Early Career Leadership Academy


What is the Early Career Leadership Academy?

The American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Early Career Leadership Academy (ECLA) aims to build and sustain a diverse network of early career leaders in weather, water, and climate science. ECLA will bring together a select group of early career individuals—in particular, women and underrepresented minorities—for an immersion experience in leadership, such as creative problem-solving, conflict resolution, building trust, and enhancing communication skills. We seek early career individuals from a wide range of professions, interests, perspectives, cultures, and experiences.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

AMS defines early career scientists as follows:

Early career is nominally taken to include scientists who are within 10 years of having earned their highest graduate degree or within 15 years of having earned their baccalaureate, whichever is greater. Consideration will also be given, however, to those who are still in the early stage of their careers but have seen these interrupted for up to 5–10 years by family leaves, military service, and the like.

Each year, the AMS selects a small group of early career professionals to participate in the Academy. All eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • qualify as “early career” as defined by the AMS,
  • be a member of the AMS, and
  • work in the weather, water, or climate science enterprise, including education and policy.

Consideration will be given to applicants who have volunteered their time and service to any AMS board, committee, or panel.

What Should the Participants Expect?

ECLA is an invigorating professional development experience built around emerging trends in weather, water, and climate science enterprise that will shape the future of professions. Topics that will be covered include workplace issues, crisis management, building trust, conflict resolution, communication, key societal trends, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Participants will take leadership assessments to identify their unique strengths and construct their own personal leadership style.

Participants will develop new analytical lenses, systems thinking skills, and skills to deal with differences and diversity when making decisions that affect weather, water, and climate.

After graduation, participants will

  • benefit from expanded knowledge,
  • enjoy a high-quality network of peers and mentors, and
  • clarify how they and their organizations will drive change.

Timeline of ECLA 2023 

Friday, February 3, 2023

ECLA Application Deadline

Friday, February 24, 2023

2023 ECLA Class Chosen

Monday,  February 27, 2023

2023 ECLA Class Notified

Wednesday, March 23, 2023

Orientation Webinar

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Leadership Webinar #1

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Leadership Webinar #2

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Leadership Webinar #3

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Leadership Webinar #4

Wednesday June 21—Friday June 23, 2023 In-Person Meeting


All accepted participants are required to attend all online webinars, peer mentoring calls, and the in-person meeting.


All webinars will take place virtually on Zoom and start at 2:00pm ET.  The orientation webinar will last 60 minutes and all four leadership webinars will last 90 minutes.  Monthly peer mentoring calls will take place in small groups in March, April, and May, and the days and times of each of those calls will be determined by each assigned group.


All participants are expected to provide their own funding for attending the in-person meeting.  There may be a limited number of need-based partial travel scholarships made available to selected applicants if funding becomes available. 


The Early Career Leadership Academy will take place June 21-23, 2023 in Phoenix, AZ.


If you have any questions about the Early Career Leadership Academy, please contact Elyse SmithMaria Molina, or Travis Washington.