UPDATED October 5, 1999

FUTURE VIEW OF AMS MEETINGS

PROLOGUE

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) Planning Commission was charged by the Council to examine the recent evolution of the Society, including current and future trends, and the services provided to the general membership. A number of strategic documents and surveys were reviewed as well as broadly soliciting the members' opinions and suggestions. The result yielded a "Ten-Year Vision Study" of the AMS.

The vision statement recognizes the shifting demographics, increased computer and communication capability, education and research that now extends beyond the traditional subdisciplines, and a general public that is becoming increasingly aware of the societal impacts of weather. Accordingly, several areas were chosen for renewed emphasis as follows.

Multidisciplinarity

The AMS must constantly review all of its activities in light of the multidisciplinary nature of meteorology itself and the myriad allied science and engineering disciplines now essential to conduct our research and to produce and apply our products.

Inclusiveness

The AMS must be a more inclusive society. The AMS should provide services and support to those who generate, apply, disseminate, and use our products, as well as to its scientific and professional base.

Outreach

The AMS must place greater emphasis upon reaching out to the broad spectrum of its public. The AMS must pay great attention to having a positive impact on public policy. This implies that the AMS should have more activities and outreach directed to decision makers, as well as the generating grass-roots public support through education of the public.

Communication and computer technology

Communications technology is affecting, and will at an accelerated pace, heavily impact how the AMS interacts with its members and how its meetings are conducted and its publications propagated. The AMS should continue to remain at the forefront of the electronic evolution in the full range of Society services, including publications, outreach, and meetings activities.

Finances and development

Crosscutting all Commission deliberations was how to provide the financial support for current and any added services the AMS may contemplate. Many of the changes that seem inevitable will require increased expenditures and may not lead to concomitant increases in revenue. This dictates priority setting and increased efforts to raise the level and continuity of fund-rasing efforts.

There are numerous activities that the Society could undertake to satisfy the Ten-Year Vision, however, it was recognized that a few key services were located at the crossroads of the objectives listed above. Meetings sponsored throughout the year by the Scientific and Technological Activities Commission (STAC) were identified as one of these activities. Accordingly, the Executive Director assembled a number of people with expertise from a broad spectrum of the AMS community to form the Ad Hoc Committee on Meetings with the following membership.

Professor Roger M. Wakimoto, Chair

UCLA

Dr. Marie Colton

Office of Naval Research

Dr. Charles A. Doswell III

National Severe Storms Laboratory

Professor Kerry Emanuel

MIT

Professor David Karoly

Monash University

Ms. Christina Kaufman

Colorado State University

Professor Roger B. Lukas

University of Hawaii

Mr. Anthony J. Mostek

National Weather Service, COMET

Dr. Joseph M. Pelissier

National Weather Service

Dr. Richard Rosen

Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.

Mr. Jimmie Smith

MeteoQuest, Inc.

Ms. Joyce F. Strand

University of California, Davis

Professor Eric Wood,

Princeton University

The charge to the committee was to forward recommendations to the Council regarding the future of meeting services in light of the Ten-Year Vision Study. To date, numerous e-mail discussions have taken place followed by 1 1/2 day meeting of the committee in Boston on 17-18 May 1999. The following represents a draft of the committee's recommendations and was approved by the Executive Committee in July.

1. Background

Thirty years ago, our community and our science were very different. Subdisciplines within meteorology were able to carry out productive research in near isolation from other subdisciplines. For example, researchers in NWP had little reason to interact with radar meteorologists or researchers in satellite meteorology. The total number of researchers in each subdiscipline, as represented by the STAC structure, was small compared to today. It was easier for a four- or five-day scientific conference to accomplish many goals. Among the goals met by these earlier meetings, either in part or in whole, were:

1. The majority of researchers in a particular subdiscipline were able to participate in the meeting.

2. All participants had adequate opportunity for formal presentation time in which to tell the rest of the group about their current research efforts.

3. Significant controversial issues could be debated in an open forum.

4. Informal interaction, often leading to collaboration, was easily accomplished during breaks or evenings.

5. Provocative ideas could be presented in sufficient depth to allow substantive discussion and debate.

6. A sense of community within the subdiscipline could be strengthened through social interactions (such as the mandatory "songfest" at cloud physics meetings or the storm-chaser presentations at severe storms meetings).

7. Young researchers had an opportunity to interact with more established ones and were drawn into that interaction actively by the established researchers (often by joining groups for dinner in the evenings).

