Taylor holds a B.A. in mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1969) and a M.S. in meteorology from the University of Utah (1975).
As director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University he tracked weather in, and issued long-range weather forecasts for, the state of Oregon. Beginning in 1991, he was Oregon’s state climatologist, a position he lost in 2007 because his views on climate change were at odds with then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a nonscientist and global warming alarmist.
Taylor was also the president of the American Association of State Climatologists from 1998 to 2000. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and has received certification as a certified consulting meteorologist by the society. He also has a California Lifetime Community College Credential. He has published more than 200 reports, symposium articles, and journal articles.
Prior to joining Oregon State University in 1989, Taylor operated his own consulting business in Santa Barbara, California. Previously he was employed as a meteorologist by North American Weather Consultants and Environmental Research and Technology. In 2008, after he retired from OSU, he founded, and became the president of, the consulting firm Applied Climate Services, where he has worked since.