There is almost 4 million square feet of space in the Georgia World Congress Center–the home of the 94th AMS Annual Meeting. The meeting will feature more than 1,500 oral presentations, close to 1,000 poster presentations, about 100 exhibitors in the main exhibit hall, 45 special events, 36 conferences and symposia, and 18 town hall meetings.

That’s a lot of ground to cover and a lot of  activity to keep track of. And we haven’t even mentioned the Student Conference, short courses, lectures…and of course, the most important number of all: approximately 3,500 attendees just like you.  annual app screenshot

The point is that there will be a lot going on at the meeting–so much that you could probably use a little help to keep track of it all. That’s where the new 94th Annual Meeting app for mobile devices comes in. It provides lists of sessions and events, abstracts of presentations, exhibitor information, and maps of the venue. It includes a scheduler that will allow you to set up your day-to-day calendar. It allows you to communicate with other attendees and it provides access to Twitter and Facebook activity. It links to news, photos, and videos related to the meeting that will be regularly updated. In sum, it does a lot to  help make your experience at the meeting more enjoyable and more convenient.

The app is now available for iPhones and iPads (search the app store for “AMS 2014″), Android devices (search the play store for “AMS 2014″), and Blackberry and Windows phones (point your browser to http://app.core-apps.com/ams2014).

 

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by Keith L. Seitter, AMS Executive Director

Earlier this week, the Heartland Institute appears to have sent an extensive e-mail blast with what is more or less a press release for a paper that will appear in an upcoming issue of BAMS entitled “Meteorologists’ Views about Global Warming: A Survey of American Meteorological Society Professional Members” (in full disclosure, I am a coauthor on this paper).  A disturbing aspect of this e-mail is that it seems some effort was placed in making it appear to have been sent by AMS.  It was sent from an e-mail account with AMS in the name (though not from the “ametsoc.org” domain) and featured the AMS logo prominently (used without permission from AMS).  Only in the fine print at the bottom was it clear that this apparently came from the Heartland Institute.  The text of the e-mail reports results from the study far differently than I would, leaving an impression that is at odds with how I would characterize those results.

If you got this Heartland Institute e-mail, or if you have read articles or blog posts related to this study, my suggestion is simple.  Rather than take someone else’s interpretation of the survey results, read the paper yourself and draw your own conclusions.  It is freely available here as an Early Online Release.

A difference between the AMS and some organizations is the transparency and scientific integrity with which we operate.  This survey was conducted to satisfy scientific curiosity on an important topic and the results are published for all to see.  This is the way science is meant to work.

 

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The Board for Early Career Professionals (BECP) was created in 2012 to better meet the needs of AMS members who have completed their degrees, landed or are pursuing their first job, and who are looking for opportunities to advance their careers through professional development opportunities, networking, and support through a variety of AMS-sponsored activities. At the 2013 AMS Annual Meeting in Austin, the BECP hosted the First Annual AMS Conference for Early Career Professionals.  It was attended by more than 50 upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and a cross-section of AMS members entering fields throughout the weather enterprise.

“Our inaugural conference in Austin was a resounding success and demonstrated the Society’s commitment to supporting early-career members,” says BECP chairperson Andrew Molthan.  “For 2014 in Atlanta, we have two outstanding conference chairs–Erik Pytlak and Matt Lacke–who have arranged a series of focused, interactive group and panel discussions targeting professional development. We’ll have great information and feedback from mid- and late-career members of all sectors, candid conversations on the topics you’re interested in, and a chance to interact with the AMS leadership team. It will be a great opportunity to network with your colleagues while bolstering your technical skills with other ‘soft skills’ required for success in the workplace.”

The Second Annual AMS Conference for Early Career Professionals will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, 2 February 2014, as part of the 94th AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will kick off with rotating group discussions led by professionals in the atmospheric sciences. The focus will be on what to do after getting that first job and what skills to consider developing. Topics will include how to keep a current job, how to get the next job, how to become a leader, and how to handle working with others.

The second half of the conference will include two interactive panel discussions. One panel with AMS leadership will discuss how the Society can benefit members who are beginning their careers in the atmospheric sciences. The second panel with other early- and midcareer meteorologists from the private, academic, government, and television sectors will discuss early-career experiences and offer advice on topics brought up by attendees.

