2013 AMS Annual Meeting


Fourth Conference on Environment and Health

The overarching theme for the 2013 AMS Annual Meeting is “Taking Predictions to the Next Level: Expanding Beyond Today's Weather, Water, and Climate Forecasting and Projections.”  Over the past 60 years the meteorological community has made tremendous strides in making prediction a fundamental part of its scientific and operational/service heritage through the development and application of complex numerical models involving the atmosphere, ocean, land, and cryosphere components of the Earth System.  Applying our predictive capabilities into a broader domain including public health, food security, air and water quality, alternative energy and responses to climate trends, is a central objective of this meeting.

In the context of this overarching theme, the goal of 4Health is to go in-depth into Earth’s influence on human health and well-being.  In doing so, we seek to better understand how the atmospheric and oceanic systems exert measurable (positive or negative) impacts; moreover, we are interested in how planetary information feeds into surveillance and preparedness (including adaptation) models and decisions.

We are especially interested in public health and medical factors such as:

The sessions are arranged to help us explore these topics (and possibly others) in the context of hydro-meteorological and oceanographic factors so that our community understands how our science and technologies are utilized (or could be applied) for health.   Thus, papers from the environment, health, and medical disciplines that explore this approach through the following subjects: integrated modeling; climate, ocean, weather and water forecasts; in-situ and satellite monitoring and observations; communication tools and technologies; and, inter-disciplinary coordination are encouraged.

Of specific interest are papers that address end-to-end science and management approaches of the aforementioned health concerns in the context of these environmental factors: 

1) Ocean and coastal–related human health risks

2) Dust transport, transformation, and consequence

3) Extreme temperatures, including attendant influences on drought and wildfires

4) Examples of adaptation risks and solutions at local, regional, and international levels

5) Disaster risk reduction for healthcare delivery services (e.g., EMT) and infrastructure (e.g., hospitals), including its systems of dependency (e.g., utility grids, water, sanitation)

Achieving the 4Health goal requires participation and engagement from colleagues in the public health, medical, hydro-meteorological, and oceanic disciplines.   

We are considering joint/parallel sessions with the following Conferences:

29th EIPT/11th Artificial and Computational Intelligence:  "Data Mining Techniques for Environment and Health Research" focusing on technological advances that can further environment and health investigations.

27th Hydrology:  "Drought and Health" to address the impacts that drought (in the US and overseas) can bear on human health and food security.

20th Applied Climatology:  "Climate Applications and Projections for the Health Sector" to highlight climate outlooks that can inform public health preparedness, such as areas of increased extreme weather risk, alterations in vector-borne disease trajectories due to weather variability and change, and potential threats to food security.

17th IOAS:  "Earth Observation Systems and Applications for Public Health Models and Decisions" to focus primarily on satellite applications in a panel discussion that will headlined by keynote talks from both the Observations and Health communities along with distinguished papers that address current health applications, add value in establishing requirements, highlight untapped data utilization, and discuss techniques (such as data mining) that can expand environment and health exploration and products

8Policy/IMPACTS:  "Extreme Weather Toll on Mental Health, Safety, and Healthcare Infrastructure" to discuss extreme weather (and outlier events, like 1:1000 or 1:5000 year events) impacts to people and buildings in the healthcare profession.  Papers will highlight the discrepancy between preparedness and the probability of extreme or outlier events as covered through several angles: 1) A discussion on critical infrastructure codes, building preparedness, as well as hospital dependencies on energy, utility, and sanitation services; 2) An autopsy of risk perception in the health sector (using Joplin as a test bed); 3) A review of the financial and mental toll resulting from the damage or loss of hospital or healthcare professionals to a community; and, 4) International perspectives and experiences in fortifying healthcare infrastructure.

Papers and posters from graduate and undergraduate students are welcome.

For overall questions:

Sue Estes, NASA (email:;  tel :  256-961-7961)

Wendy Marie Thomas (e-mail:, tel: 202-355-9820);

For Extreme Temperatures/Drought/Wildfires Topics

Glenn McGregor (e-mail:, tel: 64 9 3737599 ext 85280)

Paul English, CA Dept of Health  (email:;  tel: 510-620-3684)

For Health-Specific Topics

Kris Ebi, IPCC/Stanford  (email:

Paul English, CA Dept of Health  (email:;  tel: 510-620-3684)

For Climate-Related Topics

Eileen Shea, NOAA (email:;  tel:  828-271-4384)

For Dust-Related Topics

Bill Sprigg, Univ of AZ/NASA (email:;  tel: 520-621-6834)

For Oceans and Human Health Topics

Juli Trtanj, NOAA (email:

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