Chapter News
May 2012


May 14, 2012 Meeting Minutes

The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 3rd meeting of 2012 on May 14th at Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB) in Bossier City, LA.  This meeting began at 6:00 pm, with eight members present.

The 26th Operational Weather Squadron (OWS) Commander gave a presentation welcoming the eight members to the base and squadron.  The presentation explained US Air Force weather structure.  After this 15 minute presentation the group was given a tour of the OWS operational forecasting floor for an additional 15 minutes.  TAF’s, observations, interaction with field units, watch/warning/advisory issuance and synoptic analysis were all discussed and witnessed first-hand.  Next, Capt Goddard, Barksdale’s Combat Weather Team (CWT) commander, walked the group to the Barksdale CWT weather station for a tour.  Observations, deployments, weather advisories, and interaction with base agencies and aircrew were discussed.  Here, seven members of the OWS joined the group to see CWT operations and to allow some younger forecasters a chance to see one their primary aircraft customers.  Following the CWT tour, the group headed to the south end of the Barksdale AFB flight-line for a B-52H static tour.  The group witnessed one of the base CWT’s primary customers and saw exactly how weather impacts mission accomplishment. There was then time for pictures and tours of the plane.   

Following the presentation, President Jason Hansford held a short business meeting to discuss topics for a summer meeting.  Due to the length of the May meeting, all final decisions on the next topic will be made in the coming weeks via phone and email discussion.

The following members were present:

Jason Hansford, President                      Randy Pritchard

Bryan Walter, Vice President                  Gareth Juays

Matt Hemingway                                      Kelley Spencer
Rhonda Lee                                             John Mussey

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.---Bryan Walter.



May 2nd  GBM

Attendance 32

Start time 7:00PM

Our new President Jeb Postle talked about the position held last year.  This position is the club representative to the Atmospheric Sciences faculty.  The advisor would attend weekly meetings and be the liaison between the club and the professors.  He then opened the floor for nominations.  GeorgeKrauszer nominated Claudine Pierz.  Jeremy Goldberg 2nd.  Kelly Butler called.  Claudine accepted.  Amanda Curran nominated Emilie Hillman.  Melissa Segall 2nd.  James Bieli called.  Emilie declined.  Chris Kirincic nominated James Bieli.  Torrance Gaucher 2nd.  Laura Lenfest called. James declined.  Emilie Hillman nominated Curt Olson.  Craig Johnson 2nd.  Laura Lenfest called.  Curt accepted.  Curt and Claudine both gave a short speech on why they should be nominated to the position.  They left the room and the club voted.  Claudine was nominated by a 23 to 7 vote.  Jeb then explained that we will be deciding on potential speakers for our 38th New England Storm Conference.    He presented Bill Nye, Max Mayfield, and Danielle Niles.


Vice President James Sinko asked the club for any thoughts on the club website.  HE told everyone to contact him with ideas to create a more user friendly website.  He then presented his speakers Todd Gutner and Dr. Steve Lyons. 


Secretary Matthew Davey presented his speakers Tony Petraca and Steve Bennet. 


Treasurer Torrance Gaucher presented his goals  for next year.  This included his plan to make dues required to be paid 30 days after the start of school.  He also plans to institute a due date and a late fee for payments of our 38th New England Storm Conference.  He then explained to the club that the Student Government Association was getting ready to vote on whether or not $30,000 should be allocated from the general student fund to buy a van.  This van could be used by clubs for trips into town and else-where.  He  told the club that the general fund has approximately $50,000 in it for clubs to use.  A discussion between many members took place and at the end Torrance asked the club to vote on whether they think it would be a good idea.  30 voted yay and 30 voted nay.   Torrance then moved on and asked the club to contact him if there was anything they thought he could do better this year.  He then presented his two speakers Tim Marshall and Paul J. Gaynor


Public Relations Director Amanda Curran promoted the spring BBQ that will take place Sunday May 7th 11:00AM to 3:00PM in front of the Student Center(inside it if it rains).  She then told the club if they wanted any minutes or powerpoints from the meetings, she can send it to them.  Vice President James Sinko mentioned that they can also be found on our AMS/NWA website.  Amanda then presented her speakers Kevin Skarupa and Dr. Steve Lyons. 

Community Outreach Director Kayla Flynn asked for volunteers for a community building trip.  Friday May 11th, she and other club members will go to Johnson Elementary School and give a presentation to the students about Meteorology.  Next she asked the club if anyone was interested in community outreach trips to St Johnsbury Elementary and other schools in the area.   Next year, once a week, members will go and read to students.  Multiple club members were interested.  Kayla then presented her speakers Dr. John Merril and Dr. Alan Betts. 