Following the conference, attendees and other Annual Meeting participants are invited to attend the Fourth Annual AMS Reception for Early Career Professionals planned for Sunday evening.

For more details, visit the Early Career Professional Conference program online here. Additional information on the BECP can be found on Facebook, in the July 2012 issue of BAMS, and in Q&A articles with early-career professionals in recent issues of BAMS.

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Annual Meeting Updates

November 20, 2013 · 0 comments

Philip Ardanuy and Eileen Shea, the co-chairs of the 2014 AMS Annual Meeting, and AMS President J. Marshall Shepherd recently sent out this message with updates about the meeting:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The 94th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting is less than three months away, can you believe it? We’ve had some updates to the technical sessions, so please visit the program to view the sessions and set your very own personal schedule. We are also VERY excited to launch our new mobile app, AMS 2014—coming in early December! With this app you will be able to view sessions, view exhibitors, view floor plans, connect with other attendees, and so much more! Below are a few specific events, in addition to the technical sessions, that are new and we’re excited to share them with you!

  • The Presidential Forum’s opening plenary will be entitled “Monday Morning Quarterbacking: Looking to the Past; Preparing for the Future.” This session will provide practical perspectives on the consequences of weather and climate and will allow all of the participants and attendees to explore the Annual Meeting Theme together. It will also set the stage for the week’s exploration of the Weather and Climate Enterprise, which is aimed at improving society’s ability to more effectively anticipate, prepare for, and respond to weather and climate extremes now and in the future.

The Presidential Forum will include a keynote address given by Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth blogger, The New York Times, and Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding, Pace University. Mr. Revkin will be speaking on “The New Communication Climate: An Exploration of Tools and Traits That Give the Best Chance of Success in Facing a Fast-Forward Media Landscape and Changing Climate.” Additional information can be found here. This address will be followed by a McLaughlin Group-style panel moderated by Margaret Davidson, NOAA Coastal Services Center. Modeled after The McLaughlin Group television program, the panel discussion will be (mostly) unscripted and unrehearsed. Panelists will be invited to express their own opinions and analysis, in anticipation of creating insightful and lively debate. Per The McLaughlin Group policy, we “will defend the right of individuals to express unpopular views . . . Intellectual honesty and argument merit are touchstones…” The panelists for the discussion will be:

o Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
o David Perkes, Architect/ Professor, Mississippi State University /Gulf Coast Community Design Studio
o Ellis Stanley Sr., Vice President for Emergency Management Services, Hammerman & Gainer International, Inc.
o Rear Adm. David W. Titley, Senior Scientist and Director, Center on Weather and Climate Risk Solutions, Pennsylvania State University
o Peter Kareiva, Chief Scientist and Director, Science, The Nature Conservancy
  • Didn’t get enough discussion on the Annual Meeting Theme? Then don’t miss the Monday evening Presidential Town Hall Meeting entitled “Adapting to the New Normal—Building, Sustaining, and Improving our Weather and Climate Hazard Resilience” or one of the 18 Themed Joint Sessions that will take place during the week.
  • This year’s Annual Meeting will feature three named symposia to recognize the significant achievements of three scientists in fields served by the AMS. The Stanley A. Changnon Symposium will take place on Tuesday, 4 February, the Edward S. Epstein Symposium will take place on Wednesday, 5 February, and the Donald R. Johnson Symposium will take place on Thursday, 6 February. Please note that while all attendees are invited to attend named symposia, tickets to luncheons for the Changnon and Johnson symposia are not included in the conference registration package and must be purchased separately. There will not be a luncheon for the Epstein Symposium.
  • On Thursday, 6 February, a full day of posters and presentations are dedicated to Superstorm Sandy. Last year, as details were being finalized for the 2013 AMS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, Superstorm Sandy was developing. To honor this historic event, a special town hall was added to kick off the formal dialog within the AMS community. In the past year, research and studies on the event allow an opportunity for the community to share the lessons learned, show new tools and techniques, and highlight best practices that have resulted from this devastating event. The day kicks off with a panel discussion looking at President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and Strategy Report. The remaining three oral presentation sessions will take a look at the weather and climate perspectives, the societal impacts, and the modeling of Superstorm Sandy. A poster session dedicated to Superstorm Sandy has twenty excellent contributions as well. Of note, we had many abstracts submitted from those interested in the event, including from the power industry, the Centers for Disease Control, Swiss Re, and from various social science backgrounds. These insightful presentations and posters should allow further dialog to continue across the weather enterprise, and hopefully create some new connections outside of our traditional weather and climate community as well.
  • Learn more about the AMS Beacons Program, an initiative of the Membership Committee designed to carry on former Executive Director Kenneth Spengler’s legacy of fostering the AMS as an open, inclusive, and welcoming organization.
  • The Short Course Programs, Workshops, and Registration webpages have been updated. Short Courses will be held on Saturday, 1 February and Sunday, 2 February. A workshop entitled, “Inside AMS Publications —Hot Topics” will take place on Tuesday, 4 February. Register before 2 December to get the lowest rates!
  • Don’t forget to Meet the President! One of AMS President J. Marshall Shepherd’s goals during his tenure was to make the leadership of the Society as accessible as possible to the membership. He has set aside some time during the week to answer questions, listen to concerns and suggestions, or just to talk. You can also follow him on @DrShepherd2013.
  • Join us for the Women in the Atmospheric Sciences: A Conversation about the Future session and luncheon on Wednesday, 5 February from 12 to 1:30pm. Lockheed Martin Corporation and Harris Corporation will provide a limited number of box lunches.
  • Please note that the registration deadline for the 13th Annual AMS Student Conference (you must be an AMS student member) and the Second Annual AMS Conference for Early Career Professionals (you must be an AMS member or student member) is 14 January. There will be no onsite registration.
  • Be sure you arrive early enough on Sunday to go to Weatherfest, our free public outreach event, as well as the 94th Annual Review just before the Fellows Awards Reception. The business meeting starts at 4:00 pm and the reception starts at 5:45 p.m.
  • The Front Page, the official blog of the AMS, has started previewing the Annual Meeting. Be sure to check The Front Page periodically for updates. Click “AMS2014” in the tag cloud for stories you may have missed. Or stay up to date by following the AMS on Facebook (ametsoc) and/or Twitter (@ametsoc). The official Twitter hashtag for the 94th Annual Meeting is #AMS2014.
  • Don’t forget to register online and book your hotel room. The hotels are filling up quickly, so keep checking back for updated availability. Also, if you’ve made a reservation but can no longer attend the meeting, don’t forget to cancel that reservation! You’ll not only save yourself a deposit, you’ll open up that room for another person that can attend. And, as always, we appreciate you booking within the AMS block!

 

We’re excited to see you in Atlanta!

 

Philip Ardanuy and Eileen Shea

Program Co-Chairpersons, 94th AMS Annual Meeting

J. Marshall Shepherd

AMS President

 

 

 

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by Keith Seitter, AMS Executive Director

I am very proud to report that the AMS was named by the Boston Globe as one of Boston area’s top places to work.   This prestigious award is a reflection of the incredible staff we have in the AMS, but it also reflects on the Society’s members and its mission to advance the atmospheric and related sciences, technologies, applications, and services for the benefit of society.

TPTW 2013 logosThe organization that conducted the study that named the top places to work in the Boston area (and who has done similar studies across the country), makes it clear in the supporting documentation that a key factor in workplace satisfaction is doing work that the employees feel is important and mission-driven.  The AMS community is doing incredibly important work across the breadth of its many subdisciplines, from helping ensure sustainability of the atmosphere, oceans, and water resources in the face of a changing climate, to protecting life and property from the threats of severe weather and other hazards.  The AMS staff understands the importance of this work and takes great pride in supporting the professionals who do it.  The fact that AMS members tend to be simply wonderful to work with as they share their passion for the science and its application also makes being on the AMS staff a truly enjoyable and satisfying experience.

So we share this award with our members and the broader community served by the Society, and thank them for making the work we do as AMS staff members so fulfilling.

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Dr. David Titley, Rear Adm. (Ret.)–well known to us as former oceanographer of the U.S. Navy, as chief operating officer at NOAA, now as a professor at Penn State’s Department of Meteorology–and of course as an AMS Fellow–writes to us asking for your input on a new project:

As you may know, the National Research Council (NRC) is now conducting a Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences (DSOS 2015), sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Shirley Pomponi (Harbor Branch/Florida Atlantic University) and I are the co-chairs.

