A Presidential Presence in Phoenix

January 4, 2015 · 1 comment

At the Annual Meeting each year, past, current, and future AMS presidents come together. In Phoenix today, incoming AMS president Alexander “Sandy” MacDonald takes the reins from outgoing president Bill Gail.

“I hope to make the best use of my years of experience to bring the government, commercial, and academic communities together,” MacDonald comments. “I feel that my theme for next year’s meeting, ‘Earth System Science in Service to Society,’ weaves the many parts of AMS into a common core.”

For MacDonald, that experience is considerable: namely, 43 years at NOAA, with a diverse list of contributions to the science of weather and climate. One of them—his Science On a Sphere® —will be showcased at the kickoff of the meeting in Phoenix. The multimedia system displays full-color animated images of satellite, geophysical, and astronomical data on a sphere. It’s in more than 110 museums and science centers around the world and is now educating millions of people a year about many aspects of our planet.

MacDonald notes that “AMS is unique in bringing together the effort of understanding our Earth and the people who use that information to make life better.” (MacDonald’s career and plans as president are profiled in the upcoming January issue of BAMS.) 

Following MacDonald in the leadership queue is Frederick Carr, who serves as AMS President Elect this year. Similarly to MacDonald, Carr’s plans as AMS president in 2016 include facilitating synergies and partnerships among all components of the atmospheric science community.

“I am honored and excited to be elected AMS President and look forward to helping the AMS provide leadership and support to the academic, public, and private sector members of the Society,” Carr says. “My current thinking is that the theme of the 2017 Annual Meeting will be ‘Observations Lead the Way,’ meaning that in all aspects of our related disciplines, from improving forecasts to making data-based policy decisions, obtaining and making best use of increased observational capabilities will best move our science forward.”

Fred has spent the past 37 years as a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, and served as the director of the School of Meteorology for 14 years (1996-2010) as the program doubled in size and moved into the National Weather Center. His expertise straddles both observational meteorology and numerical weather prediction. He takes pride in both having made significant improvements to NCEP’s numerical models in the 1980s and ‘90s and in the professional success of his students. He has served the AMS in many capacities, including as editor or associate editor of three AMS journals and as councilor (2001-04). He currently serves as cochair of the UCAR Community Advisory Committee for the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and on the UCAR Board of Trustees.

“I welcome all members of the AMS, from students to honorary members, to contact me if they have any suggestions for how the AMS can better serve them as we move forward to the 100th anniversary of AMS,” Carr notes. MacDonald echoes that sentiment, encouraging member input at the upcoming Annual Meeting as well as throughout the year as the Society’s Centennial approaches.

AMS Presidents present, past, and future: (left to right) Sandy McDonald, Bill Gail, and Frederick Carr AMS Presidents current, past, and future: (left to right) Sandy MacDonald, Bill Gail, and Frederick Carr