The National Weather Service is a federal government agency with the mission of protecting the people it serves.

A long-time meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Bismarck has been fulfilling that mission for 32 years and it’s his life-long passion.

His job is to protect people and when he’s not at work, he’s preaching the gospel.

“I asked my mother one time, and I said, ‘when did I become interested in weather?’ She said, ‘Johnny, you never became interested in the weather. Always, always, always from day one, you were interested,'” John Paul Martin recalled.

John Paul, or JP, is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

As he explained, it was a natural career choice.

The Pennsylvania native says when he was a kid, he and his dad built a makeshift weather station in his backyard, where he’d track the conditions and report to the local Weather Service.

“I would go to sleep at noon if we had thunderstorms coming in late in the day, I’d get up at seven or eight o’clock in the evening and I’d be up all night tracking storms as they came in,” he said.

Today, his job is to act as an ambassador between the National Weather Service and the public.

To fulfill that responsibility, he hosts trainings in schools or with emergency management departments.

He also relies on fellow meteorologists to get the word out and give North Dakotans all the information they need to stay safe when severe weather hits.

Aside from his passion for weather, he says the people he works with are the best part.

“The other side of it is the people I work with,” he said. “Not only at the National Weather Service. It’s an amazing group of men and women at the National Weather Service. Truly dedicated and a tremendous passion for weather… but it’s people like Dave [Holder], Amber [Wheeler] and Tom [Schrader] who I get to work with … other meteorologists in the broadcast industry that I get to work with and interact with and I see their dedication, the other side of weather.”

Outside of work, one of his hobbies stems from his love for the weather — traveling.

Years ago, he first visited the Gulf of Mexico to see where many storms along the east coast would originate.

Now, he and his family have visited all 50 states and six countries.

Martin is also a deacon at Ascension Church.

“As a child, I had a calling to the priesthood with the catholic church,” he said. “But I realize now through my faith that my calling was not the priesthood, but to the Deaconate.”

When he’s not at work, church or traveling, he’s fixing up or driving his old cars … one of which is a 1965 Ford Galaxy 500.

“It’s black and white with a bubble light on it and on the door, there’s a star that says Mayberry Sheriff. And on one side it says Andy and on the other door it says Barney and that’s off of the Andy Griffith Show, I was a huge fan of that growing up.”

It won first place in the Grant County Fair last year.

Next is a 1977 Ford LTD, which he’s still working on what he’ll do with.

Whether he’s educating the public, visiting a new place or behind the wheel, JP Martin is Someone You Should Know.