As AMS approaches its centenary, we have a marvelous opportunity to reflect on our achievements and our values, and to propel a vibrant society into its next century of service to our community and to society.
In the twenty-first century, AMS has expanded its reach beyond meteorology. This modern AMS community is a solid foundation of practitioners and researchers ready to tackle problems of critical societal importance and complexity—problems that require collaboration among many different types of experts and new ways of looking at the issues at hand. Meteorology has always been a big data science, and twenty-first-century challenges, such as building a more secure national infrastructure that accounts for societal demands and vulnerabilities to weather and climate, inspire us to create new solutions, many of which build on “big data,” modeling, and effective communication. Continued growth and diversification of a knowledgeable and adaptable next generation of professionals will be critical to developing the tools needed to make opportunity of these challenges.
I believe AMS should take a leadership role in building a vision for this “system of systems” future. Initiatives such as community model development, advanced assimilation techniques, new data platforms, and new ways of sharing data (such as EarthCube) are the beginning. Creating new approaches to mining this information to create useable knowledge, and new modes of communication, such as complex computer game “worlds” to fire imaginations and enthusiasm for science and society, are some of the opportunities in our collective future.
Contributions from all facets of the weather enterprise will be essential to advancing the AMS mission and impact. I would be honored to lead AMS as we embark on our second century of new opportunities and adventure.
Jenni L. Evans is a professor in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at Penn State (PSU) and director of PSU’s Institute for CyberScience (ICS). ICS serves as the nexus of cyber-enabled research and high-performance computing at PSU, with 21 ICS tenure-track faculty, 31 professional staff, and over 200 affiliated faculty. Evans received her degrees in applied mathematics (B.Sc. Honors, 1984; Ph.D., 1990) from Monash University. Her early research experiences included experimental fluid dynamics and planetary boundary layer observations, as well as spending 18 months at the Naval Postgraduate School (Monterey) and NASA Ames Supercomputing. Evans was a research scientist at CSIRO Atmospheric Research prior to arriving at PSU Meteorology in 1992. In the years since, Evans has held many roles at PSU, including being interim director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and acting director of PSU’s Institutes for Energy and the Environment, before taking up her position as director of the Institute for CyberScience. These experiences have given her a broad perspective on interdisciplinary research involving the Earth sciences, as well as applications of high-performance computing in fields including nanomaterials, cyber law, astrophysics and political science, among many others. This broad perspective is ideal for leadership in the expanding role of the AMS as a nexus between the meteorology community and the wider research and policy communities.
Evans is a Fellow of AMS and was a councilor from 2005 to 2008. She has also served AMS as member and chair of Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones Committee and the Nominations Committee for President and Councilors; as a member of the BAMS Editorial Board; as Monthly Weather Review editor; and on the Awards and Fellows Nominations Committee.
Among her many other activities, Evans served on the US Army Science Team for Relocating their Tropical Test Facility from Panama, NSF panel reviewing UCAR management of NCAR, the Science Steering Committees for both the US Weather Research Program (USWRP) and THORPEX/T PARC, cochaired the 8th WMO International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones, and currently serves on the NSF EarthCube Advisory Group. She coauthored Introduction to Tropical Meteorology (COMET) and has authored or coauthored 3 peer-reviewed book chapters and more than 50 journal articles.