2021 Washington Forum Session Recordings

Monday, April 26

10:00 AM


Mahoney Lecture - The Ocean-Climate-Weather Nexus - Dr. Margaret Leinen

  • Moderator:  Dr. Keith Seitter, Executive Director, American Meteorological Society
  • Presenter:  Dr. Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego


12:00 PM


Call to Order, Forum Preview and AMS Commission on the Weather, Water and Climate Enterprise (CWWCE) Remarks

  • Presenters: Jennifer Sprague-Hilderbrand, National Weather Service & Douglas Hilderbrand, National Weather Service

Bring Your Own Breakfast/Lunch Keynote:  WH/OSTP Speaker

  • Moderator:  Dr. Keith Seitter, Executive Director, American Meteorological Society

  • Presenter: The Honorable Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Deputy Director for Climate and Environment, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President


1:15 PM


NOAA Leadership Keynote

  • Moderator: Jennifer Sprague-Hilderbrand, National Weather Service

  • Presenters: Ben Friedman, Deputy Under Secretary for Operations Performing the duties of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Dr. Steve Volz, Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observation & Prediction, Nicole LeBoeuf, National Ocean Service Acting Assistant Administrator, Craig McLean, Acting Chief Scientist, & Dr. Louis Uccellini, National Weather Service Assistant Administrator


2:30 PM


Session 1:  Addressing Our Wildland Fire Weather Needs

The panel will lay the groundwork for a community discussion around wildland fire weather user needs, research, development, services, societal risks, and social science.

  • Moderator: Bill Mahoney, Director, Research Applications Laboratory, NCAR

  • Presenters: Dr. Tim Brown, DRI, Director, Western Region Climate Center, Robyn Heffernan, NWS Fire Weather Science and Dissemination Meteorologist, Brian D-Agostino, Director of Fire Science & Climate Adaptation, San Diego Gas & Electric, & Nelson Bryner, Division Chief of the Fire Research Division (FRD) of the Engineering Laboratory, NIST


4:00 PM


Session 2:  An Update on the Latest Challenges and Opportunities in the Arctic

Discussion on how recent changes in the Arctic environment have affected policy,

research, and activities there, from multiple agency perspectives, to enable further

collaboration moving forward

  • Moderator: Dr. Shawn Miller, Raytheon Intelligence & Space

  • Presenters: Dr. Anjuli Bamzai, NSF, Senior Science Advisor, Geosciences, Dr. Andy Heidinger, Physical Scientist, NOAA Center For Satellite Applications and Research, Dr. Mike Sfraga, Director, Wilson Center Polar Institute & Ben DeAngelo, Deputy Director, Climate Program Office, NOAA


Tuesday, April 27

12:00 PM


Call to Order and Welcome from the AMS President 

  • Presenters: Jennifer Sprague-Hilderbrand, National Weather Service &  Dr. Michael Farrar, President, American Meteorological Society

Bring Your Own Breakfast/Lunch:  Budget, Appropriations and Policy Roundtable- featuring staff from the U.S. Senate and House, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

  • Moderator: Renee Leduc, Narayan Strategy, Washington, DC


1:30 PM


Weather Enterprise Keynote:  Social Networking, Working and Consuming Data

  • Moderator:  Dr. Yaitza Luna-Cruz, ADS at NASA Headquarters

  • Presenter: Dr. Mayra Oyola-Merced, Atmospheric and Ionospheric Scientist, Deputy Director of the International GNSS Service Central Bureau, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


2:25 PM


Session 3: Policy Impacts on Enterprise Value

Much of what we do and how we do it across the Enterprise is shaped by the NASEM Fair Weather Report of 2003, and the WRFIA Act of 2017 and follow-ons. In addition we work internationally within a WMO context. These three policy frameworks have also shaped the value of what we do. In what ways might they be updated or amended to add even more to our value? 

  • Moderator: Dr. William Hooke, American Meteorological Society

  • Note: In this session, participants “in the (virtual) room” will provide perspective on the 2003 Fair Weather Report, the 2017 Wx Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, and current WMO efforts to extend Resolution 40, along lines guided by the attached powerpoint. Some advance thought will make your contributions more effective.  Please download the Slide Deck here.


4:00 PM


Session 4: Data Commercialization (WMO)

A discussion on the changing landscape of weather climate observations.  Panelists will offer insight and perspective on topics including the purchase of observation from the private sector, data access, and data sharing.

  • Moderator: Erica Grow, Weather Elevate

  • Presenters: Professor Alan Thorpe, University of Reading, Dr. Sue Barrell, Chair, WMO Data Policy Review & Peter Platzer, CEO, Spire Global


Wednesday, April 28

12:00 PM


Call to Order and Welcome from the AMS President-Elect

  • Presenters: Jennifer Sprague-Hilderbrand, National Weather Service & Dr. Richard Clark, President-Elect, American Meteorological Society

Student Enterprise Keynote: Career Journey: Science, Policy, and Leadership

  • Moderator: Heidi Centola, The Weather Company, an IBM Business

  • Keynote: Dr. DaNa Carlis, NOAA Global Systems Laboratory, Deputy Director


1:15 PM


Weather Enterprise Keynote: Science Communication in Challenging Times

  • Moderator: Carmen Jenkins, IBSS Corporation

  • Keynote: Dr. Amanda Lynch, Lindemann Distinguished Professor of Environment and Society and Professor of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Brown University


2:15 PM


Session 5: Making Weather Water and Climate Programs Happen: Perspectives from Federal Agency Procurement Leaders

This panel will highlight procurement leaders from science agencies in the federal government. Federal procurement policies, sometimes across multiple agencies, are crucial to the success of weather, water and climate programs. The panelists from NOAA, NASA. DOI and DoD will speak about their agency's procurement priorities while also highlighting key factors that are crucial to success as a federal contractor on science projects. 