This study will review the current state of knowledge, identify compelling scientific questions for the next decade, analyze infrastructure needed to address these questions vs. the current NSF portfolio, and identify opportunities to maximize the value of NSF investments.

The DSOS committee feels strongly that this report must be informed by broad and thoughtful community input from across the entire spectrum of ocean sciences supported by NSF. The DSOS committee will be holding town hall sessions at the AGU Annual Meeting in San Francisco in December and at the ASLO/TOS/AGU Ocean Sciences Annual Meeting in Honolulu in February 2014. In addition to soliciting comments at the professional meetings, we are seeking community input through a “virtual” town hall: http://nas-sites.org/dsos2015/.

The website provides more detailed information on the statement of task, as well as a complete list of the DSOS committee members. Please go to the website and contribute your comments regarding the top ocean science priorities for the next decade. Thank you very much in advance for supporting the Ocean Studies Board and the NRC in this important effort.

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Many scientists these days are asking how they can better communicate their research to the public. One group of climate researchers has found a solution–by putting themselves into the spotlight (literally) in the 2014 Climate Models wall calendar.

Scheduled for release this December, the calendar will include pictures of 13 climate scientists as well as information about them, such as their favorite dataset or climate phenomenon. Their ultimate goal, according to their website, is to “increase awareness of climate change and its impacts by engaging the public with scientists and what they’re learning about Earth’s climate.” In the process, the scientists reveal a side of themselves that most of the public doesn’t regularly get to see, and they hope to inspire colleagues to be equally creative in sharing their research with the public. You can get a sneak preview of a few of the models in the video below.

In addition to their work in front of the cameras, the scientists, who represent Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, will also be presenting a poster about their novel communication efforts at December’s AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

You can help support the calendar by donating to its Kickstarter campaign.

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The scars from Superstorm Sandy remain evident, even a year after it blasted the North Atlantic coast. In some areas, the cleanup and rebuilding continue in very tangible ways, while for others, the damage cannot simply be repaired with tools and lumber. And while the healing continues, so also does the effort throughout the scientific and emergency planning communities to understand exactly what happened—and to ensure we’re better prepared for the next storm.

At NCAR, scientists have been studying simulations of Sandy in the Advanced Hurricane WRF, NCAR’s hurricane-oriented version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model. Some of their research was discussed at August’s AMS Conference on Mesoscale Meteorology, and a paper detailing their work will be published shortly in Monthly Weather Review. Their key finding was that Sandy combined elements of many familiar phenomena that “hadn’t been previously shown to come together in such a way near a major coastline,” according to NCAR’s Bob Henson, who detailed the findings in this article. He wrote:

Strong winter storms at sea sometimes develop pockets of warm air within their cold cores—a process known as warm seclusion, first characterized by Shapiro and Daniel Keyser. However, in this case, the warm air being secluded was already present in Sandy’s inner core. This is the first time such a dramatic warm seclusion has been documented in a landfalling U.S. hurricane.

While Superstorm Sandy was a highly unusual phenomenon from a scientific standpoint, it also presented new and unique challenges in other ways; for example, its path through the northeast United States took it through heavily populated–and in some cases, particularly vulnerable–areas.  Sandy’s impact on the built environment makes it an especially appropriate example of the theme of the 2014 AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta. During that meeting, the lessons that Sandy reveals about future extreme events will be explored at a special conference titled “Superstorm Sandy and the Built Environment: New Perspectives, Opportunities and Tools.” This conference will focus on three complementary elements of the storm: prediction and preparedness; response and recovery; and, particularly, new perspectives, opportunities, tools, and imperatives for the future built environment. The broad range of topics to be discussed include storm evolution and prediction; communication about the storm through the media; impacts on lives, property, and infrastructure; and preparation and response. The complete schedule for the conference can be found here.

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The Front Page received the following note from John Nielsen-Gammon, Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University; Texas State Climatologist; and a Fellow of AMS:

A Message To Fellow Physical Scientists

I’m part of a new journalistic endeavor called the Climate Change National Forum and Review.  The purpose of this web site will be to provide a public forum wherein scientists can discuss the latest research on climate change and share and debate ideas on aspects of climate change especially relevant to policymaking.  When the second phase kicks in, policy experts will join the discussion and compare the benefits and costs of possible responses.

I know what you’re thinking: “This sounds an awful lot like the IPCC.”  Well, it’s not.  Nor is it intended to replace the IPCC in any way.  It has a different purview and a different set of goals.

