AMS Short Course: New Challenges: Excellence in Broadcast Meteorology in a Changing Climate

June 14, 2016, Austin, TX

This Short Course, organized in cooperation with the AMS Station Scientist Committee, had a dual focus on well-established and newly emerging climate science that are directly relevant to broadcast meteorology, and on practical skills for reporting and communicating effectively about local impacts of climate change in your market.

The climate science program included presentations by leading experts on:

  • Climate/weather events “attribution,” including a review of a new National Academy of Sciences attribution report identifying knowns and unknowns in this quickly evolving field of scientific research;
  • Extreme weather in our changing climate by Texas State Climatologist John W. Nielsen-Gammon, PhD (Texas A&M University)
  • Current state-of-the-science and upcoming developments in climate change and weather modeling.

The reporting and communication skills program included:

  • Katherine Hayhoe, PhD – a leading climate scientist from Texas Tech University – providing practical insights on climate change communication and education for diverse audiences.
  • A panel of experienced broadcast meteorologists who will share their experiences and “best practices” communicating with their audiences about changing weather patterns in the context of changing climatic conditions.
  • Bill Seitzler – VP of News Strategies at Smith/Geiger ­– who will share observations about how to report on climate change in ways that can attract viewership, drive online traffic, and strengthen station and meteorologist branding.  

Participants also teamed-up to produce simulated on-air stories using data visualizations produced by Climate Central, NASA and/or NOAA. Short Course faculty and program organizers provided constructive analyses and critiques aimed at helping participants further sharpen their weather/climate broadcasting skills and station scientist credentials.    

The short course was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation to George Mason University, in cooperation with Climate Central, Yale University, NASA, NOAA, and AMS.