8. Graduate students could present work in progress as part of formal sessions to receive feedback that could strengthen their thesis. The conferences also provide a wonderful opportunity for students to meet and interact with some of the leading scientists in their research area.

9. Scientists, both young and old, could "network" to improve job opportunities.

No one had to set out to have these goals be outcomes of the meeting, they happened naturally as a result of the relative small size of the meeting and the somewhat isolated nature of the community in the subdiscipline served by the meeting.

2. Current Perspective

Atmospheric sciences has undergone a major transition in recent years. Our science has matured, as well as grown significantly. The Annual Meeting is now more attractive to a far broader sector of the membership. The STAC Committees currently number 30 and are sponsoring numerous conferences throughout the year. There are now many researchers working in each of the "traditional" subdisciplines and those subdisciplines can no longer make significant advances in near isolation with respect to others. Research in NWP, for example, now requires interaction with researchers in hydrology, cloud physics, satellite meteorology, etc. General subdiscipline meetings, as normally conducted through the STAC structure, are much larger than they were three decades ago and much more interdisciplinary. Thus, it is completely unrealistic to expect any single meeting to accomplish more than a few of the goals outlined above regardless of its format or structure. Common comments made by attendees at the today's AMS meetings are the presentation times that are too short, not enough quality discussion time, numerous parallel sessions that force attendees to make difficult decisions, and the poor quality of some of the posters.

The evolution of atmospheric sciences today has resulted in several additional goals beyond those discussed in section 1. These goals largely reflect the need for increased interdisciplinary interactions, better use of information technology, and a greater emphasis on societal impacts. These include:

10. Provide opportunity for overlapping subdisciplines to interact productively (for example, researchers working on data assimilation in the atmosphere might interact with those studying this for the oceans).

11. Provide a means for Policy issues related to the atmospheric sciences to be openly debated to help establish scientific consensus that can serve policy makers.

12. Provide a means for a rapid response to emerging new fields, even if they fall outside the traditional STAC structure, by sponsoring a one-time-only or series of meetings.

13. Provide a mechanism for the researchers and users to interact productively (this includes "users" of products who are themselves outside of the scientific community, such as those in weather sensitive industries).

14. Provide a means for those who cannot physically attend the meeting to benefit from it in ways that go beyond getting the material from the preprint volume.

3. Current and Suggested Formats for Meetings

In order to formulate a vision of future AMS meetings, it is instructive to examine the current formats that are being used today. In addition, a number of new approaches have been suggested by the community.

A. Examples of meeting formats currently used

a. "Traditional" AMS meeting as implemented now

This usually takes the form of a number of oral sessions (typically including a small number of invited talks but dominated by contributed papers), often with parallel sessions, plus several poster sessions. Oral talks usually allow 15 minutes for the talk and discussion. The meeting often has on the order of 200 presenters with some meetings approaching 400.

b. "Traditional" weighted heavily toward poster sessions

Here, in order to provide for fewer or no parallel sessions, many presenters are placed in poster sessions. In some cases, poster presenters are provided 2 minutes each for a brief description of their poster.

c. Oral sessions for invited talks only, all others poster

Here, significant time is provided for invited speakers by having all contributed papers delivered as part of poster sessions (perhaps with the 2 minute descriptions for each).

d. Single topic meetings

A mix of invited and contributed papers, but on a narrowly defined topic so that the meeting is much smaller in scope than the traditional meeting. (These are often referred to as "Chapman-type" meetings.)

e. Single topic symposium

All invited speakers, usually focusing on a fairly narrowly defined topic. (An example is the president's symposium at an annual meeting.)

B. Examples of new approaches that have been suggested

a. Regional meetings

Focused on a topic specific to a region, and held in that region, to draw mostly from the community in that region and hence have a smaller meeting that may provide a better opportunity for the private sector and students to attend.

b. Teleconference

Broadcast sessions held at main meeting location via satellite or Internet to "virtual attendee" that might be at their office or at one of several remote regional "mini-meetings" in which groups come together to view the broadcast and engage in local discussion.

c. Fully interactive teleconference

Full two-way interactive broadcast sessions between the main meeting and remote locations.

d. Virtual meeting

Electronic conference in which papers are posted online in a forum setting and discussion occurs asynchronously among registrants of the online conference. No direct physical meeting occurs.

e. Hybrid virtual meeting

All papers are posted online in forum setting prior to physical meeting with discussion occurring online among registrants. Then, a physical meeting takes place that is dominated by group discussion and debate based on issues that arise during the online forum discussion.

f. Synchronous virtual meeting

Presenters deliver dynamic presentations online (that might include live video of the presenter) at specific times to registrants via the Internet, with each presentation followed by a live chat-room style interactive session for questions and answers. Session is archived as part of a forum allowing follow-up asynchronous discussion after the presentation. No physical meeting occurs.

