From Volleyball to Climate Change: Alumna Angie Lassman Recounts Her Journey to NBC News’ Climate Unit

By Erin Alvarado

Angie Lassman ’12, ’14 M.S., was honored with the first GOLD Ad Astra Alumni Award at the 2023 Florida Tech Alumni Awards Gala in March. This new honor recognizes graduates of the last decade who represent the future leaders of tomorrow.

In November 2022, Lassman accepted a meteorologist position with NBC News Climate Unit in New York City, appearing on the “Today” show weekend broadcast and weekday mornings on NBC, MSNBC and NBC News NOW.

Originally from Michigan, Lassman grew up dreaming about being a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.” Her mother, who knew of Lassman’s aptitude for math and science, encouraged her to pursue a dream where she could use her academic skills to become a star of a different kind.

“It was thanks to my mom, who knew her kid really well and helped put those puzzle pieces together, that landed me on the right track.”

When Lassman started her college search, she was drawn to Florida Tech’s athletics program. Having grown up playing volleyball, she wanted to continue playing in college but also wanted to have the time to focus on her studies.

“There aren’t that many schools that have really good athletic programs and really good meteorology programs, but Florida Tech checked both of those boxes,” she says.

After graduating from Florida Tech, Lassman first worked as a weekend meteorologist at a news station in St. Joseph, Missouri. This was where she gained her first on-air experience and quickly rose in the ranks. After two years, not only was Lassman forecasting the weather on television, but she also produced, reported and anchored broadcasts. It was in St. Joseph that her passion for climate change storytelling sparked.

Lassman went on to accept a meteorologist role in Miami, where she focused on both broadcast meteorology and climate and environmental stories.

“I am so passionate about the environment,” she says. “I love talking about it and love meeting with different types of people to tell their stories.”

While working in Miami, Lassman pitched a five-part series documenting the historic bushfires in Australia, their impacts and how climate change-fueled events like these could eventually threaten Florida. Much to her surprise, her producers approved it.

With a turnaround time of only five days, Lassman worked 18- to 20-hour days interviewing families who had lost their homes, visiting rescued koalas from the Blue Mountains and meeting with climate scientists and coral researchers.

“It was really great to be able to go and tell those stories and show the rest of the world, specifically Florida, what was happening there and why we should pay attention when it comes to climate change.”

Lassman’s climate coverage earned her Emmy and Telly awards, as well as the Award for Excellence in Science Reporting by a Broadcast Meteorologist from the American Meteorological Society.

Florida Tech Connection: ’12 B.S., meteorology; ’14 M.S., meteorology
Day Job: Meteorologist with NBC News Climate Unit in New York City
Advice for Female STEM Students: Whatever room you enter, you should believe that you belong there, because you do.
Favorite Hobby: Exploring new coffee shops in NYC
Dream Vacation: Safari in Africa
Favorite Florida Tech Memory: The bus rides to and from the volleyball games with my teammates

Cover of the Florida Tech Magazine spring 2023 issue

This piece was featured in the spring 2023 edition of Florida Tech Magazine.

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