American Meteorological Society
Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) is the nation’s premier scientific and professional organization promoting and disseminating information about the atmospheric, oceanic, hydrologic sciences. Our more than 13,000 members include scientists, researchers, educators, broadcast meteorologists, students, weather enthusiasts, and other professionals in the fields of weather, water, and climate.
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- Professional association
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- Globally (various continents)
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AMS is a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization, headquartered in the historic Harrison Gray Otis House in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. We also have an office in Washington, DC, where we run our education and policy programs.
AMS is committed to strengthening the incredible work being done across the public, private, and academic sectors. Our community knows that collaboration and information sharing are critical to ensuring that society benefits from the best, most current scientific knowledge and understanding available.
History of the AMS
The American Meteorological Society was founded in 1919 by Charles Franklin Brooks of the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, Massachusetts. Its initial membership came primarily from the U.S. Signal Corps and U.S. Weather Bureau and numbered just less than 600. Its initial publication, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, was meant to serve as a supplement to the Monthly Weather Review, which, at the time, was published by the U.S. Weather Bureau. Many of the initial members were not practicing meteorologists, but after the dues were raised from $1 to $2 in 1922, the weather hobbyists began dropping their membership, and the Society moved toward a membership made up primarily of professionals in the field.
The thirties and forties were a period of significant advancement in the atmospheric sciences, and the AMS made a substantial impact through the publication of fundamental contributions to the science in the Bulletin, the production of books and monographs, and the organization of specialized meetings. During and after World War II, activity in meteorology increased at a phenomenal rate because of the key role it played in support of military activities—both in terms of ground operations and aviation. A large number of meteorologists were trained as part of the wartime effort. After the war, both the military and civilian sectors had a substantial number of meteorologists in their ranks. The Society saw substantial growth during this period, and with the departments of meteorology that were formed during and just after the war carrying out research and producing new meteorologists, the activities of the Society in terms of publications and meetings increased. C.-G. Rossby served as president of the Society for 1944 and 1945, and developed the framework for the Society's first scientific journal, the Journal of Meteorology, which later split into the two current AMS journals: the Journal of Applied Meteorology and the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences.
The role of the Society as a scientific and professional organization serving the atmospheric and related sciences, which was established so well in the first few decades of the Society's history, has continued to the present. The AMS now publishes in print and online ten well-respected scientific journals and an abstract journal, in addition to the Bulletin, and sponsors and organizes over a dozen scientific conferences each year. It has published over 50 monographs in its continuing series, as well as many other books and educational materials of all types. The AMS administers two professional certification programs, the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) and Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) programs, and also offers an array of undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to support students pursuing careers in the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences.
In the May, 1920 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, there is a brief announcement concerning the submission of designs for a Seal. A Seal Committee, consisting of C.F. Brooks (Secretary) and C.F Marvin (a member of the governing Council) formulated the requirements that 'the Seal should show the two Americas, that it should show something meteorological, and that the manifold applications of meteorology should be indicated.' A design by Lieut. C.N. Keyser was approved by the Seal Committee and put to a vote before the attendees at the Annual Meeting in 1920. Though there is no record in the Bulletin of a favorable vote, the Seal design seems to have gone into use immediately.
Another idea considered by the Seal Committee was membership identification buttons. The Committee discarded the notion of buttons as too costly and of dubious need. With the approval of the Seal design, the Seal Committee disbanded.
Lieut. C.N. Keyser, U.S.N., the designer of the Seal, was one of the original members of the AMS. In addition, he was in the first group of Fellows elected by the Society and served on the first Council. Lieut. Keyser also served on the Membership and Aeronautical Meteorology Committees.
In 1806 Charles Bulfinch (a famous Boston architect) completed the house at 45 Beacon Street for Boston's third mayor, Harrison Gray Otis. Otis resided in this house until his death in 1848. After Otis's death there were three owners of the house until the American Meteorological Society purchased and renovated it in 1958. Executives and staff moved into their new headquarters in 1960. There are 37 rooms in the historic house (the house at 45 Beacon Street is one of the 44 great houses listed in the book Great Georgian Houses of America, published in 1933), including 10 bathrooms, 15 fireplaces, four stair halls, four elevator lobbies, a wine cellar, and a Carriage House (the only remaining carriage house on Beacon Hill today). More than 40 staff members and the executive director administer all AMS activities at the 45 Beacon Street location. The AMS K-12 education programs are executed at the office in the nation's capital, at DC Office: 1120 G Street, NW, Suite 800 Washington DC, 20005-3826.
