Report from the 86th Annual AMS Conference in Atlanta, GA
Report from the 87th Annual AMS Conference in San Antonio, TX
The North Florida Chapter, ever since it was established in 2002, has been committed to supporting and promoting programs of the national American Meteorological Society. Today, we continue this involvement through our efforts related to national AMS conferences, promotion of scholarship and fellowship opportunities and maintaining constant contact with national headquarters through chapter submissions and contact. Additional programs, such as the establishment of a K-12 Local Chapter in the region, are in the final organizational stages.
Each year, the national AMS offers numerous scholarships and fellowships for advanced studies in the atmospheric sciences as well as awards for top undergraduate research topics and papers on a yearly basis. As a local chapter of the AMS, we feel it is our duty to notify our members and the community at-large to the availability of these awards and assistantships as well as any other similar programs we are notified about, and do so on a regular basis, continuing to this day with participation at the 2005 Annual AMS Conference in San Diego, CA. Our involvement within our communities — professional and otherwise — resulted in the North Florida Chapter receiving Local Chapter Honor Roll status for 2003-2004 and Local Chapter of the Year in 2004-2005.
As part of being a local chapter of the AMS, the national society asks each chapter to submit chapter news in a timely fashion and maintain a current record of chapter officers. The North Florida Chapter goes beyond this call of duty to assist the national AMS by exploring the possibilities of acting upon newly instituted AMS programs, such as the aforementioned K-12 local chapter program, as well as by maintaining contact with and volunteering to assist the Local Chapter Affairs Committee with surveys, proposals, and each year with their booth at the national conference. Our advice to other local chapters as well as a feature on our primary events for the 2003-04 chapter year was published in the July 2004 issue of the Bulletin of the AMS. Continuing efforts focus on implementing and developing a program for subsequent K-12 local chapters to help expedite their growth within the national community.
To date, however, the greatest involvement with the national AMS has come in the form of activity and participation at national conferences. To all of their national conferences, the AMS makes available student travel grants and assistantships for interested and qualified students to attend, free of charge. Realizing the potential personal and academic benefits that conference attendance can provide, the North Florida Chapter highlights these opportunities, notably for conferences that have a substantial interest in Tallahassee such as the Tropical Meteorology, Mesoscale Meteorology, and Broadcast Meteorology conferences. Several chapter members applied for and received grants to these conferences within the past year.
Assistance to the national AMS conference, however, is where the chapter’s involvement with the national AMS shines. The chapter has now been in existence for four national conferences — Seattle, WA in 2004; San Diego, CA in 2005; Atlanta, GA in 2006; and San Antonio, TX in 2007. During each of the conferences, the chapter displayed a poster in the educational exhibit hall, assisted with AMS local chapter functions such as the affairs committee booth and the local chapters breakfast, provided members to staff the FSU Dept. of Meteorology booth in the main exhibit hall, as well as interacted with others in the atmospheric sciences through social and professional gatherings inside the conference. Future efforts will focus on the actual logistics behind the Local Chapter programs, WeatherFest, and the Student Conference events.
Additional national conferences of interest will be highlighted at chapter meetings and in the chapter newsletter with regards to potential display and attendance opportunities. Chapter membership and national AMS membership may become a singular entity over the coming year as we aim to push the benefits of national membership to all of our members. Our involvement with the national AMS will continue as the chapter continues to expand, interesting new people in the atmospheric sciences and opening the minds of those in the field to the boundless opportunities available within their professional society.