Chapter News
September 2011


The Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 4th meeting of 2011 on September 13th, at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport. This meeting began at 6:30 pm, with ten members present. Prior to the evening presentation, the local chapter hosted a seafood dinner prepared for by Sam’s Seafood Eatery in Shreveport.

Matthew Duplantis, Information Technology Officer at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Shreveport, gave a presentation entitled “Social Media and Its Advantages in the National Weather Service”. Duplantis emphasized that social media is now the primary way individuals will get most of their news. He also identified the various social media outlets currently used in the National Weather Service, and also spoke on other avenues the agency will be pursuing in the near future. Duplantis described the functionality of each social media application, and the many benefits it has brought to the National Weather Service, especially in the dissemination of hazardous weather information, and the verification of convective weather warnings.

Chapter President Jason Hansford held a short business meeting prior to the dinner and presentation.  

The following members were present:

Jason Hansford, President

Keith Stellman, Vice President                     

Leslie Sexton, Treasurer                                               

Matthew Duplantis

Armando Garza                                                                                                    

John Mussey                                                                

Kelly Spencer                                                               

Aaron Stevens

Matt Hemingway

Jeff Hood                                                                                               

The meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.---Jason Hansford for Brandi Richardson.



Meeting called to order at 5:04. Standard introductions were made, with "favorite chick flick" included.

The presidents mentioned a need for two committee chairs; Carolyn can help whoever does apparel, and Dan Zarrow can help whoever is webmaster, though he'll be leaving soon. Jeff volunteered to fill the post, which mainly will consist of fleshing out content rather than coding.

The presidents brought up the issue of an internship seminar, which was well-received. Anyone who had academic or professional experience over the summer is welcome to present. Garrett suggested this could be in conjunction with SES, although they will hold their own research symposium next week.

Chair introductions followed:

Lindsey is the "travel agent", mostly to the AMS conference in New Orleans. Those going will leave the night of Jan. 20 and return the 26th or 27th. Because of the cost, plans should be made now. Most people go as juniors but one can go as often as one can afford. Some funding opportunities are available, as are fact sheets prepared by Lindsey. Contact lrc52.

Kevin briefed the club on forecasting news. Weatherphone will be starting soon, with .5 S/U credit if there is demand therefor. Forecasts are made weekday afternoons; lead forecasters are needed to assist rookies. Athletics forecasting for field hockey and M & W soccer is also getting underway. Sign-up sheets were circulated for both activities. After demotion last semester, Daily Sun forecasting might resume, as about eight people indicated interest, contingent on the Sun's reinstating daily forecasts. Matt vouched for the value of the experience, though hour-long trips to the Sun's downtown office are necessary. WxChallenge enrollment forms were distributed; five people at least are needed for Cornell to save face. Forecasts are made M-R. Contact kaf73.

Nikki summed up recent outreach experiences in the Lansing schools. This year she is targeting area science fairs, and at this point in the semester is looking for general interest. A sign-up sheet was circulated. Contact nmd46.

Molly talked about her goals for Ithacation, our newsletter. Mainly, she would like interviews with people in various meteorology-related fields. Upperclassmen's contacts should be leveraged to find suitable subjects. All former interns are encouraged to compose a brief article for an internship issue. The first issue will probably be in Oct. or Nov., with a goal of three per year. Contact mbs244.

David, as treasurer, reminded the club that everyone owes dues of $20 for the year. These support pizza at meetings, intramural sports (e.g. flag football, which is recruiting now), and other activities. They must be paid by Oct. 1 — give them to David or leave them in 1125 Bradfield. He also mentioned a broadcast position at ICTV. The meteorologist(s) will prepare a show, with graphics, &c., and present it at 7 and 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact dac299.

Garrett began with Sarah's proposal of freshman/senior and sophomore/junior social events. The upperclassmen seemed particularly enthusiastic. The idea of a potluck-style dinner with professors at a member's apartment, rather than at a restaurant, seemed to have universal currency. Ideas for other activities, such as trips, were solicited.

*** Meeting adjourned ***

Off the record, a H**** H*** is being held tomorrow night. Nikki will be giving rides from North Campus around 10:00 in a black Toyota RAV4. This is billed as a chance to meet majors in a more casual setting. Beverage consumption will cost $5. Garrett will send out an email tomorrow morning with more information. 

That's all that happened today. Meetings will tentatively be Fridays unless the presidents decide otherwise.---Colin Raymond.



September 21, 2011, 6:00pm Meeting

“How Social Media is Changing the Conversation About Weather”
Guest Speakers: Jason Samenow – Capital Weather Gang & Bob Ryan – ABC 7 on-air meteorologist
Attendance: 50

Opening Remarks (Katie Garrett)
-New Officer Introductions (Tony Fracasso – Vice Chair, Richard Barnhill – Social Chair)
-Next meeting Oct 26th – Happy Hour “with a twist”

National Weather Service’s participation on Facebook (Katie Garrett – meteorologist/outreach)
-Application process required by NWS Headquarters for each office to create a Facebook page
-Rules for use established by NOAA/NWS
-Purpose of posts more forecast/information centric
-Watches/Warnings and the use of facebook
-Differences between use at Headquarters, National Centers, and Local Forecast Offices
-Comments and questions from the public on NWS posts

Capital Weather Gang (Jason Samenow – chief meteorologist)
-History of the Capital Weather Gang-built on social networking
-Weather blog style
-Twitter Instant, abbreviated posts, less emotional
-Facebook more emotional, longer posts, longer responses
-Challenges: time, lots of posts, lots of information
                  -mistakes in breaking news on occasion, retractions
-Benefits: instant information from followers, brand recognition

