Meeting of the Council

4 January 2001

Albuquerque, NM


President Kimpel called the Council to order at 8:10 a.m. on 14 January.

Present: President Kimpel; President-Elect Serafin; Past-Presidents Frederick and Rasmusson; Councilors Brown, Hayes, Wallace, Emanuel, Leetmaa, MacCready, Uccellini, Wood, Atlas, Fein, Glackin, Lyons, Schlatter; Commissioners Avery, Ban, Hosler, Rosen, Schubert; Executive Director McPherson; Secretary–Treasurer Spengler; Recorders Seitter and Annese.

1. Introduction

After the role call, President Kimpel welcomed the new Council members and reviewed the planned agenda for the meeting, noting a few changes in the order of topics.

2. Minutes of the Council

It was noted that the minutes for all prior meetings had been approved and no additional action was necessary.

3. STAC Commission Report

Commissioner Rosen briefed the Council on the activities of a number of the committees in the STAC Commission, including experiments by some committees in new formats for their conferences. He alerted the Council that the Committee on the Meteorology and Oceanography of the Coastal Zone was working toward a change in name and mission statement that better included the role of hydrology. Rosen also discussed the impact on the recent format change for the annual meeting on the STAC conferences, which will now more frequently meet separate from the annual meeting. There was some discussion of the need to increase the role of the STAC committees in the planning of the interdisciplinary symposia associated with the annual meeting in the new format.

With Rosen assuming the role of President-Elect, the Council voted to appoint Bradley Colman as the STAC Commissioner for a three-year term ending January 2004. President Kimpel led the Council in expressing its appreciation to Rosen for five years as STAC Commissioner.

4. Publications Commission Report

Commissioner Schubert reviewed for the Council the current editorial boards for all AMS journals. No appointments were needed at this time. Schubert then highlighted an editorial appearing in all the journals for their first issue of 2001 that announced that the legacy project was essentially complete, the acceptance of manuscripts in electronic form for the peer-review process and that electronic supplements to journal articles were being encouraged. The editorial also announced the transition of Joe Klemp to Publications Commissioner. There was some discussion of the load on volunteer editors, with Schubert feeling that the current level was about right for most journals.

President Kimpel led the Council in expressing its appreciation to Schubert for three years of service as Commissioner.

5. Education and Human Resources Commission Report

Commissioner Avery briefed the Council on only a few minor changes in her report compared to that presented at the September Council meeting. She then reviewed the Heads and Chairs meeting that had occurred in October and reported that it had been very successful.

6. Professional Affairs Commission Report

Commissioner Ban presented an end-of-year report that highlighted a few areas. The Broadcast Committee continued to process a large number of Seal applications. The amended procedures approved by the Council at its September meeting were expected to streamline the process without impacting the quality of the evaluation. The Private Sector Board had a very active year culminating with a Private Sector Town Meeting at the Annual Meeting. The Board on Operational Government Meteorologists has been increasing its activity, as has the Board on Continuing Education. Fewer CCM applications than usual were submitted this year, and the CCM Board has been working toward increasing the visibility of this program. The Ad Hoc Committee on Recertification has been looking at procedures for maintaining the CCM and Seal through continuing education, and should be completing a report to the Council this year.

7. Planning Commission Report

Commissioner Hosler reported that he has been very pleased with the follow-up that has occurred within the Council and by the staff on the Ten-Year Vision Study. He felt the implementation has been progressing very effectively.

President Kimpel led the Council in expressing its appreciation to Hosler for six years of service as Commissioner, and welcomed Past-President Rasmusson as the new Commissioner.

8. AMS facilities

Councilor Hayes, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on AMS Facilities, provided a brief report as follow-up to the extended briefing provided to the Council at its September meeting. There was some discussion on the relative roles of the Boston and Washington DC offices and Executive Director McPherson briefed the Council on plans to relocate the Washington office to a larger facility very close to the current location.

A motion was offered to accept the committee’s recommendation to renovate the AMS Headquarters at 45 Beacon Street in a manner consistent with that outlined in the architect’s report included in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on AMS Facilities, with the awareness that the cost was likely to significantly exceed the initial estimates provided. The motion carried unanimously.

The financing of the renovations was discussed and several options were mentioned in addition to the use of the building fund portion of the AMS Reserve Fund. Executive Director McPherson reported that a joint meeting of the Investments Committee, Development Committee, and Executive Committee was planned for March to talk about a number of long-range financial issues associated with the Society and the funding of the renovation would now be added to that list.

9. Introduction of AMS staff

A number of senior AMS staff were present for the meeting and McPherson took the opportunity to introduce them to the Council.

10. Journal production now and in the future

Director of Publications Heideman briefed the Council on the current status of the AMS journals, including the current production time, the Web PTA, the Journals Online Issue Notification (JOIN), and a new unified manuscript tracking system for the volunteer editors. There was some extended discussion on the production time in which the Council acknowledged the significant progress that had been made in recent months but also pointed out that much more was needed before all the journals met the 150-day goal for production.

Deputy Executive Director Seitter provided a briefing on the role played by Standard Generalized Mark-up Language (SGML) in the AMS journals and how careful implementation of SGML for the journals has allowed the effective exploitation of the Web by the AMS Journals Online.

11. Presentation by the AMS K–12 Education Program

Director of AMS Education Programs Geer, along with other AMS staff and several teachers that have been part of the AMS programs, provided a broad overview of the excellent work that has been done in a variety of AMS precollege and college-level programs over the past ten years. The Council expressed its enthusiasm for the programs and congratulations to all those involved.

