by Judith Curry
The Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) will be held this week (Jan 23-27) in Seattle, WA. Program details are provided here. An overview of what is going on at the meeting is provided in here.
The theme of this year’s meeting is “Communicating Weather and Climate:”
The 2011 Annual Meeting is being organized around the broad theme of “Communicating Weather and Climate.” Effective two-way com- munication is essential for scientific research, education, and service to the public. Within disci- plines, it lets us access the latest results and keep up with new findings. In interdisciplinary efforts, effective communication allows us to work across disciplines and understand each other—even when we speak unique scientific languages. In education, it underpins our ability to advance general knowl- edge of weather and climate and contribute to the scientific literacy of our society. In serving the public, effective education lets us express weather and climate forecasts clearly and in terms people can understand and use. Listening is an essential part of effective communication; we must not only present information clearly, but must also listen and learn from students, policy makers, and the general public. Listening to and integrating the ideas of our partners in other disciplines or the public sector will lead to better research, products, and services for our diverse society. Today, we have access to more experience and research on what and how to communicate, and it is time to focus on the effective integration of this research within the weather and climate enterprise. At the same time, rapidly changing technology brings new and powerful tools to disseminate and receive information, as well as new concerns or challenges.
- Moderator: Robert T. Ryan, NBC4 TV
- Panelists: Thomas E. Skilling, WGN-TV/Chicago Tribune; Claire Martin, CBC News: Weather Centre; Doyle Rice, USA Today; Martin Storksdieck, National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council
There are two big invited lectures at the meeting:
- Haurwitz lecture: Dennis L. Hartmann, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, and is entitled “Scale Interactions and the Generation of Low-Frequency Variability in the Atmosphere.”
- Horton Lecture: James A. Smith, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, and is entitled “What Robert Horton Did Not Know About Floods.”
Program details are here. The program is much more about applied science than the AGU meeting. Possible scientific “fireworks”? Well, Kevin Trenberth will be making a presentation on his controversial paper, it will be interesting to see how that is received. There are two scientists that invariably pack the house at AMS for their presentations: Bill Gray and Kerry Emanuel. On the AMS blog, right hand side, there is a list of “hot topics” at the meeting, i.e. talks that they are highlighting as high interest.
Town Hall Meetings are typically 90 minute meetings at lunchtime or in the eve, often run by agency program managers, with plenty of time for Q&A, some interesting and relevant topics:
- Town Hall Meeting: Climate Change and Human Health—Interagency Federal Research and Stakeholder Input
- Town Hall Meeting: The Role of the Forecaster in Probabilistic Decision Making
- Town Hall Meeting: Weather Matters!: But Will It to the 112th Congress?
- Town Hall Meeting: What Do Meteorologists Need to Know about the Energy Industry—and Vice Versa—to Integrate Weather-Driven Renewable Energy into the Electric Grid?
- Town Hall Meeting: Shaping NOAA’s role in the evolving Climate Service Enterprise
- Town Hall Meeting: Community Perspectives for Accelerating Advances in Weather, Climate and Earth-System Monitoring, Prediction and Services
- Town Hall Meeting: The National Weather Service Strategic Plan
- NASA Earth Science Division Town Hall Meeting
- Town Hall Meeting: Changing Climate, Changing Priorities: The Restructuring of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the next National Climate Assessment
- Town Hall Meeting: Flipping the Switch: The Energy Complex Demystified
- Town Hall Meeting: NOAA Update on the Climate Service: Dialogue on Regional Climate Services
- Town Hall Meeting: A Nationwide Network of Networks: Update and Future Direction
- Town Hall Meeting: The Development by NCAR and UNIDATA of a Community-Wide CF-Compliant netCDF Format for Radial Radar and Lidar Data
- Town Hall Meeting: Developing a Space-Based Architecture for Climate Monitoring
- Town Hall Meeting: Into the Fray: Bringing Science to the U.S. Federal Policy Process
- Presidential Town Hall: Ensuring Integrity in the Doing and Using of Science (note: this one is led by Ralph Cicerone and it responds to Climategate).
The website for the AMS is here. An overall description of the society is here. AMS has about 14,000 members (less than half the size of the AGU). In the 1980’s when I first joined, the AMS membership was predominantly NOAA employees. At this point, the largest group is private sector meteorologists, with academics in the minority. The AMS publishes a number of journals including the Journal of Climate. Notably, the AMS journals do not use “pal review” like most other journals (i.e. AMS journals do not ask the author to recommend reviewers).
The AMS has certification program for consulting meteorologists and broadcast meteorologists.
Information about the AMS policy program is here. Why does the AMS have a policy program? When it was first proposed in the 1990’s, i was on the Council of the AMS where this was discussed, and the original motivation was to try to increase NOAA’s budget. I objected strongly to that as a rationale for a policy program. As it has evolved, it has turned into something interesting. The Director of the AMS Policy Program is Bill Hooke, who blogs at Living in the Real World. They organize a superb Summer Policy Colloquium. Policy foci include weather hazards, climate, and space weather. Policy statements of the AMS are found here. Policy statements are drafted by the relevant Science and Technology Affairs Committee, and then they receive approval by the Council. Draft statements are then emailed to all members and posted on their website for comments before final approval. Their climate change statement is here. They have a draft statement on “Communicating Science” which is worth reading.
I like the AMS and find it to be a well run organization that serves the profession of meteorology well. It is very different from the AGU, which is more of a scientific/academic society.
JC note: I won’t be attending this meeting, but several members from my research group will be attending, so I hope to have some highlights to report next weekend. If you are attending the meeting, I would appreciate any summaries or impressions.