ABC 7 News Techno Savvy (Bob Ryan – senior meteorologist)
-Digital, social media integral to TV weather
-Convergence of information
-Ultimate goal: discoveries into the workings of the weather made via open conversation
-Preparedness-getting the word out (smart phone era)
-Physical science/social science coming together
-Main challenge with posts is character limits, effective communication

Question and Answer Session
-Use of social media at work under normal conditions and during busy weather events
Katie: manageable not main means for warnings (still go to media outlets/NOAA radio to alert public), forecasts still main priority. Social Media updated by someone not issuing time sensitive products.
Bob: Alert the public, get feedback (pictures, reports, etc)
Jason: prioritize, forecast confidence, timing

-Trusted Sources?
Katie: Spotters, COOP stations, etc
Jason & Bob: Certain media outlets, certain followers who have reported accurate information in the past, etc
-Forecast confidence/rude posters
Katie: You have to be able to handle the criticism, they are allowed an opinion
Jason: People are fast to point out if you’re wrong
Bob: It happens
-Future of Social Media
Bob: mobile platforms are the future---Katie Garrett.



September Meeting Minutes.---Mayra Oyola.



September Meeting Minutes.---Ryan Lueck.



September 7th, 2011 GBM Minutes

7:03  GBM called to start

Laura, our President, introduced the club and the reason why our treasurer and Historian were going first in tonight’s meeting, due to an SGA meeting.

Introduced Jeb Postile as the liaison for our club to the department.


Torry, our treasurer, reminded members about how much and when dues are due. Dues are $10 and due by Friday, Oct. 7th, 2011. This year’s sector search intended for mostly sophomores and open to freshmen with any remaining spots will be going down to Rhode Island to visit a news station, hopefully the NWS in Taunton, MA, and possibly a graduate school. Torry is also looking for more ideas for fundraiser opportunities this year.

Rachel, our Historian, shared several pictures from this year’s club fair, and talked about what she plans on doing to revamp her position and actually fulfill her role unlike in the past.

7:11  Laura, our President, explained that we have found our hotel for our annual North Eastern Storm Conference as the Holiday Inn in Rutland, VT, and are trying to get in touch with the hotel, to make sure that the excessive rainfall from Irene has not caused any major problems that would force us to move to a different location.  Next, we took a vote to move the meeting start time to 7:30 due to several members’ conflict with classes going until 7:20 on Wednesdays.  The vote was passed and approved, and will be put into effect starting with the October GBM.  She finally discussed the importance of being a member of the National AMS, and handed out registration forms to help jumpstart members’ interest in joining.

Craig, our Vice President, showed and discussed how to access our brand new club website, and all of the information that can be seen on the website. He then discussed that internship night is Thursday Nov., 10th and is good to see the opportunities available to intern in the Met. Field.  He then asked about the interest in bringing over a Meteorologist from Burlington to do SKYWARN training, since the response was positive, he will make contact and will inform everyone when the date is that the training will be.  Finally, he introduced doing a member spotlight, which focuses on one member of the club each month, to help everyone get to know each other.

Brian, our Secretary, then reminded all new and returning members to fill out a form this year, so we have a complete and up to date roster of our club. Also, with the form, $10 will need to be paid to Torry, by Oct. 7th, as the membership fee. This helps bring down the cost of storm conference for our club members. Then he explained his position as the paperwork guy, forms get turned into him, and he keeps track of completed events, and attendance at GBMs.

Pat, our Public Relations, reminded of our club BBQ this Saturday the 10th from 11-3 in front of the Hornets Nest. Our next ECM, to sign up to help out at he upcoming events will be on Wed the 14th.  Our car wash is going to be family weekend, invite your parents and friends to get their car washed, is by donation. We are seeing if we want to sell hot dogs at the soccer games, like we did last year. And we are planning a flag football tournament for the weekend of Oct. 2nd.  Had large enough interest of possibly having two AMS club teams. Exciting to see!! Finally, he asked about the interest in possibly having a battle of the bands during the spring semester.

7:38 George, our Community Outreach officer, talked about holding a weatherfest for area schools parents and kids starting next summer. Also, about the science fair here at LSC, which will be March 16th, 2012, more information to come later. He discussed going out and doing more school visits, and talks with the local community. He also proposed getting in touch with local shelters and the red cross to increase our presence in our local area. Several members mentioned possible connections or sources to make contact.

7:44 We opened the floor to questions and received several:

When/where is the sign-up for the Mt. Washington hike?  Will be at our ECM on Sept. 24th

General question for clarification on events.

We informed the club about our revival of the Winter Ball into “The Pulse” more of a rave and less formal.

Pat reminded anyone to send him an e-mail if they have any ideas or suggestions.

7:52 Jeb, our liaison, informed us about the recent department meeting and the locks being put on the windows in the Weather Center because of the expensive equipment on the Observation deck.

We finished with the Candy Raffle

And our first member spotlight is: William Wilson---Brian Knopick.


September Chapter News.---James Belanger.



Meeting Type: General Meeting

Date: September 7, 2011

Attendance: 66

Meeting in Session: 8:34 pm

Introduction (President Peter Mullinax)

What we are about

How we communicate

Upcoming Fall Events

Officer Introductions

Other Announcements


Meeting out of Session 8:54 pm


Meeting Type: General Meeting

Date: September 14, 2011

Attendance: 70

Meeting in Session: 8:47 pm

Introduction (President Peter Mullinax)

Introduction of Committees (Vice President Kristina LaBoy, Treasurer DJ Hoffman, Secretary Colin Thomas, and Webmaster Jessica Taheri)

Semester Speakers (President Peter Mullinax)

Upcoming Met-Mentor Events (President Peter Mullinax)

Other Events

Breaking in Committees to elect Co-Chairs and Secretaries

Meeting out of session: 9:03 pm---Colin Thomas.



Meeting Agenda

Sep. 27, 2011 

        -ATSC 100 confusion
        - English 125- required
        -ATSC 120 – not allowed as technical elective next year



September Meeting Minutes.---Alex Yoder.



