Meeting of the Council

13 January 2002

Orlando, Fl


President Serafin called the Council to order at 8:10 a.m. on 13 January.

Present: President Serafin, President-Elect Rosen, Past-Presidents Frederick and Kimpel; Councilors Atlas, Carr, Emanuel, Fein, Fine, Geller, Glackin, Leetmaa, Lyons, Schlatter, Stephens, Thompson, Uccellini, and Wood,; Commissioners Avery, Ban, Colman, and Rasmusson; Executive Director McPherson; Secretary–Treasurer Spengler; Recorders Seitter and Annese.

1. Agenda and opening remarks

President Serafin opened the meeting by welcoming everyone in attendance and calling for the roll. He congratulated President-Elect Friday on his election, along with the other newly elected Councilors in attendance, reminding them that their official service on the Council begins with the brief meeting immediately following the annual business meeting. President Serafin reported that the e-mail ballot had confirmed the election of Inez Fung as Fifth Councilor, but that she had not yet been contacted with the news. Executive Director McPherson briefed the Council on the agenda for the meeting. It was noted that several on the Council had to leave the meeting for brief periods in order to speak at other functions occurring in conjunction with the annual meeting. To the extent possible, the agenda had been reordered to accommodate this.

2. Minutes

The minutes of previous meetings had been approved by e-mail ballot so no additional action was required.

3. Named journal issue for Barry Saltzman

A proposal for a named issue of the Journal of Climate, forwarded through Commissioner of Publications Klemp and recommended to the Council by the Executive Committee, was approved by the Council.

4. Bundled subscriptions for members

Deputy Executive Director Seitter briefed the Council on a proposal for a new subscription structure for the AMS Journals Online. The new structure would change the subscription rate from $20 per journal in place for 2002 to, starting in 2003: $25 for any one journal, $50 for any two, and $75 for a subscription to all AMS journals as a bundle. Back volume years from 1997 through 2002 would be priced at $10 per journal per volume year. There was strong support for this new structure as a way to encourage broader use of the journals online by making it economical to subscribe to all AMS journals through the bundled subscription. The Council voted to approve the new pricing structure.

5. Free access to the AMS Journals Online for content older than five years

The Council had approved at its fall 2001 meeting a plan to decrease the price of the Legacy Collection to zero over a period of a few years and then provide unrestricted access to all Journals Online content older than five years subject to modifications in the plan coming from discussions with librarians. Deputy Executive Director Seitter reported on discussions with a number of librarians about the plan in which it was clear that they fully supported the proposal as approved by the Council. No further action was required of the Council. Seitter was scheduled to present the plan a few days after the Council meeting to the Atmospheric Science Librarians International, who were meeting in conjunction with the AMS annual meeting.

6. Update on 2001 budget

Executive Director McPherson reported that although the books were not yet closed on 2001, it was clear that the Society would end the year with a deficit, but a smaller one than the prior year. He used this opportunity to remind the Council of the positive impact he expected from the new five-year financial plan.

7. Facilities

Executive Director McPherson briefed the Council on the status of the plans for the renovation of the main building of the Boston Headquarters now that the Carriage House renovation was completed. It will be at least half a year before the planning phase is completed, and during the planning process it will be decided whether it is more cost effective and productive to move all staff to temporary quarters during renovation or work around the staff by doing the renovation in several phases. McPherson also reported on the move of the AMS Washington DC office to its new location that had occurred in October 2001.

8. STAC Commissioner's Report

Commissioner Colman reported that he was asking retiring STAC committee chairs to remain active with the committee for one year in an ex officio capacity to allow smoother transitions in each committee. On the recommendation of the STAC Commission, with the concurrence of the Awards Oversight Committee and the Executive Committee, the Council voted to approve Mark DeMaria and John Kaplan for the Banner I. Miller Award and James Wilson for the Remote Sensing Lecturer. There was some discussion on the desirability of obtaining more nominations for all awards, and especially those under the purview of the STAC Commission. Colman then reported on the first full-day STAC Commission meeting that had been held the previous day. He was pleased that over 20 of the 30 STAC committees were represented and said it had been a productive meeting. Among the issues discussed were new and innovative meeting formats, possible STAC restructuring, and the concept of short-lived subcommittees of STAC to address interdisciplinary themes for specific meetings. The STAC committee mission statements are due for review and revision, and a three-year rotation for this process was established. Plans for outreach through topical electronic forums were also discussed, but it was noted that the Headquarters IT staff is currently taxed and this effort may require additional resources.

