Zak is currently a Senior Academic Professional (which is like a Teaching Assistant or Associate Professor type of position) within the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech and has been working there since 2017. His role includes teaching several undergraduate meteorology, environmental science and planetary science-related courses, advising and mentoring undergraduate students, facilitating an REU program, participating in outreach on campus and throughout Atlanta, GA, and participating in both synoptic meteorology and atmospheric sciences education research. He also currently serves on the AMS Board of Higher Education.
Zak grew up in Manitowoc, WI and spent 10 years as an undergraduate and graduate student at UW-Madison, completing all his degrees within Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (B.S. '10, M.S. '13, Ph.D. '16). His M.S. thesis advisor was Dr. Larissa Back (M.S. thesis title: "Estimating Vertical Motion Profile Shape Within Tropical Weather States Over the Oceans") and his Ph.D. advisor was Dr. Jonathan Martin (Ph.D. dissertation title, "Composite and Case Study Analyses of the Large-Scale Environments Associated with West Pacific Polar and Subtropical Vertical Jet Superposition Events"). Zak also completed the Delta teaching and learning certificate program. He was also a teaching assistant for several AOS courses and was the recipient of the 2015 Wahl Award.