Chapter minutes for September

-Our outreach chair is sending out recruitment letters to chapter member's high schools. 
-The chapter is reimplementing their peer mentoring program. The peer mentoring program is meant to provide underclassmen with support from upperclassmen as well as guidance with scheduling classes associated with the major.  Mentors and mentees were matched earlier this week. 
-As for events, the chapter events coordinators put together a cook out the first weekend of classes to welcome all freshmen and new members. 

-The events coordinators are also forming a homecoming committee to begin preparations for the chapters involvement in the annual parade.  This will be the chapter's second  year participating in the parade.  Last year we took second place for our banner.  

-The chapter is working on putting together an intramural sports team for volleyball. 

-The chapter is also working on putting together funds for upperclassmen interested in traveling to the AMS conference in January through various forms of fundraising.

-The Ohio University Athens campus is now StormReady thanks to OUCAMS.  This three year project has finally been completed and fully implemented throughout the campus main offices.

-Chapter members will be participating in the Wx Challenge sponsored by the University of Oklahoma. 

-Anyone interested in learning how to forecast have been invited to forecast along with upperclassmen to learn 'tricks of the trade.'  Forecasting availability are open to all Monday-Wednesday in Scalia Lab for Atmospheric Analysis.---Elise Dolinar.



Friday, Sept 23, 2011 Meeting Minutes
National Weather Service, Valley, NE

Jay called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m. and greeted the 78 members and guests in attendance.

President’s Report (Jay Martinelli): Jay thanked the membership, and the National Weather Service (NWS) for once again hosting a wonderful meeting.  The NWS did a majority of the set up, and we were lucky it was a slow weather day.  He introduced himself as the new president.  He asked the audience how many attendees had never been to a chapter meeting before.  He thanked the 15 new attendees and invited them all to come back to our future meetings.  Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, October 26 at Spaghetti Works in Old Market (Omaha).   Our guest will be Dr. Schrage, who be speaking about one of his new projects.  Dr. Schrage always gives interesting and animated talks and we are very much looking forward to having him come out again.

Treasurer’s Report (Fritz VanWijngaarden):

Beginning balance:  $ 402.80 petty cash, Closing checking balance = $ 898.96. Total = $ 1309.76.  Fritz also welcomed all in attendance.  He asked that people who had not seen him on the way in, to please see him or Richard to talk about membership and to pay for meal and our membership dues.

Recording Secretary’s Report (Karen Harder-Sittel): The May minutes were submitted to the National Chapter, also submitted to the email group and posted to Facebook.  Karen asked that if you have not been receiving emails, Fritz tried to catch you as you arrived, but please see Richard to give him your email, so you can be included in our mailing list. The meeting minutes from May needed to be submitted to the record.  Meeting minutes passed.

Vice President’s Report (Kristen George): Kristen asked for feedback regarding our restaurant choices this year, and also requested ideas regarding new restaurants with large party rooms.

Corresponding Secretary's Report (Richard Ritz):  Richard was introduced by Jay as the new Corresponding Secretary.  He also invited the members and chapter friends to share our emails with interested parties, as we would like to spread the word about our active and dynamic chapter.  He announced that the winner of the 6pm temperature contest was Steve Augustyn – 66 degrees.  Although many had forecasts of 66, Steve’s was the earliest entered, and per contest rules he was the winner of free dues for the year.

Fritz denoted that there were a couple of very funny forecasts for our contest - one was for 100 degrees, and two others for were for absolute zero.  We love that these wonderfully experienced forecasters deliberately make a bad forecast so that others have a better chance to win. 

Old Business:

Jay said that he has the new website up and running.  It is off the main National AMS Local Chapter server now, with support from the AMS.  There will need to be an administrator for this site, and Jay asked for help in setting this up. 

Also, everything is in place for being a joint chapter with the NWA.  We need to modify the constitution and by-laws.  The officers are working this end for the membership. The proposal will be submitted via email to the members.

New Business:

Kristen:  We have had some requests for AMS t-shirts.  We think the best way to a have more participation in this effort is to have the membership submit designs.  Rules will be emailed out to the membership soon– we hope to have designs by our Oct 26 meeting and a vote. Details are forthcoming.  There will be a prize, yet to be determined, for the winner.  Jay remarked that this would most likely be a free t-shirt, with laughs from the audience.

Cathy Zapotocny asked about guidelines, including the new name of our chapter with the joint NWA affiliation.  Kristen responded that the rules regarding this would be in the forthcoming email, and to look for the answers to those questions soon.

Jay wanted to speak with the members regarding an increase in dues.  We have been paying $10 per year since the 1990s, and most other chapters have raised their dues to $15/ year for full members and $10/year for students.  He remarked that there are even chapters that charge $25 for full membership.  He would like to make a motion to raise our chapter dues for 2012/2013 to $15 full membership/$10 students. 

Barb Mayes Boustead (former president) noted that while we have had steady income, our reserves have been depleted.  We want to continue to provide high caliber speakers for our meetings, and to be able to assist our speakers with hotel rooms and perhaps transportation as well.

Cathy Zapotocny noted that while she was an officer a few years ago, we had about $2000 in the bank, but it seems now we have 1/2 of that.  Perhaps we can describe what we plan to do with the additional revenue.

Jay agreed that we can table the discussion while the officers compile other ideas as to how we can serve our chapter and the community with the extra funds.  He welcomed ideas from our members.  Dave Keller asked “What do the other chapters do with their money?” to which Jay responded that a bulk of it goes to get speakers in.  Most people thought this was a good idea.  It was asked if we could look into getting someone to sponsor us, to which Jay said he would look into it.  Motion to table the discussion was passed. 

