The American Meteorological Society has a long and rich history in curating the atmospheric sciences through activities deeply rooted in the core principals of the scientific process. This foundation has given rise to the AMS and its institutions representing and serving our science with integrity beyond reproach. This includes our policies, publications, meetings and operations. As a result, the Society has become widely recognized as the world’s leading institution serving the atmospheric and related sciences.
The core foundations of the AMS must remain central to the Society as it evolves to meet the needs and challenges of a rapidly evolving scientific, technical and societal environment in which it functions and serves. While there are numerous challenges that the Society must address to ensure its continued leadership, there are two particular challenges that I will be interested in addressing if elected to Councilor.
The first challenge is ensuring the Society adequately represents and serves a rapidly diversifying set of adjacent professionals that are not foremost atmospheric scientists but are closely working within or other affiliated with community. Of particular interest are the technical, business and government practitioners that are often reducing to practice the fruits of our science in applications and decisions for society. They tend to join affiliate with our science adjacently rather than organically and hence tend not to be familiar with, participating in, or otherwise well-served by the AMS currently. While the AMS historically has supported hybrid-disciplines, this large and growing underserved community affiliated with our profession should be better incorporated into our Society. As a councilor, I would encourage the creation of ad hoc membership committees comprised partly of members from these underserved professionals to study, recommend and ultimately help incorporate them into the Society.
The second challenge has to do with effective political advocacy for and by our profession on critical societal scientific issues including climate change. The AMS is a scientific organization that seeks to properly represent the state of the science and its issues through statements, peer-reviewed publications and other means. However, for a number of valid reasons, the AMS does not engage in direct political advocacy. While there are a number of smaller organizations in our profession that do engage in advocacy, their scope and effectiveness is limited and as a result our science and its issues are not sufficiently represented in policy conversations. As a result, our science is not receiving fair and balanced representation in policy, funding and other government matters. While I do not advocate that the AMS become an advocacy organization, I do believe that the Society can do more to catalyze, foster and support such activities indirectly including through support or creation of ancillary organizations and activities that engage in advocacy. Many other sciences with similar profound direct impact on society (e.g. health and economics), have figured means to have such advocacy. As a councilor I will promote means by which our science can advocate for itself within the extent allowed by the charter of our Society. Doing so will indirectly support the AMS, and better serve our science and society.
Peter Neilley is Director of Weather Forecasting Sciences and Technologies for The Weather Company (TWC) division of IBM. He is responsible for a team of scientists and engineers that research, develop and deploy a broad portfolio of capabilities to drive all of the weather-related content used by the company, its partners and clients. Before joining TWC, Dr. Neilley was a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, pursuing research in mesoscale weather forecasting, terrain-induced turbulence, and applications of machine-learning for optimized forecasting. The latter work gave rise to the multi-model ensemble paradigm for weather forecasting in the that is still the basis of forecasts used by billions of people and businesses worldwide every day.
Dr. Neilley holds a B.S. in meteorology from McGill University, and S.M and Ph.D. degrees in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at McGill, he was named a University Scholar of Great Distinction. He was awarded the Jules Charney Memorial Scholarship at MIT. He has been active in community service including chair of the AMS Weather Analysis and Forecasting committee, a member of the AMS Board on Data Stewardship, the AMS Committee on Open Environmental Information Services, the AMS Undergraduate Curricula Committee, and the AMS Fellows Committee. In addition, he was a long-term member NOAA's Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG), co-chair of the UCAR Community Advisory Committee for NCEP (UCACN), member of the UCACN Modelling Advisory Committee (UMAC), member of the advisory boards for NCAR’s Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology and Education and Outreach divisions, the NSF Observing Facility Assessment Panel and the ad hoc community Forecast Improvement Group. He has also been or is a member of the advisory boards for the University of Oklahoma School of Geosciences, University of Lowell Department of Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry at Plymouth State University.
Dr. Neilley is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and an IBM Distinguished Engineer.