4. The Vision of Meetings Sponsored by the AMS

The background material in the preceding sections provides the foundation for the deliberations of the ad hoc committee on meetings. The committee chose to divide the discussion into separate recommendations for the Annual Meeting (AM) and the Stand-Alone Meetings. The Society also sponsors Joint Conferences between two or more STAC Committees, however, the ad hoc committee considers the AM as an extreme example of this type of format.

A. Annual Meeting (AM)

The AM has succeeded in becoming a major showcase for the AMS. It has grown tremendously over the last decade and has become especially valued by student and industry participants, as well as program/agency managers from the U.S. and abroad. While not wanting to diminish the value of the AM to these constituencies, the committee recognizes that the research community has become frustrated by the fragmentation of the AM, and suggest ways aimed at providing a structure for future AMs that will encourage their growth in ways that will benefit the entire community.

The AM as currently organized is an aggregation of numerous conferences (some held jointly) sponsored by the appropriate STAC Committees. The President of the AMS identifies a central theme during his/her tenure as President-Elect which largely determines the scientific meetings that will be held at the AM. The past meeting in Dallas 1999 was organized around 11 conferences and attendence was approximately 2500. Accordingly, the AM can be overwhelming in scope and complexity.

The ad hoc committee proposes that future Annual Meetings be largely built around carefully planned Joint Symposia, Plenary Sessions focused on the central themes of the AM, and presentations that are being referred to as the "state of the sub-disciplines." Furthermore, the AM should be a forum for debate on important policy issues or controversial scientific topics. It is also possible to have Named Symposia highlighted at the AM. The following discussion expands on these recommendations.

The STAC Committees should be encouraged to think beyond Joint Conferences with several joint sessions. Program committees comprised of membership from two or more STAC committees need to carefully plan a "Joint Symposium" built around topics or themes of interest to the committees involved. These symposia are more focused (e.g., a Chapman-type meeting) and could be held separately from the Stand-Alone Meetings. This does not imply the end of the joint conference format. Rather, it is to point out that the latter format has dominated recent meetings and may not be the most effective forum to foster interdisciplinary thinking.

The central themes of the AM discussed earlier will lead to the formulation of multidisciplinary "tracks" (e.g., education, climate change, societal impacts, etc..). In order to construct these tracks, it is proposed that a Scientific/Technical Program Committee for the AM be constituted. This could, at the present time, include the President, Executive Director, STAC Commissioner and STAC Program Chairs involved with the AM. In the long-term, a formal AM Committee with members whose terms last several years could be formed and be charged with 1) generating ideas (in consultation with the STAC and other AMS Commissions) for joint symposia, state-of-the-subdiscipline, policy debates, etc., 2) monitoring how well these activities are implemented, and 3) maintaining some "corporate" memory of the AM over time. This committee could also aid in the creation of crosscutting boards to develop these tracks rather than relying on the current STAC structure. These crosscutting boards would be composed of STAC committee members and others from the community. Their purpose would be to promote cross-disciplinary topical meetings and joint conferences.

These new crosscutting boards will be required to put a substantial amount of work into the planning of these tracks, most likely, beyond what is currently involved with specialty meetings. The development of sessions that are built around the central themes must be crosscutting and multidisciplinary and will not be a trivial effort to organize.

Although not unanimous, the consensus at the meeting in Boston is that the current proposal requires an obligation on the part of the STAC to participate in the AM by serving on the crosscutting boards and soliciting segments of their community to participate in the AM. It should be noted that this may NOT require holding their specialty conference at the AM.

The setup for the AM is necessarily complex that requires logistical planning for conferences/sessions that often requires a couple of years. However, the AM must develop the infrastructure that will allow for a relatively quick response to set up a session(s) that would be built around recent events (e.g., the Oklahoma tornadoes, Hurricane Mitch) or scientific topics that have rapidly evolved. These types of sessions may be attractive to the media and need not be solely geared toward a scientific audience.