Jay added that while this annual NWS Valley meeting is very well attended by students, participation by them drops off dramatically, even though we have 2 schools within about one hour of Omaha. He proposed that with increased revenue, perhaps we could subsidize student meals by a few dollars, perhaps with a $10 cap for students.  Jay took an informal poll of the students, and it seems the biggest reasons that students don’t attend is the cost of meals.  Someone responded that no one really has to eat at a meeting.  Jay noted that while yes, it is true that a student does not have to attend the meal part of the meeting, the feedback he’s received is often uncomfortable to sit there at a meeting and not eat.  It is also difficult to find a seat when arriving late just to hear a speaker.  It was suggested that we break down the meeting event times even more, so that if someone does want to just hear the business meeting and the speaker, we can break down the estimated meeting schedule.  This would be useful for lunch meetings especially, when time is tight for students.  The officers will design a formal survey made specifically towards students, so we can better understand the impediments to their participation.  Barb polled the audience as to how many students would come back if we (as a Chapter) helped feed them.  The majority of students were receptive to this idea.  Fritz suggested that we poll the students directly about what other things might encourage them to come to meetings more regularly. Officers will design a survey specifically for them.  We will field this thru the local college chapters also for maximum outreach.

Jay asked for any new business, to which Dave Keller noted that there was a beautiful Sundog in the sky.  Barb mentioned that Omaha was chosen as the testing field for AWIPS-II. ( )  She noted that the NWS Valley has been working many hours testing and debugging the system, before it goes operational in the field.  She offered to give demos of it, after our meeting.

The motion to adjourn was made and meeting was adjourned at 6:52 pm.  The group continued to eat, mingle, and had tours of the NWS office and AWIPS-II. ---Karen Harder-Sittel.



9/5/11 – 9:00pm


              Matt Drews - President

              Shunondo Basu - Vice President

              Joe Martucci - SEBS/Cook Council Representative

              Jeffrey Mart - Secretary

              Teresa Sikorski - Treasure

              Anthony Adams - Media Forecaster

              Doug Simonian - Webmaster 


Meeting adjourned 

First General Meeting – 9/14/11

8:00pm in ENR-223 

Meeting adjourned. 

RU Meteorology Club Other Activities 



The September meeting of the Smoky Mountain Chapter was held on the evening of the 19th. Around ten people first met for dinner at Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria in the Old City of Knoxville. The meeting then commenced in the Biosystems Engineering and Environmental Science building on the University of Tennessee Ag campus, where around 25 people heard Jim Renfro (Air Quality Program Manager for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park) speak about "Air Quality in the Smokies Update". The following was an abstract of Jim's talk: "This presentation provided a summary of the status and trends of air quality monitoring in and around the national park and on-going efforts addressing these issues. The talk included an overview of the responsibilities and requirements of the park’s federal Class I Area designation under the Clean Air Act. Also, the discussion focused on the air pollution problems that impair scenic views from fine particle pollution and regional haze, deposition conc erns from excessive nitrogen, sulfur and mercury to aquatic and terrestrial systems, ozone pollution impacts to park vegetation, and the challenges from non-attainment designations of the EPA ozone and fine particle public health standards. Results showed that over the past decade (since about 1999) park air quality (visibility, fine particles, ozone, and acid deposition) has improved. However, challenges remain ahead as efforts continue toward reducing additional emissions to attain public health standards, and restore the air quality-related values this park was charged to protect."

Jim's Biography: Jim Renfro is the Air Quality Specialist for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He started working for the Smokies in 1984, and is currently responsible for managing the Park’s air quality program; one of the most comprehensive air monitoring programs in the National Park Service. He earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Forestry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Jim’s duties include coordinating air resources management operations and monitoring activities at 7 research stations. Jim has 25 years experience in the areas of air pollution monitoring and research, public education and outreach projects, long-lasting partnerships, and air regulatory and policy issues related to the Clean Air Act and protection of Class I Areas under the Act and the effects of air pollution on the natural resources of the Park, specifically ozone, acid deposition, mercury, particulate matter, regional haze, and climate.---David Gaffin.



September 27, 2011

The fall meeting was held at Central Riverside Park in downtown Wichita with a dessert potluck. After dessert, the meeting was called to order by President Jerilyn Billings at 7:30. There were 12 in attendance including 8 members and 4 guests.

Jerilyn presented a recap of the High Plains Conference reporting that she had received a lot of positive feedback and it was felt that the conference was taken to a “whole new level.” Unfortunately, the chapter lost money on the conference due to the cost of food, service fees and tax. Treasurer Ross Janssen reported that expenses for the conference were $6448.52 and that income was $5726.66 for a loss of $721.86. This leaves the chapter with a balance of $919.67. This did not include the recent sale of some of the leftover shirts. It was all chalked up as “lessons learned.”

The next item on the agenda was the need for updated Chapter Bylaws. President Billings said that she hoped to have something written by the November, 2011 meeting and that it was her “number one priority.” The bylaws would then be voted on by members in 2012.

Jerilyn Billings mentioned that members at the National Weather Service office had received some free handouts called “Scijinks” from the outreach site that is aimed at children bringing science information. She offered these handouts to any of the members that were interested.

A plan for meetings in 2012 was agreed upon in which we would have 4 meetings, alternating between lunch and dinner since this has been working so well. It was observed that the best “draw” for meetings seemed to be presentations, not food, as was evidenced by the relatively low attendance at the most recent couple of fall “picnic” meetings.

Several possible speakers for 2012 were mentioned for consideration, including Meteorologist in Charge, Dick Elder who is retiring. Since Mr. Elder was in attendance, it was agreed that he could give a presentation for the February meeting.

The meeting ended with a call for nominations for officers for 2012. A few nominations were made, but it was agreed that the “official” nominations would come after a call for them from the members via e-mail, to be voted on at the November meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 7:50.---Mark Bogner.



