Espy, James Pollard (1785--1860), a United States meteorologist. Espy's use of the telegraph to assemble weather data laid the foundations of weather forecasting. Espy was born in Washington, Pennsylvania. After graduation from Transylvania University in 1808 he was a teacher. He became interested in meteorology and in 1836 won a prize for an essay explaining the cause of precipitation. Espy was appointed meteorologist for the War Department in 1842 and in 1848 became meteorologist for the Navy Department as well.