The state-of-the-subdiscipline presentations are intended to inform the community of the "hot" or "cutting edge" topics in the research community, accordingly, they should be incorporated into plenary sessions. The long term goal is to select 3-4 speakers from each of the Stand-Alone Conferences held during the previous 12 months. The speakers may be selected by the appropriate STAC and/or Program Committees. An interim solution is to chose the talks from the subdisciplines that are scheduled at the AM. This interim step allows the AMS to slowly phase in these new sessions. A selection committee would have to be appointed (perhaps the program chairs of the conferences) and they should not restrict themselves to selecting senior scientists. Excellent student theses/research can also be eligible for these presentations.

One of the major attractions of the AM to students is their exposure to a broad spectrum of scientific topics. The sub-disciplinary presentations will contribute to fulfilling this need. These talks will also provide guidance for those students still endeavoring to select a research area/topic.

The ad hoc committee has made other suggestions in an attempt to improve the AM. A concerted effort should be undertaken to formally invite policymakers when important debates are scheduled at the AM. It is the most effective and natural venue to expose decision-makers to these discussions. The AMS Council has recently approved of Named Symposia honoring the living legends in our field. Arranging for these symposia to be held at the AM allows for a sizable fraction of the community to pay homage to these outstanding scientists.

A highly successful aspect of the AM is the Exhibit Hall. Any new format should maintain and foster this important component of the AM.

It will be prudent to proceed cautiously and slowly transition into the new proposed AM format. The 2001 AM may want to restrict itself to two central themes, one session focusing on a policy issue, and a series of state-of-the-subdiscipline presentations. It will be important to set up a formal procedure to assess the membership's reaction to the new format. A Standing Committee on meetings will need to be appointed by the Council to oversee and recommend modifications to the meeting format for the AM and specialty conferences held throughout the year. It is likely that the AM Program Committee mentioned earlier would report to this Standing Committee.

The ad hoc committee recognizes that instituting the above recommendations may lead to reduced attendance at the AM (Note: It has also been argued that these changes may increase attendance owing to its attractiveness). This is not necessarily detrimental; however, a major attraction of the AM is the diverse audience that is attracted under one roof. This includes scientists, administrators, students and companies (who may be future employers of the students). The society must be cognizant of this issue but it will be difficult to assess until changes are instituted. The committee recognizes that the suggested changes to the AM may have a financial impact (positive or negative) on the society. It is our hope that these impacts are considered within the context of the visionary goal and not be given undue weight.

B. Stand-Alone Meeting

The committee recommends that STAC Committees be given substantial creative latitude to experiment on different formats at meetings such as those suggested in section 3b. It is absolutely critical, however, that the successes and failures of these new formats be well-documented so that other future program chairs repeat successes not the mistakes. The ad hoc committee understands that this type of documentation is already underway and may be part of a package that program chairs are provided before organizing a meeting.

Instituting "hybrid-virtual" meetings was a strong recommendation from our committee. This meeting would arrange for all conference papers to be placed on a Web page for select perusal before, during, and after the conference. An option for creating a threaded discussion on topics of interest to the attendees appears to be attractive (Note: A prototype threaded discussion has been created by the AMS on their Web page. Committee reaction was quite favorable and it may be possible to test this system on a future meeting). Important topics could be proposed by attendees or by discussion leaders. These leaders would foster a virtual debate during the weeks leading up to the meeting. Lively discussion would commence during the conference with very little spin-up time. It may be possible for the AMS to accept electronic submissions for the preprint volumes, and in a parallel mode, also construct the Web page. Another option is that they be created separately since the Web page would not be restricted to a page limit and would provide more in-depth information than can be gleaned from an oral or poster presentation. The greater use of the Internet and posting of abstracts on the Web would facilitate the involvement of international members and students who might not otherwise attend the meeting.

In the immediate future, both Web and hard copy versions of the papers should be available to all attendees. Some members (and students) still prefer to have a volume to annotate and place on the shelf during and after the meeting, respectively. The long-term need for the hardcopy version should be readdressed after an agreed upon "test period." There must be consideration of an archive if the hardcopy preprint volume becomes obsolete. The Web pages will not be available forever.

The ad hoc committee strongly endorses the concept of Chapman Conferences. The committee recommends that protocols be developed so that members within and outside of STAC clearly understand how Chapman meetings can be organized. The will be particularly important in the case of emerging new fields. Ideally, these conferences should be endowed but in the interim, they will likely be self-funded.

To increase communication within and between the STAC, it is recommended that list serves be established for each committee. Planning issues, questions and concerns can be easily raised and debated using this virtual capability. It should be noted that the Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones Committee has already successfully implemented list serves.