September 2011

Eberly Science and Technology, California University of Pennsylvania



Opening picnic:            

The Oswego State Chapter of the AMS kicked off the academic year with our annual picnic on Thursday, September 8th, at 6pm. It started off with an introduction of the new club officers to the 45 members in attendance, along with two of our professors ; Dr. Alfred Stamm and Dr. Steven Skubis. We spent the time at our picnic by welcoming the new members while roasting hot dogs and making smores over a fire pit, with many games of frisbee taking place. At the close of the picnic, we made our way down to the shore of Lake Ontario to watch the breathtaking sunset.

Chapter Meeting:         

Our first official meeting of the chapter was held on September 22nd, at 7pm. President Stephen Travis welcomed the 39 members in attendance, many of whom were freshmen, and introduced the new officers. We first discussed major events of the year, such as our annual Weatherfest for students of local schools, a trip to the NWS in Binghamton and a TV station, and even mentioned going to the Northeastern Storm Conference in the spring. A few other items to discuss as a club were the update of the club logo that is currently being done by the art depart at Oswego, the ordering of club jackets , and going to Dr. Stamm’s house on the following Sunday to make apple cider.

Club Activity:

On Sunday, September 25th,  20 members, and officers, made their way to Dr. Stamm’s house to make our own apple cider! Dr. Stamm and his wife were kind enough to invite us over, and allow us to pick the apples out of the trees, wash them off, and crank the apples to produce the cider. We had a great time, with some beautiful weather, while Dr. Stamm and his wife were able to educate us on the variety of apples we were picking, and made us all feel at home. This was a great club activity and a large draw for new members to our chapter.

For more information on our club activities and upcoming events, visit our website at Pirraglia.


For our September TAMSCAMS (Texas A&M Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society) meeting (and first meeting of the semester), we went through the introduction of the officers and discussed important upcoming events for members to participate in. The ideas of creating meteorology decals, TAMSCAMS shirts, and going on a fall trip were all brought up and many people showed an interest in these. One of the major events the members were informed of is the upcoming Science Career Fair to be held on September 15. All members were urged to attend to make connections and get an idea of what jobs are available for meteorologists. In addition, some NWS employees will be holding a Q&A afterwards for students to learn more about the NWS. In order to keep students involved, they were informed of the TAMSCAMS Facebook page and the upcoming tailgate where they can meet fellow meteorology students. Texas A&M Storm Chasers (TASC) and Texas A&M Broadcast also presented and informed members of other ways they can be involved within the atmospheric science department. To conclude the meeting, everyone was informed of the necessity to pay dues and sign the listserv and given an opportunity to do so. The next meeting is scheduled for October 4, 2011.---Kristen Collier.



The second meeting of the UAH student chapter of the AMS for the academic year began at 5:30 on Thursday, 15 September, 2011. The first item on the agenda was to discuss the luncheon and seminar that would be occurring the next day with Dr. Greg Forbes from The Weather Channel. The luncheon, which will be held at 11:15am on Friday, 16 September, 2011, is for AMS members and a chance for students to ask Dr. Forbes personal and professional questions. Dr. Forbes will also be giving a special talk at 12:45pm the same day about the April 27th tornado outbreak. The luncheon will be held in NSSTC 4078, and the talk will be held in NSSTC 4065.


The next order of business was in planning the second Rocket City Weather Fest, a free-to-the-public event featuring weather education and safety, demonstrations, seminars, and children’s activities, which will take place from 11am-4pm on Saturday, 17 September 2011 in the Shelby Center on campus. There will be a volunteers meeting at 5:15pm on Friday, 16 September in Shelby 158 where volunteers will get their assignments, along with T-shirts and name tags/lanyards. Volunteers were also reminded to arrive at the Shelby Center on 17 September no later than 9:15 to begin set-up for the event.

Next was a a discussion about the two large conferences this year: NWA, in Birmingham on 15-20 October, 2011, and the annual AMS conference, 22-26 January 2012. We plan on having recruiting booths at both events, as this is the primary way to recruit new students to the Atmospheric Science department. For AMS, members are reminded to submit pictures for the post contest to Members still in need of funding for AMS are asked to look into the AMS Student Assistance Program and Travel Grants, located here: . The deadline for these is 14 October 2011.

Next, treasurer Naren Rongali gave an overview of the chapter’s finances, particularly the Weather Fest funds. Dues of $10 were also due by the end of the meeting. It was announced that details for the Yankee Candle fundraiser would be brought up at the next meeting. A bake sale is also planned to happen around Christmas.

Upcoming social events were discussed. The first UAH hockey game will be held on 1 October 2011, which chapter member will try to attend as a group. Other suggestions for outings include hiking, ice skating, and bowling. The first intramural flag game will be on 18 September 2011 at 4:30pm on the field by SECH on the UAH campus. A Habitat for Humanity event is still being planned for after Weather Fest in order to aid victims of the April 27 tornado outbreak. Members were also reminded to consider a theme for the poster contest which is held in spring.

There were twenty-one members in attendance. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, October 27 2011 at 5:30PM in NSSTC 4065.---Christina Branson.



This year's officers:

President - Lisa Coco

Vice President - Jessica Jacobsen

Secretary - Peter Goble

Treasurer - Brian Popick

Club Advisor - Lucinda Shellito

Student Opportunities Discussed:

·         Weathercasts – podcast forecasts done by students interested in broadcast meteorology

·         Tornado model presentations – we will be continuing our tradition of doing tornado model and weather safety presentations to local schools

·         Channel 7 Internship – local TV station is looking for interns!

