Dan Tomaso began working at abc27 in August 2009 after interning with the abc27 Storm Track team. He was still a student when he began to work on the weekend morning newscasts. Back and forth he went to and from State College to continue his studies at Penn State University.
Tomaso studied at PSU for seven years which included undergraduate studies, a masters degree and the pursuit of his doctorate degree which he is still working towards.
During the summer of 2014, Tomaso spent three weeks onboard the ship, RV Hugh Sharp — a NOAA certified research vessel. A PSU research team and a team from Old Dominion University studied the impact that air pollution has on the Atlantic Ocean.
“Everything we produce, when we drive our cars or any industry in the United States, creates air pollution,” Tomaso explained on Good Day PA. “And unfortunately it travels across the country and ends up over the open ocean waters.”
The adventure, as Tomaso explained it, was a non-typical study of Meteorology.
“What we wanted to go and find out was what happens to the air pollution and rain as it hits the ocean,” said Tomaso. “There’s actually nutrients in that rainwater that can stimulate Phytoplankton growth and that Phytoplankton is eaten by fish. So it has a huge ecological impact.”
Tomaso was the forecaster on board and at one point recommended that the team return back to shore as Hurricane Bertha advanced. While Tomaso did experience sea sickness on his first day at sea, he said that he then enjoyed fishing, gorgeous sunsets, schools of dolphin and fervent research.
“It was passion of mine to go out and do this, for sure,” he noted.
Currently, publishing is underway on some of the research that Tomaso and his colleagues performed. There are also plans for future studies of air pollution and ocean life, specifically east of Asia in the East China Sea.