C. General Recommendations on Meetings

There needs to be a concerted effort to elevate the stature of the poster sessions at the AM and the Stand-Alone Conferences. In particular, program committees, local arrangements committees, and the AMS support staff should place high priority on the selection of space for the posters. The posters should be displayed in prominent locations, and should be up for the entire week and, if possible, located in a centrally. Other conference activities should be minimized during scheduled poster sessions allowing for the greatest exposure of presenters to the attendees.

There are potentially two opportunities for poster authors to have their results exposed to the community at the AM. The first would be during one of the specialty conferences or tracks at the AM. The ad hoc committee also recommends that Tuesday evening be identified as a Grand Poster Night when all posters are viewed by attendees. Hor d'oeuvres and drinks could be served during the viewing of the posters to turn the evening into a social event. The logistics of arranging the poster session are nontrivial and need to be carefully planned ahead of time. Procedures for navigating hundreds of posters must be established. In addition, the evening should not be too festive lest it detract from the posters.

The AMS should encourage as much participation as possible from students and local chapters in the preparation and execution of meetings (AM and Stand-Alone). While some logistical issues are best handled by the professionals on the AMS staff, the amount of good will and positive sense of contributing to a national organization is a very important outcome of their participation.

There is support among members of the committee to encourage funding agencies and government employers to allow members to attend meetings even if they have not submitted a paper. This encouragement is important in light of the committee's suggested changes in the AM format. Fortunately, the large poster session still allows for an opportunity for members to submit abstracts in order to justify their travel to the AM. In addition, means for developing teleconferencing techniques (mentioned in section 3b) via satellite or Internet to "virtual" attendees located at remote sites should be fostered.

D. STAC Committees

There is a sense by the ad hoc committee that the current STAC structure may not be optimum to execute the future vision of AMS meetings. The possible reorganization of STAC, however, should be undertaken only after considerable debate (beyond what we can accomplish on our ad hoc committee) and proceed at a very slow pace. Input from the entire membership, boards, committees, and the Council would be essential.

In the interim, the crosscutting boards should be appointed and will aid in the creation of cross-disciplinary topical meetings

E. International Inclusiveness

The ad hoc committee recommends encouraging joint meetings, when appropriate, with other international societies. It should also be possible to create interactions based on special events of interest to two or more countries. An example is Hurricane Mitch which could have led to a special session at the AM supported by the AMS and our Latin-American counterparts.

The realities of limited travel support will make it difficult for many international participants to attend these conferences. Accordingly, it will be important to enhance our video conferencing capabilities both in realtime and by archiving in order to be successful in our outreach to other countries.

F. Media

The ad hoc committee strongly endorses increased attention to the media and public affairs throughout the year but particularly at the AM (AGU has established a successful model that could be emulated). The AMS has recently hired a Public Information Officer which the committee endorses. The committee also recommends that the Society initiate a careful study of the benefits of purchasing time on the Weather Channel. This Channel has proven to be an excellent conduit to the general public.

G. Short Courses

AMS-sponsored short courses are held during the weekend before the AM and have been reasonably successful in attracting attendees and accomplishing pedagogical goals. The financial target of these courses has been to break even. The ad hoc committee has several recommendations that may potentially enhance both the quality and quantity of these courses.

The Commission on Professional Affairs, in general, and the Board on Continuing Education, in particular, should play a more active role in overseeing/suggesting these courses. The current policy is for invited speakers to volunteer their time to short courses with little or no financial compensation. It is the recommendation of the ad hoc committee that consideration be given to waive the AM registration fees for these speakers.

UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) via the COMET (Cooperative program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training) has a broad mission to enhance meteorology education and training. As a result, it is possible that some of the goals of their workshops overlap with those of AMS short courses. It is recommended that a consolidation of efforts to produce joint AMS/UCAR short courses be examined.

H. Regional Meetings

The goal of a focused meeting on a topic specific to a region is an excellent one. The intent is to draw mainly from the local community which could include the private sector, corporate world, emergency management and students that normally do not attend AMS conferences. Accordingly, it is an effective outreach mechanism to a local area. It is also a potential mechanism for entraining the local chapters to play a more active role and contribute to the national organization. Accordingly, the AMS should support regional meetings to the extent that local chapters will be allowed to promote them with the aid of the society. This could include placing advertisements in the Bulletin and having AMS staff available to provide advice and recommendations in the planning phase of a meeting.