·         Channel 7 Travel Forecast Line – we will have volunteers give forecasts to people who call the station during the holidays

·         NCAR’s Super Science Saturday – we will have volunteers attending

·         New Orleans Nation meeting – we discussed what the national meeting is for new members and discussed student assistantship opportunities due October 14th

Student Ideas:

·         We always design our own t-shirts, this will happen again this year

·         New photos will be put in our laboratory (ideally student photos of weather events they observed)

·         Logo – we are working on getting our own logo

Potential Tours

·         NWS Boulder

·         NWS Cheyenne

·         CHILL Radar Center

·         Denver Ice Core Lab

Means of Fundraising

·         Bake sale

·         Yankee Candles

·         T-shirts

Just for fun!

·         Beginning of the year BBQ

·         Corn Maze in October

·         Racquetball Tournament

·         Possible Intramural indoor soccer team---Peter Goble.



September 6th, 2011

This meeting was held in the Student Leadership Room of the National Weather Center.  The first item on the agenda in this meeting was to welcome all new OUSCAMS officers who were voted in either at the last meeting during the 2010-11 academic year or at the first meeting during the 2011-12 academic year.

Next, plans were made for the upcoming general meeting taking place on September 13th.  The September 13th meeting will feature a presentation on studying abroad, and plans have to be made to try and make the presentation at the OUSCAMS meeting different than the presentation nearly everyone has already heard during the freshman-level METR 1111 class.  The plan is to have eight 10-minute long presentations, which will be grouped together based on the location of the study abroad program (England, Germany, or Australia).  Stacey Hitchcock will moderate these presentations, keeping people on track so that the presentations don’t go over 10 minutes.  The food for the September 13th meeting was also discussed.  Enough food is needed to serve approximately 80-90 people.  Tuscani Pasta from Pizza Hut was decided on as the food choice for the September 13th meeting.

Next, talk shifted towards the OUSCAMS poster that will be shown at the annual AMS conference.  The poster needs to have a mission statement and photographs of all OUSCAMS officers.  Lauren Duhon was chosen to take these pictures.  The abstract for the poster is due in October.

Next, there was a brief discussion on the quarterly newsletter.  A decision was made to publish the meeting minutes in the newsletter.

Next, there was another brief discussion on taking students to the national AMS conference in 2012.  The students will be selected through the OUSCAMS incentive program, which awards points to students based on their level of participation in outreach and other school of meteorology programs.

The talk then turned towards the upcoming outreach visits to Norman Public Schools in October.  The purpose of these visits is to gain funding for a weather museum that will eventually be built in Norman.  Since there will be many visits to schools, many volunteers will be needed, including some volunteers who have likely never been on these school visits before.  Therefore, outreach meetings will need to be set up to train new volunteers.  These meetings will be led by more experienced members who have gone on school visits in past years.  Jennifer Newman offered to get more Graduate students involved in these visits.  Dr. Kevin Kloesel has an upcoming meeting at Norman North High School, with the goal of scheduling these visits during the 2-3 weeks leading up to the National Weather Festival on October 29th.  After all of these visits are completed, a check will be presented to the school of meteorology on October 29th.

Next, a possible OUSCAMS web & media committee was talked about.  This committee would essentially be a multimedia task force that would help support OUSCAMS publicist Lauren Duhon.  This committee would help make the OUSCAMS poster that will be shown at the AMS conference, and also would potentially have someone whose job would be to send meeting minutes to AMS.

Next, changes to the OUSCAMS constitution were talked about.  The first necessary change is to add a section on the OUSCAMS publicist, as it is a new position.  Another change is to slightly edit the duties of the secretary and treasurer.  A final change is to change the position of webmaster to public relations.

Next there was a brief discussion on OUSCAMS shirts.  Addison Alford was put in charge of ordering polos, and made a decision to order 47 polos, which was based on how many people expressed interest in buying one at the previous general meeting.

Next there were discussions on the upcoming October and November general meetings.  With regards to the October meeting, featured speaker Rick Smith (Warnings Coordinator Meteorologist at NWS Norman) cannot do a storm spotter training session at the meeting.  However, he will still speak about working at the NWS and also do a Year In Review of major weather events in Oklahoma.  With regards to the November meeting, it is still a wait and see situation with possible speaker Kathy Sullivan.

The meeting was then adjourned. The next meeting will be held at the Student Leadership Room in the National Weather Center, on Tuesday, October 4th.

September 13th, 2011

This meeting was held at the National Weather Center, in Room 1313.  This meeting opened with a majority of members approving a revised OUSCAMS Constitution.  Following that, there were several announcements.  Pat Hyland reminded everyone again about the upcoming visits to Norman Public Schools to pursue funding for a weather museum in Norman.  Addison Alford reminded everyone that OUSCAMS polos will be available for purchase.  Kaitlyn Smolernoff, Student Volunteer Coordinator for the National Weather Festival, encouraged everyone to volunteer for that event, which will occur on October 29th.  Lauren Duhon reminded everyone that there are openings for those who wish to work on the OUSCAMS web and media committee.  Finally, Emily Thompson reminded everyone to email her if they participate in other School of Meteorology organizations and want incentive points for participating in those organizations.

Following these announcements, Dr. Petra Klein took the stage to speak about study abroad opportunities.  She is the coordinator of the School of Meteorology European Exchange Program.  According to her, there are many reasons to study abroad, including broadening your horizons, learning foreign languages, making friends, travelling, learning about weather in other parts of the world, studying the global issues of atmospheric sciences, networking, and learning to live and working in a culturally diverse environment.  OU Meteorology offers three study abroad programs: one each in Reading, England; Hamburg, Germany; and Monash, Australia.  All of the programs match up with courses taught at OU, allowing study abroad students to graduate on time.  All study abroad programs take place during the Spring Semester of a student’s Junior Year.  All study abroad students enroll in 12 INTL hours and remain OU students, and therefore pay OU tuition.