  • Moderator: John Cousins, Stennis Space Center, GDIT

  • Presenters: Jeffrey Thomas, Director, NOAA Acquisition and Grants Office, Nessa E. Hock, Maj USAF, Program Element Monitor (PEM) for Air Force Weather (HQ USAF/A3WR)


3:30 PM


Session 6: Energy Policy and Science in the Next Decade

This panel will examine the historical pattern of use of meteorological information in the planning and operations of US electric energy systems. Panellists will discuss examples of issues or missed opportunities caused by the limitations in the use of this information and then consider ways that meteorological information can be more tightly and effectively integrated into the policy-making and planning process for future electric system configurations. Ultimately, the panel will discuss how the meteorological community can most effectively facilitate the successful evolution and development of the New Energy Economy that is increasingly sensitive to weather and climate variations.

  • Moderator:  Dr. John Zack, MESO, Inc.

  • Presenters: Justin Sharp, Principal and Owner Sharply Focused, LLL, Mark Ahlstrom,VP, Renewable Energy Policy, NextEra Energy Resources & NextEra Analytics, Inc. and President, Energy Systems Integration Group, Julie Lundquist, Associate Professor, Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) & Fellow, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) University of Colorado Boulder, Stephen Rose, Research and Development Advisor, MISO, Adam Simkowski, Senior Analyst, MISO 

Special Announcement:  Hazard Simplification Update

This session will describe planned changes to NWS’ Watch, Warning and Advisory (WWA) system. Key to the changes, which will be implemented no earlier than 2024, will be removal of all WWA-based “Advisory” headlines in favor of clear, plain language, impact-based headlines. This decision was based on years of social science research that documented public confusion about the meaning of “Advisory”. The change will also support emergency managers by aligning with the Prepare (Watch) and Act (Warning) paradigm they use.

  • Presenters: Eli Jacks, Chief, Forecast Services Division, National Weather Service & Dr. Danielle Nagele, Senior Project Advisor

Closing Remarks

  • Presenter: Jennifer Sprague-Hilderbrand, National Weather Service


Thursday, April 29

12:00 PM


Call to Order

  • Presenter: Jennifer Sprague-Hilderbrand, National Weather Service

Bring Your Own Breakfast/Lunch Session/Keynote:  AI Policy and Ethics

With the ever-growing application of artificial intelligence (AI) in everyday solutions, the government, private, and academic sectors have taken steps forward on creating policies, standards, and guidelines to navigate its use. This session seeks to inform attendees about existing policies that have recently emerged and to answer the following questions: 1) What are the sectors consistently seeing across AI policies, principles, and guidelines? 2) What types of methods, principles, or guidelines are the sectors creating or using to stay in compliance with policies and enforce trustworthy AI? 3) What are the current-state gaps and what are the suggestions for addressing those gaps?

  • Moderator:  Amanda Mitchell, Department of Energy

  • Presenters:  Kirk Bresniker, Hewlett Packard Labs Chief Architect, HPE Fellow/VP, Dr. Micheal Kearns, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania & Dr. Jamese Sims, NWS Senior Science Advisor for Artificial Intelligence


1:15 PM


Ocean Enterprise Keynote:  The New Blue Economy

  • Moderator: Dr. Pam Emch, Emch Associates Consulting

  • Presenter: Dr. Richard Spinrad, Professor, Oregon State University and Member, Ocean Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences


2:00 PM


Session 7: The New Blue Economy: Provision of the Ocean Observation Products and Services Needed to Support a Growing Blue Economy

This session will explore the value chain connecting ocean observations and measurements to their end-use in support of a rapidly growing Blue Economy, utilizing the example of offshore wind energy as a case study.   The session follows a keynote describing the New Blue Economy and will begin with a summary presentation of the outputs of the 2020 NOAA IOOS Ocean Enterprise Study.   A panel drawn from organizations representing the key elements of the value chain connecting ocean data to meeting the information needs of offshore wind developers and regulators will then present and discuss the ocean information needed to support the regulation and development of offshore wind energy resources.  The panel will consider the differing ocean information needs of floating versus conventional offshore wind developments.

  • Moderator: Ralph Rayner, U.S. IOOS Office, NOAA/National Ocean Service

  • Presenters: Carl Gouldman, Director, U.S. IOOS Office, NOAA/National Ocean Service, Ben Williams, Metocean Director Americas at Fugro, Dr. Sue Ellen Haupt, Sr. Scientist and Deputy Director, Research Applications Laboratory at NCAR - The National Center for Atmospheric Research, Dr. Mark Calverley, Co-Chair, Offshore Renewables Special Interest Group, Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, Angel McCoy, Meteorologist, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, U.S. Department of the Interior


4:00 PM


Session 8:  Truth in Science - Scientific Integrity in the Public Sphere: (mis)trust, rumors, and risk

  • Moderators: Heidi Centola, The Weather Company, an IBM Business and Gina Eosco, NOAA Ocean and Atmospheric Research

  • Presenters: Matt Lanza, Managing Editor/Meteorologist, Space City Weather, and Maureen McCann, Meteorologist, CBM, CCM, Spectrum News 13, Dr. David Rand, Professor of Management Science and Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Sloan School & Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, Dr. Meghnaa Tallapragada,  Assistant Professor, Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University

Closing Remarks

  • Presenter: Jennifer Sprague-Hilderbrand, National Weather Service