MWO Researchers Participate in 99th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

2019-01-24 15:24:12.000 – Dr. Eric Kelsey, Director of Research


Research Specialist Observer, Taylor Regan, and I, Dr. Eric Kelsey, flew cross-country to Phoenix, Arizona for the 99th American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting. AMS is the world’s largest professional society for meteorology and its membership includes operational meteorologists, National Weather Service and NOAA employees, private sector scientists and engineers, instrumentation manufacturers, university professors and researchers, college students, climatologists, astrophysicists, ecologists, biologists, and more. The annual meetings held every January attract over 4000 people from around the world each year. It is the best event to network with other researchers, instrumentation companies, government meteorologists, and students looking for internships and jobs.

For seven straight years, MWO has had a presence at the AMS Annual Meeting. I’ve attended each of the last seven meetings in my current position as MWO Director of Research and we’ve often sent observers and IT staff as well. One of our primary goals is to educate attendees about MWO, our work, and recruit students and recent graduates for internships. Our internship program is a vital pipeline for hiring future Observers. At the AMS meeting, we have a table at the Career Fair that is attended by hundreds of students. Our table is always buzzing with interest. Taylor and I spoke (with little time to breathe) about our internship program and current Night Observer job opening to well over 60 students and graduates. We were pleased with the quality of the people interested in the internships and are confident we will have a terrific applicant pool for the summer internships. Many of our interns over the last several years first met us at the AMS Career Fair.

The rest of the meeting consists of scientific research presentations (talks and posters) and the exhibitors’ hall. Taylor and I sifted through the meeting program in search for interesting talks and posters to see what other cutting edge research and meteorological activities are occurring around the world. One session I attended had talks about people studying snowpack variables, such as snow depth, snow water equivalent, and snow temperature, with similar goals and objectives as our current snowpack research. I spoke with a couple of the speakers from the City College of New York and University at Albany after the session and it led to a discussion over lunch about how we can collaborate to make our research efforts more impactful together. This case exemplifies the benefits of attending conferences and networking with others.

Not only do I attend presentations, but I also give a talk about my research each year. This year, I presented on the boundary layer research I’ve been doing to understand why the high elevations of the Northeast are warming slower than the surrounding lower elevations. I highlighted the 2016 boundary layer field project that Dr. Adriana Bailey (National Center for Atmospheric Research) and Georgia Murray (Appalachian Mountain Club) and I performed. Despite the talk being in the last session on the last day of the conference, over 50 people attended!


The AMS Annual Meeting is always intellectually stimulating and a great community of scientists studying every aspect of the atmosphere, its societal impacts, and its interactions with the rest of the Earth system. The serve as a catalyst for new collaborations and research ideas. It is vital that MWO continues to have a presence at the AMS Annual Meeting to advance our mission of research and education. Next January, we are working to send our largest contingent yet since it will be the 100th Annual Meeting and it will be in Boston (where AMS is headquartered).


Dr. Eric Kelsey, Director of Research

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