  • The IPCC is an international body. The CCNFR is focused on issues facing the United States.
  • The IPCC scientists are selected from nominees from various countries. The CCNFR scientists consist of anyone who contributes regularly and constructively to the discussion.
  • The IPCC produces reports every few years, whose summaries are edited and ratified by political representatives. The CCNFR web site is a living document, continuously updated to account for the latest science, and not subject to political interference.
  • The IPCC’s purview is anthropogenic climate change. The CCNFR’s purview is climate change in all its causes and manifestations.  Would it make sense to only adapt to anthropogenic climate change?
  • The IPCC reports are written by experts within their subject fields. The CCNFR will draw upon the expertise and experience of scientists from a wide range of fields, not just insiders.
  • The public gets to see the IPCC final report. The public gets to see scientists grappling with, understanding, and debating the issues.

For me, this last point is an important one.  The public can benefit tremendously from being able to see how scientists think and reason scientifically.  We ask them to trust our collective scientific wisdom without allowing them to see how we evaluate conflicting or flawed evidence and develop judgments.  Presently, the only extensive example of this available to the public is the set of emails from Climategate.

Why should you participate?  First, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of climate science.  Perhaps you’ve just taken the IPCC reports on faith, trusting the experts to do a good job.  Whether they did or not, you will be better able to articulate the issues and explain them to others after exchanging ideas, digging into some of the primary literature, and fleshing out any questions that might be nagging you in the back of your mind.

It should be obvious by now that you don’t need to be a climate scientist to participate, as long as you have a suitable technical background.  Indeed, we need at least some people who know relatively little about the state of the art of climate science, for their intellectual journey while participating in the CCNFR is similar to the journeys we hope dedicated lay readers will take.  Outsiders to climate science can better spot the unspoken assumptions and unjustified conventions.

Your learning will come through the course of online debate and discussion with other scientists.  As you probably know from personal experience, discussion with other scientists is often the absolute best way to come to grips with a contentious or controversial scientific issue.  Along the way, you will develop skills as a writer for an outside audience.

Finally, you will be doing a public service, simultaneously helping to educate the public about climate change and about science in general.

On the negative side, it requires time, though not a whole lot.  We’re only asking for participants to contribute new essays once a month, plus participate in some of the online discussions with other scientists.  Compared to starting your own blog, this is a relatively easy way to bring your ideas and judgment into public view.

Scientists who think they know everything about climate change are not welcome to participate.  If you’re an expert in a particular branch and want to broaden your knowledge, or even if this is something outside your expertise entirely so that you have a lot you want to learn, then come join us.

The link above that John provides is a beta form of the CCNFR web site. To facilitate your postings explaining, debating, and discussing climate science–and to keep the site tied to issues in the news and policymaking–the CCNFR hopes to provide a steady stream of news and statements culled even-handedly  from the media by a professional journalist.

As such, this is not only a time to consider getting in on the ground floor of a new public outreach project but also a time to consider making a donation. The CCNFR hopes to raise more than $60,000 to get a journalist on board soon.

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AMS Glossary Goes Mobile

September 26, 2013 · 0 comments

The AMS Glossary of Meteorology continues to evolve over time. Originally published in book form in 1959, with a second edition in 2000, the Glossary has more recently been available online for AMS members. Now, online and mobile versions of the Glossary are available to all.

The idea of an electronic, open-access, wiki-based version of the Glossary was presented to the AMS Council last fall by then-Publications Commissioner David Jorgensen, then-STAC Commissioner Mary Cairns, current STAC Commissioner Ward Seguin, and AMS Publications Director Ken Heideman. The Council approved the recommendation and appointed Cairns to a three-year term as chief editor of the new Glossary.

The online version was made freely available on the web earlier this year. With the launch of the mobile version last month, the Glossary is now even more accessible to students, young professionals, and others utilizing the newest technologies.

The electronic version of the Glossary has a convenient look-up interface and facilitates reader feedback. As chief editor, Cairns manages peer review of those suggested changes–including corrections and new terms–before they are approved. Initial response to the wiki aspect of the site has been very positive; a number of revisions and new terms have already been completed, suggesting that users are beginning to look at the Glossary as a “living document” that can regularly be revised, and therefore will remain up-to-date well into the future.

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