Early Career Leadership Academy

What is the Early Career Leadership Academy?

With support provided by IBM, the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Early Career Leadership Academy (ECLA) aims to build and sustain a diverse network of early career leaders in weather, water, and climate science. ECLA will bring together a select group of early career individuals, in particular, women and underrepresented minorities, for an immersion experience in leadership, such as creative problem-solving; conflict resolution; building trust and enhancing communication skills. We seek early career individuals from a wide range of professions, interests, perspectives, cultures, and experiences.

Who is eligible to apply?

AMS defines early career scientists as follows:

“Early career” is nominally taken to include scientists who are within ten years of having earned their highest graduate degree or within fifteen years of having earned their baccalaureate, whichever is greater. Consideration will also be given, however, to those who are still in the early stage of their careers but have seen these interrupted for up to 5-10 years by family leaves, military service, and the like.

Up to thirty applicants will be selected to participate. All eligible applicants must:

  • Qualify as “early career” as defined by the AMS;
  • Be a member of the AMS;
  • Work in the weather, water, or climate science enterprise, including education and policy.

Consideration will be given to applicants who have volunteered their time and service to any AMS board, committee or panel.

What should the participants expect?

ECLA is an invigorating professional development experience built around emerging trends in weather, water, and climate science enterprise that will shape the future of professions. Topics that will be covered include workplace issues, technology, crisis management, building trust, business acumen for geoscientists, job market volatility, and key societal trends. In light of rapidly shifting demographics and diversity in the weather, water, and climate science enterprise, ECLA will include discussions on topics such as implicit bias, ethics, othering and belonging, and topics that are aimed at enhancing leadership abilities.

Participants will develop new analytical lenses, systems thinking skills, and skills to deal with differences and diversity when making decisions that affect weather, water, and climate.

After graduation, participants will:

  • Benefit from expanded knowledge;
  • Enjoy a high-quality network of peers and mentors; and
  • Clarify how they and their organizations will drive change.

2018 ECLA Schedule

January 19: Applications Due

February 9: Results Announced

February 23: Remote Session 1

March 30: Remote Session 2

April 26–27: 2018 ECLA in Washington D.C. (in-person participation; ECLA registration includes registration for the 2018 Washington Forum, April 24–26, for those whose schedule will allow attendance to sessions in the Forum)

Participation is required in all ECLA sessions (February 23, March 30, and April 26–27). Applicants are also encouraged (but not required) to participate in an ECLA Panel, “Perspectives on Leadership” to be held on January 8, 10:30am-12:00pm CST at the 2018 AMS Annual Meeting in Austin.

Participation Cost

ECLA will be held at the Marriot Metro Center along with the 2018 Washington Forum. Registration fee for participation in ECLA is $125. This fee includes participation in the 2018 Washington Forum, including meals and refreshments during the events. Rooms are available at the Marriot Metro Center at the AMS rate of $289 per night (plus applicable taxes and fees). A limited number of need-based partial travel scholarships are available to selected applicants.


Please revisit this page for a tentative agenda that will be posted in January 2018.

If you have any questions about the Early Career Leadership Academy, please contact Mona Behl.