Early Career Leadership Academy

What is the Early Career Leadership Academy?

ECLA 2023 in Phoenix, AZ. Participants, planning committee, and UNEION (UCAR|NCAR Equity and Inclusion) facilitators

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,
  • and work in the weather, water, or climate science enterprise, including education and policy.

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 2024 

Sunday, February 11, 2024

11:59pm Pacific Time

ECLA Application Deadline

Thursday, February 29, 2024

2024 ECLA Class Chosen

Monday, March 4, 2024

2024 ECLA Class Notified

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Orientation Webinar (60 Minutes)

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Leadership Webinar #1 (90minutes)

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Leadership Webinar #2 (90minutes)

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Leadership Webinar #3 (90minutes)

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Leadership Webinar #4 (90minutes)

Tuesday, June 11 to Thursday, June 13, 2024 In-Person Meeting (Myrtle Beach, SC)


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 and registration fee waivers made available to selected applicants if funding becomes available. The ECLA registration fee is $175.


The Early Career Leadership Academy will take place June 11-13, 2024 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.


If you have any questions about the Early Career Leadership Academy, please contact Mike Augustyniak, Travis Washington, Elyse Smith, or Alex Morrison