Life has to be recreated in order to continue. If you want to be real about it the only thing that is sustainable is change.

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
—Benjamin Franklin

Wikipedia says that Sustainability is the “capacity to endure,” though the defining tenet of humanity and life on earth has been the ability to adapt to the change, because change is ever-present. My concerns is that the essence of sustainability these days seems to be control. “If we could just keep people from building in pristine places, make them use ‘green’ products with new building standards, and require that the government buy organic, we would be on our way,” some think. Well hear this; Karl Marx believed in this kind of comprehensively planned society. Marx believed there should be no competition, but a comprehensively controlled system; sounds like the idea of sustainability preached today.

What we really need are more mindful realists. People that aren’t afraid to be who they are, stand up for what they believe in, and not tip-toe around the bush. If you want that fox, dive right in that brush and go get it. What we need are more Theodore Roosevelts in the world. From a military and authority perspective, Teddy wasn’t afraid to show off his and our country’s might; a little show-boaty for my taste, but straight foward. “Here is my White Fleet, it will destroy you if you push my buttons, try me.” Obviously not a liberal approach to life.

But wait, have I mentioned that Teddy and Mr. John Muir are the fathers of our National Parks system, very much enjoyed the outdoors, and preached Conservationism? Wait, what? That’s right Mr. Tough Guy, New York City Police Commissioner, Medal of Honor Nominee, Republican avid hunter was a progressive conservationist and environmentalist. Oh, that’s right, that’s where we get the name Teddy Bear (he refused to shoot a cornered bear).

“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all marred.” 
– Theodore Roosevelt

My opinion is that in the future, everyone will continue doing whatever allows them to easy and comfortably get by. Conservation of our own energy is a human survival tactic (read laziness). This virus we call the human race will do whatever is needed to survive for as long as we can. When price gets too high for gasoline, we will look for alternatives; when we have ruined every underground water aquifer and well with fracking, we will look for alternatives. When the day finally comes that we cannot healthily fish the seas because aquatic creatures consist of too much plastic and heavy metals, we will find another way.

“We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

You’re way off if you think that never ruffled a feather in his party. The point being, he was no BS. Regardless of what sticks and stones are thrown your way, stand up for what you believe in. Be you and be real. Sustainability is Utopian; conservation is realistic. And I have always respected speaking softly and carrying a big stick.

I welcome your thoughts on the matter…

The Fiery Blaze of Entrepreneurship

Daniel Herr with a bike a sunset on Stewart Island in New ZealandOne metaphor I have encountered is that entrepreneurship is a contagious fire with every successful flame infecting the desire for a burning blaze of entrepreneurship around it. All eventually burn off, and the first flames have the hardest work to do, but each fuels the heat of the fire and makes it possible for the blaze to burn hotter as long as their is a chimney to escape, fuel to burn, and fresh air to feed upon.

That flame of entrepreneurship is part of the human spirit (as I once heard from Daniel Isenberg). Entrepreneurship is no different than art, music or poetry; it has an element of creativity and it is a way of expressing yourself. Given the right conditions, that expression can be set free to the benefit of all.

But what are those conditions and how do you set your flame to work and provide it with all of the conditions for success? I pooled a group of my friends asking, “When you have a great idea, what keeps you from starting the business?” The number-one answer, hands down, “Capital.”

Question on Facebook regarding why Daniel Herr's Friend don't start businesses

Where does that answer come from and how many people really look hard for capital? Or is it mostly, “If I happened to inherit a load of cash I would consider it.” My intuition say that is rooted in fear in lack of capital as security. There is this fear of a gaping hole of failure sitting smack-dab between the 40-hour per week job and successful entrepreneurship. Few are willing to look down into the cavernous pit to find a manageable trail much less climb down and explore. The feeling to me seem to be a sense of inadequacy and uncertainty about whether you could, with your own free with and strength, climb back up (on either side) once down in this ditch of despair.

Grand Canyon with trail in Arizona

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. – Mark Twain

I encourage everyone to see how far their ideas can go. There is no shortage of ideas out there, nor any lack of songs in your head or desires to dance; the real inhibitor is your own mind. In my opinion and experience, more than anything else, being an entrepreneur requires the courage to face, express, & conquer yourself.