The Council recessed for lunch, 12:05 p.m.–1:35 p.m.

12. Journal production now and in the future, continued

Seitter completed the briefing (see item 10) on how the production process for the AMS journals was likely to evolve to allow better use of the authors’ electronic files in the creation of the SGML database. The role of the author in preparing his or her manuscript according to AMS guidelines was discussed at length, with the recommendation that more effort be placed on ensuring that authors follow those guidelines before the manuscript is accepted for publication.

13. AMS Statements

John Snow, chair of the drafting committee for the statement on Expectations Concerning Media Performance during Severe Weather Emergencies, briefed the Council on changes in the current draft compared to prior ones reviewed by the Council, as well as the extensive vetting process used for this statement. The Council voted to approve the statement with very minor editorial changes provided during the discussion.

Council Wallace briefed the Council on the statement on Seasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction, which had been modified in response to comments on the previous draft reviewed by the Council. After discussion of a number of editorial changes, the Council voted to approve the statement with those changes.

Councilor Uccellini led a discussion on the draft statement on Probabilistic Forecasting. After considerable discussion the consensus was that this statement was not ready for approval. Councilor Glackin agreed to serve as Council facilitator for the statement and to bring a revised version to the Council soon.

14. Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF)

Executive Director McPherson briefed the Council on a request by CNSF, of which AMS is a member organization, to have AMS join many other societies as a signatory to a letter to the administration supporting a doubling of the NSF budget. The Council voted to approve the request.

15. Ad Policy for the Bulletin

Executive Director McPherson asked the Council to approve a formal ad policy for the Bulletin that could serve as guidance for the new editor-in-chief. The Council voted to approve the policy.

16. Special Initiatives

With the Special Initiatives portion of the budget funded from income earned by the reserve fund, and with the equity portion of the reserves experiencing a net capital loss for 2000, the budget approved by the Council in September needed to be adjusted downward. The Council discussed several adjustments to specific line items that in total adjusted the Special Initiative budget downward by $80,000 and voted to approve those adjustments.

17. Commissioner discretionary funds

At the request of the Council at its September meeting, the staff had prepared a plan that would provide discretionary funds of $2500 annually to each Commissioner except publications to allow partial funding for travel to committee and board members to attend meetings (travel for Publications Commission members for their June meeting being handled separately). The Council voted to approve the plan.

18. Named symposia

Commissioner Rosen briefed the Council on two proposals for named symposia to be held in conjunction with the 2002 annual meeting, one in honor of Richard Reed and the other in honor of David Atlas. After some discussion of the need to ensure coordination of the two symposia so that they did not conflict with each other, the Council vote to approve both.

Past-President Frederick suggested that the named symposium process, which is in essence an award from the Society, be incorporated into the regular awards procedures with proposals due 1 May in accordance with the awards deadlines and with proposals passing through the Awards Oversight Committee before being forwarded to the Executive Committee and Council. The Council voted to approve this modification in the procedures for named symposia immediately.

19. Annual meeting schedule

Concern was expressed by the scheduling of the current annual meeting in the week of the Martin Luther King holiday. Executive Director McPherson stated that previous guidance from the Council had been to try to avoid scheduling in this week, but had not prohibited it in cases where excellent opportunities for good venues at attractive rates were available. He went through the list of upcoming annual meting dates and locations through 2007, noting that the 2006 meeting was tentatively scheduled during the week of the holiday, but not with a binding contract, and 2007 was scheduled for that week with a binding contract. All other dates avoided the holiday. The Council asked that the 2006 meeting be renegotiated if possible and that future annual meetings not be scheduled on the week of the holiday. It also asked that thought be given to ways in which the impact of the holiday on the 2007 meeting could be minimized.

20. Honorary Members

President Kimpel asked the Council members to begin thinking of individuals worthy of honorary Member status and provide suggestions to 2001 President Serafin so that the Executive Committee could begin creating a list of nominations at its spring meeting.

21. AMS Development Program

Executive Director McPherson briefed the Council on the new AMS 21st Century Campaign being kicked off at this meeting. This new development program will encourage giving in support of four broad program areas: public awareness, education (both collegiate and precollege), history of the atmospheric and related sciences, and the Atmospheric Policy Program.

22. Transition Documents

Associate Director of the Atmospheric Policy Program Hooke reported to the Council on the status of two documents being provided to the incoming administration and congress. One, which included a large list of signatory organizations, deals with natural hazards in a broad context, and the other, signed by AMS and UCAR, focuses more directly on the atmospheric and related sciences. Both are being broadly distributed.

23. Closing remarks by the President

President Kimpel thanked the outgoing Council members for their service and reminded incoming Council members of the brief meeting of the new Council that takes place immediately after the annual business meeting.

The Council adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

President Serafin called the Council to order at 6:05 p.m., noted those present and declared a quorum.

On the motion of President Serafin, the Council voted to elect Councilor Anne Thompson to the Executive Committee for the 2001-2003 period.

Thus, the Executive Committee for 2001 will consist of President Serafin, President-Elect Rosen, Past Presidents Kimpel and Frederick, Councilors Glackin and Thompson, Secretary–Treasurer Spengler, and Executive Director McPherson.

The Council will next meet in Boston, tentatively scheduled for 3–4 October 2001.

The Council adjourned at 6:10 p.m.