9. Publications Commissioner's Report

Commissioner Klemp reported on the large number of pages published in the journals for 2001 and the increasing number of submissions to all journals as being indicative of the overall health of the journals. He noted that the Institute for Scientific Information had cited the Journal of Climate for its increased citation rates in the area of global change and said this reflects the leadership of David Randall, chief editor. Klemp said the move toward free access after five years, initiated by the Commission last summer, was a very positive action by the Council. He also reported on the availability of pay-per-view at the article level, which is an important service for some in the community. He also thanked the Headquarters staff for their efforts over the last year that had taken the journals production time to very close to the 150-day goal. He noted the agenda for future meetings of the editors would include efforts to improve the time for completing the peer review of manuscripts, as well as achieving uniform application across the journals of policies for manuscript length and the requirements for signed copyright forms. Klemp reported that a new manuscript tracking system was being implemented across all journals, which should help streamline the reporting process. A brief report on the status of Earth Interactions was provided that noted that a search for a new chief editor was in process in cooperation with AGU. In discussion, the Council expressed the desire that Commissioner Klemp concentrate on improving the time to first review decision as the first step in making the entire review process run more smoothly. It was also suggested that care be taken in rigid application of a word length limit on manuscripts since some papers warranted lengths beyond the guideline.

10. Contribution by David Wark

The Council broke from its regular agenda to welcome a visit by David Wark, who had just provided for a gift to the Society over a number of years that would total $250,000 for the creation of an endowed scholarship in honor of his parents. The Council thanked Wark for his support of the Society and its scholarship programs.

[Councilor Wood left at this time.]

11. Education and Human Resources Commissioner's report

Commissioner Avery reported on the success of the first Student Conference that was being held in conjunction with the meeting. The attendance was higher than expected with 185 students registered for the event, and after the first of the two days the feedback from the students was very positive. On the recommendation of Commissioner Avery, the following appointment was made to the Board on Higher Education: Jonathan Overpeck to a three-year term. The Council also approved a new chair for the Board on Women and Minorities, but this individual subsequently declined the invitation to serve. Commissioner Avery reported that the Board on Higher Education would be meeting later in the week to begin planning the Heads and Chairs meeting for the fall, which for the first time would be held jointly with AGU. Avery concluded her report by mentioning that she was looking at the levels of activities across the Commission with the idea that it may be desirable to modify the structure of the boards within it to improve communications and effectiveness.

12. Professional Affairs Commissioner's report

Commissioner Ban reported on the early stages of a study that might lead to changes in the Seal and CCM programs. A draft proposal was currently being reviewed by both the Broadcast and CCM boards. He then reported that planning was underway between the Broadcast Board and the STAC Radar Committee for a joint meeting in 2003. On the recommendation of Commissioner Ban, the Council approved Gary Ley for appointment on the Broadcast Board for a term ending in January 2005. Ban noted the significant amount of time offered to the Society by board members within his Commission, and especially the chairs of those boards, and also noted the excellent support to his Commission provided by Gary Rasmussen of the Headquarters staff. In discussion, the Council noted the small number of CCMs approved each year compared to the number of broadcast Seals. They suggested that efforts to market the CCM program be increased.

13. Planning Commissioner's report

Commissioner Rasmusson reported that the Commission was working in two areas: 1) ethics and certification, and 2) increasing the linkages with the biological community as one aspect of increasing the multidisciplinarity of the Society as suggested in the Ten-Year Vision. There was some discussion on both issues. The consensus of the Council was that a carefully crafted code of ethics should be pursued. It was also noted that efforts were underway to include a biogeosciences component to the 2003 annual meeting.

[Councilor Wood returned to the meeting at this time.]

14. Atmospheric Policy Program

Director of the Atmospheric Policy Program Hooke briefed the Council on the activities of the prior year, including a forum on energy that was part of the Weather, Climate, and National Priorities series, the Summer Policy Colloquium, and other ongoing activities. The consensus of the Council was that the program has become a very effective component of the Society's activities very quickly.

15. Education Advisory Committee

Executive Director McPherson reported on the activities of this committee, whose function is to provide oversight and guidance on the many educational programs being carried out by the Society through its commissions and boards. A comprehensive inventory of Society activities had been completed and would be discussed at the meeting of the committee later in the week. Also on the agenda for that meeting was a discussion on increasing the continuing education activities within the Society. There was some discussion by the Council on the need for continuing education offerings of the Society to be of uniformly high quality.

16. Committee on Inclusiveness

Executive Director McPherson briefed the Council on the activities of this committee, which had largely focused on issues surrounding the recruitment and retention issues for students, faculty, private sector individuals, and those in the operational community. Some other activities, such as the new BAMS and efforts to organize regional meetings, are consistent with the goals of this committee but are being pursued separate from it. The committee had not done as much on issues surrounding multidisciplinarity as originally intended, and it was suggested that it may be necessary to establish a separate ad hoc group to work on this issue. President Serafin spoke for the Council in commending the committee, under the leadership of Past-President Bonner, for accomplishing so much in such a short time.

[Executive Director McPherson left at this point, and President Serafin left during the next agenda item, turning the chair over to President-Elect Rosen.]

17. Revised dues structure

Deputy Executive Director Seitter briefed the Council on a draft proposal to restructure the dues for those in their early careers to provide a more gradual transition from the low student dues to the full member dues. The discussion on this item included other ideas for services that could be provided to those in their early careers to make AMS membership more meaningful to them. A draft proposal for restructuring associate member dues was also discussed. Both proposals were cast as preliminary and not ready for Council vote, but the discussion was useful to help staff refine the proposals.

The Council recessed for lunch at 12:00 p.m. and reconvened at 1:20 p.m.

