There are almost 12,000 of us who commit ourselves to membership of this great Society. With increased membership comes increased responsibility to nurture and respect diverse needs and perspectives. While co-chairing the AMS 2022 annual meeting, I saw this firsthand. For example, a virtual meeting provided unique opportunities for inclusivity and health protection while missing in-person diminished networking opportunities, especially for students and early career professionals, and for some caused feelings of isolation. Our biggest challenge is addressing the diverse needs of our membership while maintaining a vibrant, financially stable, scientific organization.
The pandemic provided a profound reflection on the value of our organization. It taught us that we need to modernize our approaches to communication and meetings. If we can listen to that webinar from the comfort of our home couch, then why attend an annual meeting? The answer, in part, is to ensure we're nurturing a sense of community and creating meaningful engagement opportunities.
As part of the Future of Meetings Committee, we've discussed these topics proposing that in addition to scientific presentations, which are often needed for employer approval to attend, perhaps there are interactive sessions such as codathons, data visualization challenges, and more exercises with emergency managers, as examples. What's more is that we need to find ways to offer these engagement opportunities beyond the Annual Meeting allowing members to participate who may not always have the ability to attend our annual meetings. We hear from many early career professionals, for example, that their employer prioritizes sending late career vs early career employees to the annual meeting.
Our diverse membership is the AMS. We are the organization. As a councilor, I will listen and represent member needs and help modernize our meaningful engagement opportunities while balancing the financial needs of our AMS.
Dr. Gina Eosco is the Weather Program Office’s (WPO) Division Chief for Science, Technology, and Society overseeing an interdisciplinary set of WPO programs including the Testbed and Vortex Program, Joint Technology Transfer Initiative, and the Social Science Program. For the last 6 years, she led the development and expansive growth of WPO’s Social Science Program (SSP) from inception to a 6 member team supporting $20 million in research and development projects. As an interdisciplinary social scientist, Gina focuses on the human dimensions of weather science, forecasts, and services ensuring that people, including researchers, operational meteorologists, partners, and publics, are part of the research and application process.
She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in weather risk communication from Cornell University, and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland.
Gina has been very active with the AMS over the last 15 years. She most recently co-chaired the 2021 Annual Meeting helping to oversee the difficult switch from in person to virtual. She is most proud of her earlier work in advocating for early career professionals including graduate students and creating the Early Career Networking Reception hosted at the annual meeting every year. She is most passionate about embedding social science in the weather enterprise and overcoming obstacles to communicating risk. She frequently presents and organizes sessions in partnership with the Societal Applications Symposium.
A Boston native now living in Maryland with her husband, Gina enjoys playing her flute, cake decorating, spending time outside, hoping for snow, and looking for the neighborhood owl.