Professional societies are an essential component of a discipline’s infrastructure. They represent and promote a discipline in ways not possible by individuals or by academic, governmental, or private sector entities. Professional societies are facing new challenges as they operate in an environment undergoing rapid change. Concerns about the environmental footprint of traditional conferences are forcing professional societies to rethink meeting formats. The rise of interdisciplinary science is pushing discipline-based societies to refocus their activities and broaden their mission. Professional societies are responding to calls for greater advocacy for their disciplines, as well as advocacy to tackle global issues. Changes in the delivery of scholarship challenge the business models of professional societies. Overlaid on this dynamic environment are the immediate challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The volunteer-centric philosophy of the AMS gives it a “leg up” in turning challenges into opportunities. Thousands of AMS members have contributed their knowledge, skills, and creativity to advancing the AMS mission. As Education and Human Resources Commissioner, I observed innumerable initiatives originating from members that, with the support of AMS leadership and staff, became successful, long-term programs addressing members’ needs. Continuing volunteerism coupled with a reexamination of members’ needs and priorities is essential for the AMS to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, to evolve in response to changing circumstances and expectations, and to become more reflective of societal and global diversity.
I view the AMS presidency as a vehicle to help focus AMS’s incredible volunteerism to minimize the immediate and lingering disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the AMS and on vulnerable members, such as students and early career professionals, while continuing to increase the AMS’s nimbleness to navigate the changing expectations of professional societies. If elected, I pledge to work closely with members and staff to gather our collective creativity and energy to turn challenges into opportunities. Thank you for your consideration.
Julie Winkler is a Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences at Michigan State University. She received her B.S. degree in geography from the University of North Dakota, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geography from the University of Minnesota. As a PhD student, she was a CIC Visiting Scholar in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her early career experiences include a National Research Council Research Associateship at the NWS Techniques Development Laboratory.
Winkler has authored or coauthored more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles. Her research focuses on applied climatology, synoptic climatology, climate variability and change, and the agricultural and ecological impacts of climate change. She has also published on the status of women in academia.
Winkler -- a Fellow of the AMS – served for six years as the AMS Commissioner for Education and Human Resources, supporting the activities of the Board on Higher Education, Board on Women and Minorities, and Board on Outreach and Pre-College Education. She later served as AMS Planning Commissioner, leading a review of the progress toward implementation of the AMS strategic planning goals. She was honored with the Charles Franklin Brooks Award for outstanding service to the AMS. Winkler is also a Fellow of the American Association of Geographers and is a Past-President of that organization.
She has served as an editor of the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, and associate editor of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Science Advances, and, currently, Frontiers in Water. Other service includes membership on the NOAA Science Advisory Board Environmental Information Services Working Group, coordinator of the Midwest Technical Input Team for the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, and jury member for the Climate Change Prize of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards. Winkler recently received the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award at Michigan State University.