February 7, 2018

ABC News’ Ginger Zee to headline 2018 Nebraska Science Festival

Good Morning America meteorologist will discuss natural disasters

Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist for ABC News, will share her professional - and personal - journey with natural disasters when she headlines the 2018 Nebraska Science Festival on April 20.

As the face of ABC News' meteorology team, audiences are familiar with Zee's coverage of natural disasters, but the December 2017 release of her memoir, "Natural Disaster: I Cover Them, I am One," also shined a light on the difficult personal path Zee traveled to becoming the first female chief network meteorologist at a network.

Her visit to Omaha will highlight the sixth annual Nebraska Science Festival, scheduled for April 19-28. The festival features an array of science- and technology-related activities in communities across the state with the goal of making science accessible, interactive, relevant and fun for all ages.

"Ginger Zee has a remarkable story that reaches far beyond her high-profile science career," said SciFest coordinator Kacie Baum. "She will share her passion for meteorology, present the human side of these storms, and inspire our audience by sharing her own life's storms."

Zee's presentation, to be held at Joslyn Museum's Witherspoon Concert Hall in Omaha, is free to the public (but requires a reserved ticket) and is suitable for all ages. Tickets for the general admission seating will be released online at Event Brite (four per person) at noon on April 1 on a first-come, first-served basis; please check nescifest.com for more information. Although the April 20 presentation is free, tickets are required for admittance when doors open at 6:30 p.m. The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m.

As chief meteorologist at ABC News, Zee covers the nation's weather headlines on "Good Morning America" and across all ABC News broadcasts and digital platforms. She also hosts an ABC News original digital series, "Food Forecast," focused on climate and its impact on agriculture.

The Emmy Award-winning meteorologist and third-place finisher on the 22nd season of "Dancing with the Stars," Zee attended Valparaiso University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology. She served as an adjunct professor at her alma mater from 2008 to 2011. She also holds the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society.

After obtaining her B.S., Zee worked her way up through various news outlets in the Midwest as a weather reporter and storm chaser. But, she says, by chasing these storms she was avoiding the real one brewing at home-a string of misguided relationships, including an abusive one that wouldn't end until she was forced to call the police, and a deep soul search that lead her to check into a mental health hospital 10 days before starting her job at ABC. Zee's struggle with mental health issues went undiagnosed until she entered inpatient therapy and began - slowly but surely - to get back on track to building a remarkable career and family. Her poignant chronicle of life as a natural disaster, and message of resilience and self-care, will leave audiences feeling renewed and empowered.

Zee joins a growing roster of SciFest speakers including scientist Bill Nye, "Animal Planet" host and conservationist Jeff Corwin, meteorologist and extreme storm chaser Reed Timmer, actor LeVar Burton, who discussed merging technology, storytelling and science fiction, and Kari Byron, host of the Discovery Channel's Mythbusters and Netflix's The White Rabbit Project.

Presented by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Nebraska Science Festival is a collaboration of organizations and individuals interested in the advancement of science literacy. In addition to UNMC, other sponsors, to date, are Metro Credit Union, the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, and media sponsors KETV and the Omaha World-Herald.

To volunteer as an individual, community site or a science expo booth, go to: www.nescifest.com. In addition to NeSciFest.com, you will find SciFest updates and information on Twitter (@NESciFest) and Facebook (NE SciFest).