Historian Sarah Murphy talked about her goal to revive the Alumni newsletter for next year.  She then presented her speakers Cegeon Chan and Lesly-Ann Dupigny-Giroux. 

The club was then asked to vote for speakers for Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday morning of the Conference.  Friday night speakers, in order of most votes were Bill Nye, Tim Marshall, and Steve Bennet.  Saturday night’s were Dr. Steve Lyons, Max Mayfield, and Lesly-Ann Dupigny-Giroux.  Sunday morning’s were Todd Gutner, Tony Petraca, and Steve Bennet. 

The meeting concluded at 7:50PM---Matthew Davey.




  1. Opening Comments, - a welcome to everyone and thanks for attending our last meeting for the 2011/2012 school year.
  2. The 2012 scholarship applications are due post marked as of today 15 May. We have received one application and will wait a few days to see if any others arrive.
  3. A letter was received from the AMS National Chapter inviting members to attend the upcoming annual meeting this January 2013 in Austin, TX.  Contact information is available for individuals interested in attending and/or  presenting.
  4. Jim Branda gave the treasurer’s report; there is $740.95 in the savings/scholarship fund and $770.41 in the checking account with a new total balance of $1,511.36 in available funds.
  5. Elections for officers for the 2012/2013 were conducted. There were no nominations for new officers so a motion was forwarded and seconded that the current officers would continue for a second term: Tom Salem as president, Bill Borghoff as vice president, and Jim Branda as secretary/treasurer.
  6. No other business was brought to the table and everyone was asked if they had any questions.
  7. Introduction to the night’s speaker: Dr. Gene Rench the Hydrologist from the National Weather Service Office in Memphis, TN.  Gene discussed the highlights and impacts from the 2011 Epic Mississippi River Flood.  First points discussed were the operations conducted by the Corps of Engineers along the levee system near Cairo, Il and how it affected all points downstream.  Second, the flood impacts near the Memphis Metropolitan area south to the Casino locations in Tunica, MS.  Last, Gene talked about the effective communications between the Shelby County Emergency Management Office, the Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service Memphis from the latest Service Assessment that was conducted during the event.
  8. The last meeting point that was brought to everyone’s attention was an invitation for volunteers for the 2012 FOX Channel 13 Annual Weather Camp slotted for Saturday August 4th from 9am-1pm.  Please contact Tom Salem if interested in helping.---Jim Branda.



The chapter only had 2 official meetings this month.

-The events coordinators organized a dance party for chapter members. It was a relaxing event to hang out with friends and listen to music.
-OUCAMS had another Krispy Kreme doughnut fundraiser. It wasn’t as successful as previous fundraisers.  We suspect that the rainy weather played a part in the unsuccessfulness.
-The officers decided to meet at a local restaurant with members for dinner instead of a full chapter meeting one week.
-One member is working on getting t-shirts to the chapter.
-OUCAMS held their annual end of the year cookout where members relaxed and celebrated their achievements over the year.
-A OU meteorology grad who now works with the US Air Force came and spoke to the chapter on his current duties and how he got there.---Elise Dolinar.



Thursday, May 17, 2012 Meeting Minutes
Famous Dave's, 12020 Anne Street, Omaha, NE 

Jay called the meeting to order at 6:50 p.m. and greeted the 33 members and guests in attendance. 

President’s Report (Jay Martinelli):

Jay told the membership that there was a good deal of positive feedback regarding our Career Night in April.  He again thanked all the panelists.  Jay then thanked all the officers for the 2011-12 year. 

Treasurer’s Report (Fritz VanWijngaarden):

Beginning balance: $ 297.50 Petty Cash. Closing checking balance = $898.53. Total = $ 1196.03.  He also noted that we have 53 full members and 12 student members at this time.

Recording Secretary’s Report (Karen Harder-Sittel):

Since we did not have a formal meeting in April (Career night at Creighton), the minutes from our March meeting still needed to be approved.  These were sent to the membership via email, posted to our Facebook page, and also forwarded to the National Chapter.  A motion that the minutes be approved and submitted to the record was passed.  

Corresponding Secretary's Report (Richard Ritz):  not present.  Jay noted Richard’s contributions throughout the year, including an almost complete re-write of our Constitution.