Dr. Klein then talked in detail about the program at Reading, England.  Reading is a large town located 40 miles west of London with an excellent public transportation system then allows students to visit London pretty much whenever they want.  The University of Reading has an excellent meteorology program and a beautiful campus.  The campus is 300 acres, and is located close to the Reading town centre.  Teaching at Reading is divided into three 10-week terms, and students take classes in Spring and Summer terms.  Most study abroad students stay in the residence halls while at Reading.  The School of Meteorology Reading Coordinator is Dr. Pete Lamb.  Recent OU Students at Reading include Nathalie Daab, Stacey Hitchcock, and Nathan New.  Current Reading Students at OU are Chelsey Cooper, Thomas Crabtree, Rebecca Emerton, David Flack, William Hall, Anne Hickey, and William Manslaka.

Dr. Klein then talked in detail about the program at Monash, Australia.  The University of Monash is ranked in the top 50 universities in the world.  It has Australia’s largest campus, and has a strong focus on international exchange with the student body being 30% international students.  Meteorology courses at Monash are part of the Mathematical Sciences department, with METR courses also offered in the Geography and Environmental Sciences department.  Classes at Monash start around March 1st, which is known as the Fall Semester there since Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere.  Study abroad students need to be at Monash two weeks before classes start.  The School of Meteorology Coordinator for Monash is Dr. Fred Carr.  Lindsay Maudlin was the last OU student to study abroad at Monash, and there are currently no Monash students at OU.

Dr. Klein then talked in detail about the program at Hamburg, Germany.  Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city.  It is a harbor city, and has a great public transportation network.  The University of Hamburg is an urban campus located in walking distance to the city centre.  It is Germany’s fifth largest university and one of the European centers for Atmospheric Research.  The Max-Lank Institute for Meteorology, which is a major research center, is located on campus.  Classes at Hamburg typically start around April 1st and go until July 15th.  Classes are typically taught in Germany, but prospective students shouldn’t be scared by that, as the School of Meteorology has funds available to support intensive language courses that students will take at a top language school from January-March prior to classes starting at Hamburg.  In addition, once classes start, English-speaking tutors will be available.  Finally, students from other European countries will be in the same boat.  The School of Meteorology Coordinator for Hamburg is Dr. Klein herself.  Recent OU students at Hamburg include Genna Langum and Natalye Lahart.  Current Hamburg students at OU are Friedrich Richter, Jobst Muesse, Thilo Janssen, and Tobias Becker.

Finally, Dr. Klein talked about the study abroad application process.  Prospective students must have a 3.0 GPA and must have passed the Intro to Meteorology sequence with grades of a B or better.  In addition, prospective students must contact the faculty liaison of their chosen program and send this person an email before September 23rd.  Prospective students must attach their OU transcript, a brief statement of why they want to go, and two personal references.  Students must then complete a questionnaire, get two letters of recommendation from OU faculty members or instructors, and also must have a scan of their passport photo page.

After Dr. Klein left the stage, all OU students who went to Reading, Monash, or Hamburg last spring made a personal presentation of their experiences at those schools.  In addition, the Reading and Hamburg students who are currently at OU made their own presentations about their schools.  The meeting was then adjourned.---Emily Thompson.



September 2011 


Activity: Beach Day


On September 5th, some of our members got together to spend a relaxing day at Buyé Beach, one of the island’s beautiful beaches located in Cabo Rojo, a picturesque town in the southwest corner of Puerto Rico. They enjoyed the fair weather while playing volleyball and barbecuing.


Activity: Chapter Propaganda

On September 6, we hosted a booth with meteorology-related demonstrations and information about our chapter at the UPRM Student Center. In addition, we announced the 6th General Assembly through the UPRM email service and other off-campus social networks. We posted eye-catching flyers on school buildings to promote the chapter, and talked to students in the freshman orientation courses. 


Monthly Meeting


The monthly meeting was held on September 8, at 10:45 am. A total of 26 active members attended. The chapter officers summarized past activities as usual and discussed future events, such as the 6th General Assembly and the 6th Initiation. Also, community outreach, fundraising, social, and professional activities were discussed. The officers reemphasized the importance of team-effort and the members’ participation in the activities for the accomplishment of the chapter’s goals. 


Activity: 6th General Assembly


Our 6th General Assembly was held on September 13 at the UPRM Student Center. A total of 18 active members and 18 potential members attended the activity. The opening was a weather briefing offered by one of our active members. Afterwards, the chapter officers gave a motivating presentation about the chapter’s history, mission, and endeavors. They also explained how to join AMS and the chapter. Pictures from previous activities were shown and described to the audience so that the potential members could see our chapter in action. The activity was closed by a round of weather-related demonstrations, which even featured the enthusiastic participation of some of the prospective members. 

Figure 1. Potential chapter members participate of the weather-related demonstrations during the 6th General Assembly.


Activity: Beach Cleanup


Having recognized our responsibility to the community and the environment, we aim to support the efforts to preserve our natural resources. On September 17, we joined the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup, the largest one-day global volunteer effort to keep coastlines, rivers, inland water resources and other waterways trash-free. Our members joined the cleanup of Montones Beach and Jobos Beach at Isabela, a municipality located in the northwestern region of the island. We collected a total of 550 items, including bags (paper/plastic), beverage bottles (plastic/glass), cans, caps, food wrappers/containers, straws, cups, clothing, shoes, ropes, cigarettes and others.

Figure 2. Some of our members carry the waste collected during the Beach Cleanup.  


Activity: Opportunities and Internships in the Earth Sciences


Rebecca Haacker-Santos, deputy director of the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program, kindly joined us on September 20 to talk about advantageous student opportunities in the Earth Sciences. Five students prepared presentations about their participation in some of these opportunities and also explained their focus and eligibility requirements.  The presentations included the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) High School Internship and Research Opportunities (HIRO) program, the SOARS program, Research Experience in Solid Earth Science for Students (RESESS), the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes (CMMAP) summer internship program, and the NCAR Undergraduate Leadership Workshop. Afterwards, the 39 attendees joined our special guest and the other presenters for a more informal gathering over refreshments.

