State Weather Risk Communication Center’s Nick Bassill Featured on Department of Transportation Podcast

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 29, 2024) — Nick Bassill, director of the New York State Weather Risk Communication Center (SWRCC) at the University at Albany, is featured in the latest episode of the recently launched New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) podcast.

“The D.O.T. P.O.D.” is the DOT’s first-ever podcast series, aiming to share the human story of the Department, its people, and the work done to help keep New Yorkers safe. 

Bassill is featured on this week’s episode, alongside DOT’s director of Emergency Transportation Operations and Security Programs Bureau Matt Vasilow, to discuss how the SWRCC is supporting the DOT, along with other public agencies and emergency managers across the state, to better prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store. 

SWRCC's Nick Bassill and DOT's Matt Vasilow interview from the xCITE laboratory at ETEC.
Nick Bassill and Matt Vasilow speak with Josh Heller and Anya Kardos of the DOT podcast team from inside the xCITE laboratory at ETEC. (Photo by Mike Nolan)

“The State Weather Risk Communication Center got it start because there was a significant need in the state for additional weather information,” said Bassill, during the podcast discussion. “We began working with individual state agencies, such as the DOT, and, others… it got to a point where we said we’re doing enough for the state on short-term contracts that it does not make sense to operate like this, so we pushed for a permanent center to consolidate these projects and hire people to provide dedicated weather support for anyone in the public sector.” 

In December, Gov. Hochul announced the creation of the New York State Weather Risk Communication Center at UAlbany. Through an annual $1.5 million investment, the SWRCC provides rapid, tailored, real-time weather information to help state agencies, emergency managers, and other critical stakeholders, prepare for and respond to severe weather events. 

The SWRCC is located at the ETEC research and development complex, leveraging the research and expertise already occurring inside the building, along with its best-in-class weather-related tools, including the xCITE laboratory, a data and visual analytics center, and the New York State Mesonet, a statewide weather network operated by UAlbany. 

The Center is expected to support about 10 full-time positions, student employment, and internship opportunities. Bassill recently hired its first two employees, both graduates of UAlbany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.