Vice President’s Report (Kristen George): nothing to report

Old Business:

Jay said that our chapter t-shirts are available at this meeting.  If you ordered one you can pick it up after the meeting.  We still have a few extra, but there are no size large left.

Karen requested that we have a little help at future weather radio programming events. Upcoming events are all at local Hy-Vee stores, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: West Pacific (new store) 1000 South 178 St. on May 19th , 156th  and Maple on June 2nd, and our last event is at Mid Town 5150 Center Street on June 16th.   She remarked that we have been steadily busy at the events so far this year, often with people waiting out the door before the event even begins.  She brought 2 models of weather radio along to the meeting to show the members how we do this.  She asked that members send her an email with the days/times that they are available to help.

New Business:  


It was stated that voters must be dues paying members of this chapter in order to cast a ballot. Becky Selin and Fritz confirmed membership and administered ballots and candidate biographies on admission to our meeting.

Each candidate gave a brief description of their qualifications, followed by voting.

After the votes were tallied, the 2012-2013 officers were announced:

President: Jay Martinelli
Vice President: Barb Mayes Boustead
Treasurer: John Roth
Corresponding Secretary: Richard Ritz
Recording Secretary: James McCormick

Our final meeting of the 2011-2012 year was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Our speaker was Captain Kenneth R. Fenton Jr., who gave us a talk an “Overview of the Space Weather Environment.”

Kenneth Fenton graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Meteorology in 2006 and later earned his M.S. in Applied Physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 2011. Kenneth has previously worked as a lead meteorologist and flight commander for the 17th Operational Weather Squadron at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. There he led a team of 24 meteorologists and forecasters providing operational weather support across the Pacific, including Japan, Korea, and Alaska. Kenneth is currently a captain in the US Air Force serving at Offutt Air Force Base. Presently, he is the chief of the Space Weather Integration Team in the 16th Weather Squadron. The Space Weather Integration Team builds prototypes of space weather capabilities and evaluates models for operational implementation at the Air Force Weather Agency.---Karen Harder-Sittel.



May Meeting Minutes.---Steve Pierce.



Things were winding down in the month of May for the Oswego State Chapter. We finished up a busy semester with the elections of new officers, and our end of the year picnic. Our picnic was held the weekend before finals, with members showing up to grill, and enjoy the lovely afternoon in Oswego. The afternoon was spent enjoying yummy food, taking pictures, playing games, and even flying a kite!! Congratulations to the elected 2013-2013 Chapter Officers:

                President-Mary Butwin

                Vice President-Julie Budd

                Treasurer-Mike Stahlman

                Secretary-Daniela Pirraglia

                Public Relations-Jake Mulholland

                Community Outreach-Ashley Poreda

                Webmaster-Ryan Kiely

These are the final minutes for the 2011-2012 year. We look forward to keeping everyone up to date on our clubs activities in the fall, and we can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to next year!!  Here is the link to our student run website if you want to check us out further: Pirraglia.



The May meeting of the Smoky Mountain Chapter was held on Monday evening, the 21st. Around ten people met first for dinner at Calhoun's on the River near the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus. Afterwards, the meeting commenced with around twenty people in the Biosystems Engineering and Environmental Science building on the UT Ag campus. The speaker was Dr. T.J. Blasing (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) who spoke on "The Global Carbon Cycle". The following was an abstract of his talk: "In 2011, humans put around 10 billion metric tons of fossil carbon into the atmosphere. About half of it stayed there, mostly in the form of carbon dioxide. The other half went somewhere else. Some questions addressed are: (1) Where is the "somewhere else?" (2) Why is carbon going there? (3) Will it keep going there? (4) Will it ever come back, and when? (5) What are some consequences of all of this? ---  plus, if time permits, some carbon-containing species other than carbon dioxide."

Biography for T.J.: T.J. Blasing graduated from Arrowhead High School in Hartland, WI, in 1962. He subsequently received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Madison: Bachelor of Science in Meteorology, 1966; Master of Science in Meteorology, 1968; and Doctor of Philosophy with a major in meteorology and a minor in statistics, 1975. He joined the faculty of the College of Geosciences, University of Arizona - Tucson, in September 1971, and he accepted a position on the research staff of the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in September 1977. He became an adjunct faculty member in the Geography Department at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville in 1982, and taught courses there in meteorology and climatology from 1983 to 1998. His outside interests include soccer, Habitat for Humanity, and world religions. His biographical listings can be found in Who's Who in Technology and American Men and Women of Science.---David Gaffin.