Humans are causing climate to change and it poses numerous serious risks. The more carbon we emit, the higher the carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere will be and the larger the changes in climate we'll face. Based on our current path, a child who is born today would, at age 30, breath air with roughly twice as much carbon dioxide as her great, great grandparents. And yet, we do not know how much carbon we can emit safely and we cannot know in advance when human-caused climate changes will lead to catastrophic societal consequences. We do know that we are seeing some of these consequences today, including increases in global temperatures, melting ice caps, and rising global sea levels.
These are conclusions based on multiple independent lines of evidence that have been gathered over decades of intensive scientific research. They are affirmed, and reaffirmed by numerous leading scientific institutions around the world, including AMS.
For example, the official AMS statement on Climate Change, reads in part, “Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal, according to many different kinds of evidence.” It goes on to say, “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases …”
Similar conclusions have been reached by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the National Academies of more than 30 other countries, other scientific societies, including AGU and AAAS. We know of no scientific institution with relevant subject matter expertise that disagrees with these basic conclusions.
AMS is committed to advancing core values of diversity, inclusion, and equity across all aspects of the atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic sciences.
AMS Diversity Statement
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) is committed to, and benefits from the full and equitable participation of a diverse community in its membership, in its activities, and in the audiences that it serves. The advancement of the AMS mission is dependent on its ability to have a professional membership that is fully representative of societal demographics. The Society, therefore, embraces diversity through the inclusion of individuals across age, gender, race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, physical ability, marital status, sexual orientation, body shape or size, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, and other facets of social diversity.
What is AMS Doing to Promote Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Atmospheric Sciences and Related Fields?
AMS undertakes several initiatives to address diversity, inclusion, and equity in every aspect of the Society.
The AMS Board on Women and Minorities (BWM) was established in 1975, and is committed to enhancing inclusion, diversity, and equity in every aspect of the Society. The mission of BWM is to examine workplace issues, including educational and professional opportunities that affect those employed in the atmospheric and related sciences, with special emphasis on women, minorities, and the disabled.
BWM leads several initiatives that are aimed at broadening participation, including administration and analysis of the AMS membership survey, providing mentorship to recipients of the AMS minority scholarship program, developing recommendations on accessibility at AMS meetings, evaluating applications for various AMS Awards & Honors, leading sessions at AMS annual meetings, and developing guidance to address inclusion and diversity in the atmospheric sciences and related fields.
At the AMS Annual Meeting, BWM leads a number of events, including the annual Women in Atmospheric Sciences Luncheon, the Coriolis reception, and sessions and town hall meetings to address inclusion and diversity in atmospheric sciences and related fields.
The CoRiolis Reception at the AMS Annual Meeting brings together lesbian–gay–bisexual–transgender–queer (LGBTQ) friends and allies to mentor, network, and connect with individuals who share common professional and personal interests.
The Color of Weather Reception (CoWx) at the AMS Annual Meeting provides a safe space for students of color and enables them build professional and social networks within the AMS community. The purpose of the CoWx reception is to facilitate engagement between students of color and leaders in the geosciences attending the AMS meeting in an informal environment. The event also provides a space that encourages open and direct discussion about barriers to success, improving access to opportunities, overcoming challenges associated with institutionalized discrimination, and false perceptions.
The AMS Education program incorporates special initiatives into teacher education programs to promote minority participation in science. The goal is to train as many teachers as possible who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences and/or teach significant numbers of precollege students from underrepresented groups.
The AMS Summer Policy Colloquium brings a select group of students and professionals to Washington, D.C. for an intense, ten-day immersion in science policy. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals in the field of earth and atmospheric sciences and their applications form a cohort that tackles hands-on exercises, hears from dozens of prominent experts and forges strong professional networking connections.
The AMS Early Career Leadership Academy builds and sustains a diverse network of early career leaders in weather, water, and climate science. ECLA brings together a select group of early career individuals—in particular, women and underrepresented minorities—for an immersive experience in leadership, including creative problem-solving, conflict resolution, building trust, and enhancing communication skills.
The American Meteorological Society advances the atmospheric and related sciences, technologies, applications, and services for the benefit of society.