Activity: UPRM College of Arts and Sciences Open House


Our chapter was cordially invited to participate in the UPRM College of Arts and Sciences Open House during the morning of September 29, as part of the celebration of the 100-year anniversary of UPRM. Students from two elementary schools and two high schools from the Mayagüez area learned about the weather through our hands-on activities and demonstrations. 


Activity: Movie Night


Thirteen members attended the first activity of the academic year organized by the Weather Today committee. On September 29, the attendees socialized with each other and enjoyed watching the 2004 film The Day after Tomorrow over refreshments.  


Activity: Hot Dog Sales


Our traditional hot dog sales were held on September 12, 19 and 26 as part of the intensive fundraising efforts to support our endeavors.




Broadcast Panel of Specialists


 September 22nd, 2011 at 7:00 PM


University of South Florida

Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, Room 1051

4202 E. Fowler Ave

Tampa, FL 33620



 Meteorologists Steve Jerve  (WFLA), Andy Johnson (WTVT), and Bobby Deskins (WTSP)

Photo Credit: Matt Bolton


Mr. Steve Jerve is the Chief Meteorologist at WFLA, where he has worked since 1998 after numerous stops across the country. He got his degree in Meteorology from Jackson State University. He holds the CBM Seal of Approval from the AMS, and  won an Emmy Award in 1996 while working as Chief Meteorologist at KDNL in St. Louis.

Mr. Andy Johnson has been a meteorologist at WTVT since 1979, shortly after he graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Meteorology. He served 18 years as president of the West Central Florida AMS Chapter, and is proud to be among a select few with both CBM and CCM certifications.


Mr. Bobby Deskins is a meteorologist at WTSP. He  has a degree in Engineering Technology from the College of Southern Maryland, a degree in Geography from UNC-Wilmington, a degree in Geosciences from Mississippi State, and completed the Broadcast Meteorology program at Mississippi State. He holds the CBM Sea of Approval from the AMS, and has won an Associated Press award for Best Weathercast.


The focus of this meeting was a panel of local broadcast meteorologists. The three meteorologists were asked questions regarding the active 2011 hurricane season, recent weather-related tragedies and the impact social media has had on reporting, among other things. The meteorologists took turns, and in some cases went back and forth in conversation with each other, to answer the various questions. Dr. Jennifer Collins (Associate Professor, University of South Florida) and Brian LaMarre (Meteorologist in Charge, NWS Tampa Bay Area Office) hosted the event.

When asked about the lack of a hurricane-related threat to Florida, WTVT meteorologist Andy Johnson replied, "There’s been a lot of dry air and a lot of shear. I think one of the main factors, which we saw early on back in May, was the development of a higher than normal pressure level across Texas, which led to the drought and fires. In a way, that caused the East Coast trough to amplify, and that is the main reason we haven’t seen the storms".

Moderator Brian LaMarre spoke of an assessment recently released by the National Weather Service ( that included best practices the offices provide, but also said there could be better ways to communicate warnings to the public. The report focused on the May 22 Joplin, Mo., tornado that killed 159 people and said the public is becoming more desensitized the more they issue warnings.

“That is the tricky part, the complacency,” said Bobby Deskins of WTSP. “I come from North Carolina, and in my earlier broadcasting experience, we would go on air for severe thunderstorm warnings. Down here we don’t do that, and for the most part if it’s a tornado warning, we go on air. That right there is a whole lot better because otherwise it just gets over and over and people don’t take it seriously.”

Also, audience member Alan Archer, president of the Continental Weather Corporation, was concerned that members of the community, namely college students, do not pay enough attention to weather alerts. He worries there is not enough coverage. “If the weather service issues a warning on the weekend, 95 percent of the radio stations in any given city don’t have anyone there, it’s all voice tracks,” he said. "Meaning the person that sat down at a computer on Friday afternoon read liners into automation and you think you’re hearing the person live, but there’s no one there.”

Steve Jerve, of WFLA, explained that social media has changed the way broadcast meteorologists report on the weather. “Social media has blown up. For us, it’s quite a phenomenon to watch,” he said. “People are engaged in social media of all ages and it’s where people are. You can find a lot of information on Twitter and watch it on your phone. Phones are just transforming everything. You can put pictures or video on there even before the networks have it.”  

Dr. Jennifer Collins provided some weather trivia for the audience before the panel kicked off. One question asked members to think about what anniversary the chapter was celebrating this year. The answer is the “50th anniversary”. Overall the meeting was both highly attended and well received, as such future broadcast meteorologist panel events are being considered.

A group photo op with the panel members (Photo Credit: Brian LaMarre)

Chapter Officers (standing) from L-R: Tom Walsh, Brian LaMarre, Nicole Carlisle, Dr. Jennifer Collins, Matt Bolton, and David Roache  

Panel members, from L-R: Steve Jerve, Andy Johnson, and Bobby Deskins

 (Photo Credit: Brian LaMarre)




The Chapter's account balance as

of September 22nd, 2011 is $419.07.




The meeting was co-sponsored by the Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning at the University of South Florida. We had an outstanding turnout, with a total of 76 AMS members, USF students from a variety of disciplines, and members of the weather community and public in attendance. The Chapter also tested live video streaming for the first time. The meeting can be found online here: In the future, we hope to reach out to other AMS Chapters, and engage them in our meetings remotely via streaming. Any Chapters that would like to participate remotely in future meetings can contact Recording Secretary Matt Bolton, as participation would need to be coordinated with WCFLAMS. More information about future meetings is available on the Chapter's website at Roache, Matt Bolton, and Jennifer Collins with contributions from Rebecca Forman.





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