New Minds for New Science: The Forecast for Work in Weather, Water, and Climate

New Minds for New Science: The Forecast for Work in Weather, Water, and Climate

WHEN: April 29th – April 30th, 2019

WHERE: AAAS Building, 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009


As society goes through a period of rapid technological and societal change, only a small fraction of the current workforce is trained to take full advantage of machine learning, quantum computing, next generation satellites, and new sensor technologies. That same workforce, if it is to benefit society, must also master the formidable array of social skills needed to build diversity and inclusion, foster effective teamwork, and collaborate with outside groups. There is tremendous opportunity to advance weather, water, and climate science and apply the resulting information for the benefit of society in the coming decades. To meet these demands, our workforce must evolve.

However, employers face challenges in attracting sufficient talent in these developing fields, in part because students and early career scientists struggle to receive adequate training. At the same time, large numbers of government employees are expected to retire over the next ten years leaving leadership with the task to replace experience with the skill set required for decades to come. As societal demands on our community become enhanced, we must navigate a complex landscape in workforce evolution while increasing participation of women and minorities, striving to improve education at all levels and aligning incentives of career development with workforce needs.

Bringing together scientists and managers from public, private and academic institutions and from across the United States, this workshop will mark the beginning of a series of discussions on issues related to workforce in Weather, Water and Climate. The 1.5 days will focus on 3 topics:


  1. How will new technologies affect society and the workforce overall?

  2. How will these changes translate to the Weather, Water and Climate community?

  3. How do these changes affect the knowledge, abilities and skills required to succeed in our community?

Preliminary Agenda

**NOTE: This schedule is subject to change**
New Minds for New Science: The Forecast for Work in Weather, Water, and Climate

Monday April 29, 2019

8:30 AM        Registration and light breakfast

9:00 AM        Welcome

                       Paul Higgins, Director, AMS Policy Program

9:05 AM         Overview

                       Andy Miller, Policy Fellow, AMS Policy Program

9:15 AM         K1: Technological & Societal Drivers: the Future of Work--An Overview

                       Peyton Robertson, NOAA

9:45 AM         Discussion

10:00 AM      Break

10:30 AM      S1:  Technological Drivers of Workforce Developments

                      Tracy Ferry, Lockheed Martin

                      David Barnes, IBM

                      Gary Geernaert, DOE

11:15 AM     Discussion

11:45 AM     S2:  Societal Drivers of Workforce Developments

                     Neil Barker, UCAR

                     Tracy Hansen, NOAA

                     Raj Pandya, AGU

12:30 PM     Discussion

1:00 PM       Networking lunch

2:00 PM       K2: Workforce Issues in the Weather Enterprise

                     Jack Kaye, NASA (invited)

2:00 PM       Discussion

2:15 PM       Break

2:45 PM       S3: Drivers of Workforce Change in Weather, Water and Climate

                     Trish Mikita, AccuWeather

                     Erica Grow, NBC 

                     Morgan Yarker, Yarker Consulting

                    Dave Margolin, Rutgers University

3:45 PM       Discussion

4:30 PM       End of Day 1

Tuesday April 30, 2019

8:30 AM        Light breakfast and networking

9:00 AM        Review of yesterday

                      Bill Hooke, Associate Executive Director, AMS Policy Program

9:15 AM        K3: Knowledge, Abilities and Skills for the future

                      Jenni Evans, Penn State University

9:45 AM        Discussion

10:15 AM      Break

10:45 AM      S4: Knowledge, Abilities and Skills for the future

                      Manda Adams, NSF

                      Madhulika Guhathakurta, NASA

                      Mona Behl, Sea Grant Georgia

                      Emily Miller, AAU (invited)

                      David Evans, NSTA 

12:00 AM     Discussion

12:30 PM     Synthesis and conclusion

                     Andy Miller, Policy Fellow, AMS Policy Program

12:45 PM    Workshop concludes