May 2012


Monthly Meeting: Officer Elections


After a very active 2011-2012 academic year, the Chapter held its last monthly meeting on May 8 at 10:45 am. A total of 21 members attended. This gathering was especially dedicated to the officer elections for the 2012-2013 academic year. Members running for officer positions participated in an informal question-and-answer session to help the attendees decide how to vote. The Chapter advisor, Dr. Carlos U. Pabón, and honorary member Virginia Figueroa, counted the votes while the attendees exchanged ideas about how to increase the Chapter’s membership and keep members engaged. Elections resulted in the following roster of Chapter officers:

President: Suheily López Belén

Vice-president: Zuleimary Vélez Rodríguez

Treasurer: José Algarín Ballesteros

Secretary: Irmarís Rivera Llavona

Afterwards, the new Chapter officers designated the rest of the positions. These officers were announced the following day at the Chapter’s end-of-the-year banquet:

Historian: Ana Patricia Torres
Web-master: Dennis Negrón-Rivera

“Juracán” Magazine Editor: Lizxandra Flores Rivera

The meeting concluded with the proposal and approval of an amendment to the Chapter Constitution. The amendment indicates that each outgoing officer must prepare a handbook to help the Chapter transition into a new leadership. The handbook should describe the responsibilities of the respective Chapter officer position, and provide guidance on how to fulfill these duties, as well as any other useful information for the incoming officers.


Activity: Visit to the National Weather Service and WAPA-TV

On May 5th, eleven members participated in the Chapter’s annual field trip to the National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan. This year the field trip included a visit to WAPA-TV station, also in San Juan. Students from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, who are very interested in pursuing a career in meteorology, joined the Chapter during these exciting activities. At the NWS, lead forecaster -and now Warning Coordination Meteorologist- Ernesto Morales cheerfully received the attendees. He talked about the benefits and struggles of a career in operational meteorology, and provided other useful career tips. Other forecasters and interns of the NWS offered a tour of the facilities and shared experiences with the group.

In the afternoon, the Chapter visited WAPA-TV station for the first time ever. Néstor Flecha, former Chapter president and current meteorologist at WAPA-TV, kindly received the group and offered a tour of the facilities (Figure 1). Members were excited to hear about Flecha’s transition from UPRM to work as a broadcast meteorologist, since he has served as a role model for many of them. Flecha also interviewed some of the attendees for a news story entitled “Future Meteorologists”. The video was transmitted on WAPA-TV news and is currently available at:

Figure 1. The attendees at WAPA-TV with Néstor Flecha, former Chapter president and current broadcast meteorologist. Image provided by Glorianne Rivera.

Once again, Chapter members enjoyed the opportunity to learn about operational and broadcast meteorology from successful professionals in these fields.

Activity: End-of-the-year Banquet

The night of May 9th was a night of celebration. Spirited by the music and ambience of Mardi Gras, 21 Chapter members got together in an “end-of-the-year” banquet to celebrate the passing of another great year (Figure 2). Along with a Guest of Honor, Alexander Rodriguez (who has helped the Chapter in many capacities during the last couple of years), the attendees enjoyed a very festive night.

Figure 2. Members enjoying our Mardi Gras party. Image provided by Alexander Rodriguez.

The Banquet was held at “Parque de Diversiones el Castillo” in Añasco. During the festive night, the members introduced the new Chapter officers, gave out the already famous “Weather Awards” (where we recognize some members who bear some resemblance to atmospheric phenomena), said goodbye to some of our graduating members, and enjoyed the food and music.

Activity: 7th Regional Hurricane Conference


On May 25, the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency held the 7th Regional Hurricane Conference. Some students of the Chapter were invited as Special Guests. It was a great opportunity for the Chapter to showcase who we are as a Society, our mission, and our activities (Figure 3).


Figure 3. Newly elected Vice-President of the Chapter, Zuleimary Velez, talking about our mission and activities. Image provided by Zuleimary Velez.

During the activity, students were able to enjoy a presentation on Atmospheric Phenomena given by NWS meteorologist Jesus Figueroa. In the end, students were able to go home with valuable information on how to better prepare for the hurricane season.


Internship Opportunities

In an effort to enhance their research experiences, some of our members are pursuing internship projects during this summer. In order to take full advantage of the opportunities, six of our students have started as early as May, heading to their respective locations all over the country. There are currently two students working in Miami, two working in Penn State University, one student starting in JISAO at the University of Washington, and one student in Maryland working with NOAA. We congratulate these students for their hard work and wish them the best of luck.




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