[Those in attendance after lunch were the same as at the beginning of the meeting with the exception of Councilors Thompson, Uccellini, and Lyons and Secretary–Treasurer Spengler who were absent.]

18. Outreach activities

President Serafin asked if there were any questions on the briefing document included in the agenda packet, and having none, moved on.

19. Addition to the Publications Commission

On the recommendation of the Executive Committee and with the concurrence of the Publications Commissioner, the Council voted to make the chair of the Bulletin Editorial Board a voting member of the Publications Commission.

20. Named Symposia

Commissioner Colman reported on a proposal for a named symposium for the 2004 annual meeting. No action was required at this time since the proposal needed to pass through the normal approval process leading up to the fall Council meeting. It was noted that named symposia have become quite popular in the short time they have been pursued, and it was unfortunate that no proposals for a named symposium had been received for the 2003 meeting. The consensus of the Council was that since the approval process was still quite new and may not have been adequately publicized, the Council would be willing to entertain a proposal for a named symposium for the 2003 meeting if it was received very soon and was of high caliber.

[Councilor Thompson rejoined the meeting at this time.]

21. Probability Forecasting Statement

Councilor Glackin, who had served as facilitator for this statement, led the discussion on the draft before the Council, earlier versions of which had been discussed by the Council and provided to the membership for public comment. The statement was subjected to some minor edits, the most significant being the identification of the first paragraph as representing the core statement with the additional text serving as background. The Council voted to approve the statement with these editorial changes.

[Councilors Uccellini and Lyons returned during the discussion of the previous agenda item, and Secretary-Treasurer Spengler rejoined the meeting at the end of the discussion.]

22. Data Exchange Statement

Councilor Emanuel, who had served as facilitator for this statement, led the discussion on the draft before the Council, earlier versions of which had been discussed by the Council and provided to the membership for public comment. He reviewed in some detail the comments received to date from the membership and changes made in the draft in response to them. At the suggestion of the Executive Committee, the short statement and background white paper were treated as separate documents. The Council voted to approve the statement with minor editorial changes and to approve the white paper with the following three provisions: 1) to refine the wording in places as discussed in the Council meeting; 2) to receive comments from the Private Sector Board and incorporate changes based on that input; and 3) to provide the final draft for one more review by the Council. The Council asked Executive Director McPherson to contact J.-P. Beyson, who had provided extensive arguments against language in the statement, with a request that he submit a letter to the editor of the Bulletin with his comments as a means of opening a continuing dialog on this issue. President Serafin expressed his appreciation on behalf of the Council to Councilor Emanuel for the excellent effort he had made in leading the preparation of this statement in a short time.

23. Other statements in process

A brief discussion on a draft statement on lightning protection systems, which had been provided to the Council, was led by Councilor Lyons, who is serving as facilitator for this statement. President Serafin asked that the Councilors with comments on the draft correspond directly with Lyons so that a revised draft can be prepared for additional Council review. Councilor Lyons reported that he also hoped to have a draft statement on lightning safety available for review soon. President Serafin reported that M. Blackmon was working with others to create a statement on supercomputing resources. Councilor Schlatter reported that the aviation STAC committee had been engaged in working toward a statement on aviation weather.

24. Salt Lake City as an annual meeting venue

President Serafin reported that the Executive Committee had considered the suggestion of Salt Lake City as a venue for the 2009 annual meeting and felt that it was not a desirable location for the annual meeting but was quite good for specialty meetings at other times of the year. The Council discussed the issue and came to a consensus agreeing with the Executive Committee.

25. Honorary Members

Executive Director McPherson asked the Council to begin thinking of names that could be considered for Honorary Member of the Society and to pass any suggestions on to him or incoming President Rosen. The Executive Committee will then create a list of candidates at its April meeting and begin the process of identifying recommendations for the Council.

[Note: all federal employees on the Council recused themselves from the discussion of the next agenda item.]

26. Issues associated with legislation for the upcoming year

Executive Director McPherson briefed the Council on issues expected to come up in legislation during the coming year that would be monitored by the AMS staff. These included the budgets of the various government agencies associated with the sciences served by the Society, educational issues, climate change legislation, and database legislation. McPherson said the staff would work to ensure that it was available to staffers on the Hill who may seek guidance from the Society on these issues.

27. Executive Director's annual report

Executive Director McPherson provided copies of the annual report he had prepared for the membership, which would be available at the business meeting as well as being posted on the AMS Web site. He also outlined his plan for 2002 of using a series of articles in the Bulletin to replace the need for a year-end report, which had been approved by the Executive Committee.

28. Statement of appreciation for Evelyn Mazur

In recognition of the retirement of Evelyn Mazur the week before the meeting, the Council unanimously approved the following motion: "Be it resolved that the Council of the American Meteorological Society extends its deep appreciation to Evelyn Mazur for her 48 years of outstanding service to the Society."

29. Closing remarks

President Serafin thanked everyone for their participation and service on the Council during his term as president. President-Elect Rosen led the Council in thanking Serafin for his effective leadership during his term.

The Council adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

The Council will next meet on 3–4 October 2002.