Thank you for reading my blog – Daniel S. Herr.
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I have transitioned to WordPress.com for the time being and a new blog at danherr.com. Please feel free to browse my old blog at http://dananimal.blogspot.com/ while I get this one going.

Thank you for reading my blog – Daniel S. Herr

Job Opportunities for Meteorological Students in Renewable Energy – AMS 2012

Below is a video of my presentation at the American Meteorological Society to a session of approximately 150 students on January 21st, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. The topic of conversations was Job Opportunities for Meteorological Students in Clean Energy. Enjoy.

If you have not done so yet, please feel free to browse my Blog.

Transcript from Daniel Herr’ Presentation on Meteorology Jobs in Clean Energy


Poll Audience:

•How many current students do we have in the room?
•How many of you have worked in the Renewable Energy
•Has anyone here conducted research in Renewables?
•How many are interested in possibly getting a job in
Renewable Energy?
2. Daniel Herr
Alright, well I’m Daniel Herr, just as it say right up there
on the slide and I am from Lake Tahoe and the Great State of Nevada; anyone
from Nevada here?
You may be wondering who is this kid up here talking to me,
I’m pretty sure he can’t be over 21, and I bet he don’t even know anything
about meteorology, and you’d be mostly right. I don’t know much about weather,
well really I’m here to learn about weather from you guys. But somebody thought
that I know a thing or two about Renewable Energy, and well I like free food,
so there you have it… dangerous thing giving me a mic.
3. Daniel Herr
And, well, I’ve had some cool experiences coaching high
school basketball, travelling the world, and chasing tornadic supercells… and
from time to time I fill in for Superman.
4. University of Nevada, Reno
And now for my shameless plug and my sponsor in coming here…
I am also a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Nevada, Reno where
I am currently pursuing my Masters in Business.
5. RE:newable.energy
6. RE:newable.energy
Now I am going to brush by a few fairly quickly here to get
to the more juicy stuff…
7. GEOTHERMAL.energy
Geothermal, you get the idea, hot water comes out of the
earth, we put it through turbines, we make electricity, simple. Old faithful,
you get the picture. Geothermal is one that is hugely popular back home in
Nevada, not so much with sky pharmacists, moving on…
8. BIOMASS.energy
Biomass, basically burning biological stuffs; typically
chipped wood and the like. If its got carbon and energy it will probably burn.
Unless we have emissions restricted to cloudy days, meteorologist probably
don’t care too much about this one either…
9. HYDRO.energy
Hydro, sure we want to know how much potential energy we
will have stored up from precipitation, and there is a profession known as
Hydrometeorological Predicting, but we’re not going to talk about that today….
10. SOLAR.energy
Now you’ve all heard about this thing called the sun right?
It’s a Giant Nuclear Reactor, 93 million miles away, provides light, without it
we wouldn’t exist; right… so Solar energy is the most plentiful and powerful
here on Earth.
11. SOLAR.energy
So yeah, the sun’s power virtually eclipses all other
current and potential forms of known energy and ultimately is the driving force
for most all other renewable sources.
12. SOLAR.energy
Solar is well understood and I’ve played with it a bit
13. SOLAR.energy
And so has Jim. This is Jim, I call him Mr. Nevada, but he
goes by Jim back home
14. SOLAR.energy
But back to the point, Solar energy is pretty well
understood. We are pretty sure the sun is going to come up every day and we
have a pretty good idea about how much sun on average hits the earth throughout
the year. Based upon 30-year weather records, NREL compiled data into what they
call the RED Book for most major cities in the 90’s and now have an online
format for Photovoltaic developers and installers.
15. SOLAR.energy
So today, more or less within a few clicks I can have most
everything that I need in understanding and financing a solar project. So aside
from revising, updating, and planning on a macro-scale for utility operations,
there may not be a ton of Meteorological opportunity in Solar.
16. WIND.energy
But alas; here is what you have all been wanting to talk
about; the Sexy of renewable energy; Wind Power.
17. WIND.energy
There is a lot about wind energy that is still misunderstood
or lost in the dark all together. Which is to say, there is an opportunity or
two out here for you…
18. research.WIND.energy
Here is what I am talking about; Horn’s Rev. You may have
seen this before; Inter-row down-stream power losses due to vortex shedding and