I. Midyear "Trade show" or User/Provider Conference

In light of recent burgeoning growth in the AMS in the private and commercial sectors it has become apparent that the AM meeting may not satisfy this group's needs. The ad hoc committee recommends that the AMS explore the possibility of sponsoring a trade show or user/provider conference at approximately midyear. The primary emphasis would be on applications/operations that would be attractive to the commercial sector. A secondary emphasis should be on science issues. This would be seen as the counterpart to the AM where the primary emphasis is on science. The midyear meeting could be useful as a job fair as well as reaching out to the user community.

The ad hoc committee recommends that the Board on Private Sector Meteorology examine the feasibility of initiating such a conference. This would require a financial analysis, consideration of the choice of venue, and proposing a meeting format. It should be noted that lessons can be learned from other examples that currently exist such as the National Hurricane Conference.

5. Summary of Recommendations

ANNUAL MEETING (AM)

*Future AM be largely built around carefully planned Joint Symposia, Plenary Sessions focused on central themes of the AM, state of the sub-disciplines presentations, and policy issues.

*A Scientific/Technical Program Committee for the AM should be constituted. They would be charged with 1) generating ideas (in consultation with the STAC and other AMS Commissions) for joint symposia, state-of-the-subdiscipline, policy debates, etc., 2) monitoring how well these activities are implemented, and 3) maintaining some "corporate" memory of the AM over time. This committee could also aid in the creation of crosscutting boards to develop multidisciplinary themes for the AM.

*There is an obligation of the STAC to participate in the AM by serving on the crosscutting boards and soliciting segments of their community to participate in the AM.

*The AM should develop the infrastructure that will allow sessions to be easily created in response to recent events (e.g., Oklahoma tornadoes, Hurricane Mitch) or scientific topics that have rapidly evolved.

*The proposed new AM format should be implemented slowly and cautiously. Reviews by the general membership and a Standing Committee appointed by the Council should be ongoing and thorough.

STAND-ALONE MEETING

*STAC Committees should be given substantial creative latitude to experiment on different formats at meetings. It is absolutely critical, however, that the successes and failures of these new formats be well-documented.

*Hybrid-virtual meetings should be implemented in the future. Conference papers are to be placed on a Web page for select perusal before, during, and after the conference. Threaded discussions on topics of interest to the attendees should be created with debates initiated during the weeks leading up to the conference.

*Hard copy preprints volumes should continue but their long-term need should be addressed in the near future.

*STAC Committees should strongly consider sponsoring Chapman-type Conferences. Protocols for a member within or outside of STAC need to be created so that it is clear how such a conference is organized via a grass roots effort.

*List serves should be set-up for all STAC committees in order to improve communication.

GENERAL RECOMMENDATION ON MEETINGS

*There needs to be a concerted effort to elevate the stature of poster sessions at the AM and the Stand-Alone Conferences. This includes careful consideration of space, allowing for the posters to be on display for the entire week, and possibly organizing social events around the posters. In particular, a Grand Poster Night during the AM is proposed.

*The AMS should encourage as much participation as possible from students and local chapters in preparation and execution of meetings.

STAC COMMITTEES

*The current STAC structure may not be optimum to execute the future vision of the AMS meetings. A possible solution is the creation of crosscutting Boards that are composed of STAC committee members and others from the community. Their purpose would be to promote cross-disciplinary topical meetings and joint conferences.

INTERNATIONAL INCLUSIVENESS

*Special sessions on events of interest to two or more countries should be initiated (e.g., Hurricane Mitch).

*Video conferencing capabilities should be enhanced both in realtime and archiving to augment our outreach to other countries.

MEDIA

*There needs to be increased attention to the media and public affairs throughout the year but particularly at the AM (similar to a model used by the AGU).

SHORT COURSES

*The Commission on Professional Affairs, in general, and the Board on Continuing Education, in particular, should play a more active role in overseeing/suggesting these courses.

*Consideration be given for waiving registration fees for invited speakers.

*Examine whether AMS short courses can consolidate efforts with UCAR/COMET in future offerings.

REGIONAL MEETINGS

*The AMS should support regional meetings to the extent that local chapters will be allowed to promote them with the aid of the society. This could include placing advertisements in the Bulletin and having AMS staff available to provide advice and recommendations in the planning phase of a regional meeting.

MIDYEAR "TRADE SHOW" or USER/PROVIDER CONFERENCE

*The committee recommends that the AMS explore the possibility of sponsoring a trade show or user/provider conference at approximately midyear with a primary emphasis in the area of applications/operation.

*The committee recommends that Board on Private Sector Meteorology examine the feasibility of initiating such a conference. This would require a financial analysis, consideration of the choice of venue, and proposing a meeting format.