Washington Forum to Explore Working with the New Administration

April 11, 2017 · 0 comments

by Keith Seitter, AMS Executive Director

The AMS Washington Forum, held each spring, is organized by the Board on Enterprise Economic Development within the Commission on the Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise. It brings together leaders from the public, private, and academic sectors for productive dialogue on issues of relevance to the weather, water, and climate enterprise in this country. Compared to our scientific conferences, it is a small meeting with typically a little more than 100 participants. This allows for a meeting dominated by rich discussion rather than presentations. The Forum takes advantage of being held in Washington, D.C., with panel discussions featuring congressional and executive branch staff, as well as agency leadership. It is no secret that this is one of my favorite meetings of the year, and for many in the atmospheric and related sciences community, the Washington Forum has become a “can’t miss” event on their calendar.

The 2017 Washington Forum will be held May 2–4, 2017 at the AAAS Building, 1200 New York Avenue, Washington, DC. (Note that this year’s Forum occurs later in the year than usual.) The organizing committee has put together an outstanding program again this year under the timely, and perhaps provocative, theme: “Evolving Our Enterprise: Working Together with the New Administration in a New Collaborative Era.” The transition to a new administration is bringing changes in department and agency leadership that directly impact our community. The Forum will provide a terrific opportunity to explore how the community can collaboratively navigate these changes in ways to ensure continued advancement of the science and services for the benefit of the nation. I am expecting three days of very lively discussion.

We have a special treat this year in conjunction with the Forum. On the afternoon before the Forum formally begins, Monday, May 1, the Forum location at the AAAS Building will host the second Annual Dr. James R. Mahoney Memorial Lecture. The lecture honors the legacy of Mahoney (1938–2015), AMS past-president and a leader in the environmental field in both the public and private sectors, having worked with more than 50 nations and served as NOAA Deputy Administrator in addition to other key government posts. The Mahoney Lecture is cosponsored by AMS and NOAA, and the annual lecture is presented by a person of stature in the field who can address a key environmental science and/or policy issue of the day. We are very pleased to announce that Richard H. Moss, senior scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Joint Global Change Research Institute and adjunct professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, will deliver the second Mahoney Lecture. The lecture will begin at 4:00 p.m. and will be followed by a reception. The lecture is free and does not require registration to attend.

If you have ever thought about attending the Washington Forum but have not yet done so, this would be a great year to give it a try. We do limit attendance because of space constraints and the desire for this meeting to have a lot of audience participation and discussion, so I would encourage you to register early. You can learn more about the Forum, and register to attend, at the Forum website.

(Note: This letter also appears in the March 2017 issue of BAMS.)