wakes of upstream turbines. Horns Rev wind energy plant is 15 km off the coast
of Denmark. This picture threw may people in the industry into panic mode a few
years back. Holly crap, maybe wakes are a big deal!
The description I found about this said, “At the time the
photo was taken the pressure was close to the vaporizing pressure resulting in
a visualization of the wakes behind the turbines. In the wake the flow
structure is dissipated into smaller scales causing a pressure change which, in
this specific case, results in vaporization.”
19. WIND.energy
But what I’m getting at is that this is where you are
needed. I have worked with a number of development companies like Invenergy,
Oak Creek Energy Systems, Mountain Wind Energy, and Great Basin Wind in Nevada
and California. The development of wind energy systems in the United States
depends upon locating, assessing and developing profitable locations for wind
20. development-needs.WIND.energy
And here is where I am going to break all the rules about
good powerpoint slides for the shear fact that you need to see all of this in
one place. There are a lot of needs that include your input.
In Nevada, for instance you can’t just wonder out in the
plains, set down a SoDAR and walk away. I work and live in the Sierra Nevadas
and the Great Basin. We call upon the expertise of meteorologists to help site
meteorological towers, Sonic Detection and Ranging and Light Detection and
Ranging Instruments.
21. assessment.WIND.energy
In order to understand whether a location is appropriate for
the investment of upward of $2 Million dollars per wind turbine (not including
excavation and embankment work, infrastructure development such as roads, power
lines, and water), wind energy developers have to know beyond any doubt that a
location is suitable for development. We have to perform highly sensitive
long-term assessments of the potential. Usually focus on the expected average
energy production or what’s called the P50. We use Meteorological towers like
this one instrumented with anemometers, wind veins, barometric pressure
sensors, temperature sensors, solar power, data logging and GSM communication.
We are looking to minimize uncertainty and monetize the wind resource.
22. assessment.WIND.energy
You may have heard about this thing called wind shear… yeah
it play a pretty big role. The industry standard for meteorological towers is
60m these days where wind turbines are getting taller and taller 80m – 125m+
(that’s 400 ft+). We have a hard time measuring that high with towers alone and
unfortunately invalid boundary-layer assumptions and applications of the
log-law have really hurt the industry.
23. assessment.WIND.energy
We started trying to use SoDAR’s more and more, but you
cannot finance a project yet on SoDAR data by itself. In Nevada we’ve seen
complex terrain issues prove very puzzling problems. In particular we ran into
an issue with instruments atop hills where the wind was curving over the
hilltop and creating invalid measurements…
24. The Haves
But enough industry talk, where do you fit in with those
that are already in the industry?
25. Job Titles to Have
Here are some of the management job titles I’ve come across
in the industry relating to Meteorology
26. Working For
27. Job Titles to Have
28. Getting a Job
Now don’t expect to have those titles walking in the door,
you have to put in your time. So how do you do that?
29. Be The Guerrilla
Getting a job today requires being unconventional, creative,
and up with the times. Some call this “Guerrilla Marketing Yourself.” You can’t
just hand in your resume and expect to get the posted job.
30. Getting a Job
So I’ve got some quick tips for you… Start by getting the
right perspective. People are hiring, and they are looking for you, you just
need to know where and how. When you want to search for something, what do you
do? Google it right?
31. I’m Googling For You
So what do you think potential employers are doing?
Googling… But that’s just a start, a baseline, you have to weave the network,
meeting the players, and understanding what hiring managers are looking for.
Start the conversation.
32. Be Curious
And be curious. This is an article that was written about my
style in the Reno News and Review. I’m not saying it right for you, but be
unconventional and you’ll get noticed.
33.  “…He gently knocked,
I knocked on the door with curiosity and general interest
and eventually the interest turned back toward me.
34. “…Then, as people do
Again, what I am saying is that you need to make your own
35. Next Steps
So how do you get started; do your homework, meet the
36. be.unconventional
be unconventional
37. seek.truth
Seek your own truth
38. climb.on
And climb on with determination until your reach the end…
which you will find is only a
new beginning.
39. EL FIN…
Thank You.

Daniel Herr