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AER Overview

Lexington, MA
51 to 200 employees
1977
Subsidiary or Business Segment
Research & Development
$25 to $50 million (USD) per year
Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) helps businesses and governments better anticipate and manage climate and weather-related risks. Large insurance, energy and investment firms count on AER to help them decrease weather-related losses and increase profitability by ... Read more

AER – Why Work For Us?


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At Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), we help government agencies better anticipate and manage climate- and weather-related risks. 

We prepare agencies like NOAA, NASA and the Department of Defense, along with large insurance, investment and energy companies to anticipate, manage, react to and profit from weather and climate related risk. We serve our clients by providing state-of-the-art research, development and analysis delivered in reports, databases and software solutions.

AER's world-renowned scientists and engineers are helping government agencies to understand weather and climate risk, predict impacts, and take action.

Our scientists – more than 85 of whom hold PhDs or other advanced degrees – are globally recognized for being at the forefront of their scientific fields. Areas of expertise span climate change, defense, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, space, remote sensing, and atmospheric and environmental science. 

At AER we're dedicated to the advancement of scientific understanding of the atmospheric, climate and weather, ocean, and planetary sciences.  Through externally funded research conducted by our in-house scientific staff, and often in collaboration with world-renowned scientists at academic and other research institutions, we have developed analytical tools to help measure and observe the properties of the environment and to translate these measurements into useful information to take action. We have clients in the private and public sectors around the world. 

AER is a unit of the Verisk Climate division within Verisk Analytics.

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History

Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) has a long and proud history built around the relentless pursuit of scientific knowledge to minimize environmental risk and discover more about our planet and its systems.  The company was founded in 1977 by the husband-and-wife team of Cecilia and Dr. Nien Dak Sze, with a singular focus: to become a world-class research and development organization in atmospheric and environmental research that offers commercial contract services to rival those of academic research labs. 

Capitalizing on Dr. Sze’s doctoral thesis on the photochemistry of the atmosphere of Venus, AER received its first research grant in 1977 to work on an analogous photochemical model for our own planet, focusing on the stratospheric ozone depletion problem.  Dr. Sze’s discoveries ultimately led to the global shift away from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other harmful pollutants and toward prevention of further depletion of the ozone layer.

AER quickly established a reputation for research integrity and attracted top-flight scientists.  Throughout the 1980s, the company both broadened the scope of its research initiatives and expanded into more complex applied research programs.  Between 1977 and 1993, AER was awarded research contracts by many of the leading government agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Research Lab, the Air Force Geophysics Lab, NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Energy.  The applied research conducted during this time formed the basis for many of the technologies AER uses today. 

Soon after joining the company in 1979, Executive Vice President Ron Isaacs formed the Remote Sensing group, which extended AER’s capabilities from global numerical modeling to complementary data observation via satellite remote sensing techniques.  Beginning with small remote sensing contracts and leveraging its global numerical modeling expertise, the company secured a key contract with the U.S. Air Force in 1983.  The work on this contract formed the basis of AER's unique capabilities in assimilation of satellite data for numerical weather prediction models.

AER’s demonstrated expertise was recognized in 1993, when the American Meteorological Society (AMS) presented the company with an award for its “commitment to excellence, service to the public and notable contributions to atmospheric sciences.”

These accomplishments laid the groundwork for AER’s next phase – to successfully transform subsidized applied research knowledge into end-user technology used by both government and industry.  Today, AER is one of the largest and most prestigious commercial weather and climate scientific research firms in the world.

Corporate Timeline

  • 1977 – AER founded in Cambridge, MA
  • 1979 – Ron Isaacs joins AER; Remote Sensing group is formed
  • 1980 – AER signs first Office of Naval Research contract
  • 1984 – AER provides first Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model
  • 1993 – AER receives American Meteorological Society (AMS) award
  • 1994 – AER completes cloud depiction and forecasting project (CDFS-II) for U.S. Air Force
  • 1994 – AER cloud algorithms appear on cover of AMS Conference of Satellite Meteorology publication
  • 1996 – Development of four sensors for NPOESS satellites begins
  • 1999 – Cecilia Sze assumes role of President and CEO
  • 2000 – AER signs Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with U.S. Air Force Weather Agency
  • 2000 – AER awarded ISO 9001 certification
  • 2001 – AER moves headquarters to Lexington, MA, near Air Force Research Lab
  • 2003 – AER awarded patent for OSS algorithm
  • 2003 – AER introduces first commercial forecast products
  • 2004– AER acquires Radex and expands space weather and weather impact decision aids
  • 2005– AER begins work with Harris Corp. on GOES-R satellite program
  • 2008– AER becomes part of Verisk Analytics
  • 2009– AER begins work with CSC on transition of NOAA models to high-performance computing system

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We are home to almost 6,500 professionals worldwide — including a multitude of experts you can learn from and collaborate with:

  • 580 people with advanced degrees, including 123 doctorates
  • 41 Fellows of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS)
  • 24 Associates of the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS)
  • 20 Certified Insurance Data Managers (CIDM)
  • 26 Associate Insurance Data Managers (AIDM)
  • 169 Certified Fire Protection Specialists (CFPS)
  • 145 Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU)
  • 32 Registered Nurses

AER Reviews

3.5
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Approve of CEO
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Guy Seeley
3 Ratings
  • "Sr. Scientific Programmer, ABQ"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientific Programmer in Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Senior Scientific Programmer in Albuquerque, NM
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AER full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, employees given lots of independence, strong company commitment to community and values, good benefits (insurance, PTO), reliable contract renewals

    Cons

    remotely located management, lack of separation with customer, disconnect with head office and parent company, embedded nature results in unreliable network and difficulty in incorporating modern software practices

    Advice to Management

    Make longer visits to Albuquerque site and spend more time becoming familiar with the inner workings of the data center, and the requirements and limitations imposed by the customer and the embedded environment. Give supervisor more training and mentoring in supervision.

See All 28 Reviews

AER Interviews

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  1.  

    IS Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at AER (Lexington, MA) in April 2012.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter out of the blue because my background was what they were looking for. I was not currently in the market at the time but after hearing about the company and what the position entailed I decided to pursue it. I was set up with a phone screen in which we determined that the position I was told I was interviewing for was not the position they actually had in mind for me. They were actually looking for someone to fill the shoes of an internal candidate for that position if they decided to give it to him. His current position would then be available and I was a contender for it. They set up a face to face interview.

    Interview Questions

    • The interview process was very straightforward and no curveball questions or anything out of the blue. Mainly no technical questions at all just a "How would you handle this is this happened" sort of thing.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    I desperately tried to negotiate a higher salary but they wouldn't budge past a certain level that I thought was too low but the other perks of the job were sufficient for me to relent.

See All 2 Interviews

AER Awards & Accolades

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