2020 Theme: "The AMS Past, Present and Future: Linking Information to Knowledge to Society (LINKS)"

As the American Meteorological Society enters its 2nd century, the theme for the 2020 AMS Annual Meeting is “The AMS Past, Present and Future: Linking Information to Knowledge to Society (LINKS).” LINKS applies to research, broadcast, WX service & other government services, industry applications, risk management, education, policy, communications and watch/warning responses, building links across technologies, links across research & applications, and more. The community that gathers together as the American Meteorological Society can be rightly proud of our contributions to the safety, resilience and economies of society. As we approach the second century of our society, we are challenged to reflect on how we can to continue to advance, even as the world changes. We are also inspired to gather together and celebrate! Many new opportunities are available to the AMS community, among them: a more holistic view of meteorology that is outcome-focused, integrating our science with other physical, social, policy and economic contexts; incorporation of this holistic framework in the way we approach our profession; expanding communication and collaboration across an ever diversifying workforce; big data, ever advancing modes of simulation and new technologies supporting them; and, global collaboration.

A holistic framework

As our individual expertise grows, connections to more and more disciplines become evident. Eventually, it becomes more difficult to ignore these connections than to explore ways of integrating them into our professional world view. Inviting practitioners from other professions to work with us in a true partnership is at the core of this initiative. By leveraging expertise in this collaborative way, we are linking information across disciplines to greater knowledge of the situation to more positive impacts on society. This is the framework that will be applied in the Presidential Forum


Exploiting new technologies and computational methods in “big data” and modeling, to transform our Earth system science and all of its applications

This mission builds upon the increases in data diversity and volume, combined with expanding computer capacity and new methodologies. The current impetus for interdisciplinary collaboration provides opportunities for advances through synergistic interactions across traditional domain, industry and institutional boundaries.


Even within the AMS, we have an incredible diversity of expertise. How can we energize interactions across the subgroups we have evolved and create new ways of envisioning and advancing our science and services? Where are opportunities to partner with other organizations to create new pathways to advancing the impact of both communities?


A multifaceted profession

The AMS has developed and adopted strategies to diversify the meteorology profession to more closely reflect the composition of its stakeholders and the community it serves. Given the increasingly global relevance of the weather enterprise, it compels the AMS to continue cultivating and leveraging relationships among under-represented groups, including women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, individuals with physical challenges, and gender identification. Broad efforts to attract and retain junior and mid-career colleagues, to expand our member community across related disciplines and more broadly to policy makers, and improving communications among all of these will necessarily provide a workforce ideally suited to advancing our knowledge and skills to serve the wider society.


An international perspective

As we well know, the atmosphere has no geographic boundaries – and it is increasingly, painfully, obvious that the climate does not respect boundaries in time or space. In acknowledgement of this unboundedness, we aspire to look beyond our national and cultural boundaries to link information to knowledge to society with global impacts.

  • Another aspect of it is building and leveraging international relationships, and building across community subgroups [young to mid-career development, interdisciplinary work – bringing in connections to hydrology, oceanography and the broader “lay” and “policy” communities].
  • Finally, it brings in the big data, simulation, machine learning and the human-technology interface. Hopefully this interpretation of what I'm trying to achieve will help to focus.


Improving our accessibility to all members of society, including decision and policy makers

The imperative for improving the impact of our communications is of paramount importance. As expert practitioners of our field, we have a responsibility to engage in mutual communication with others in society to provide the services and scientific context necessary to build a stronger and more resilient society. Many talented and committed colleagues have devoted enormous effort to this mission, and the AMS has many initiatives upon which to build, yet the challenge remains to explore even more avenues for building bridges of understanding with as many realms of society as possible.


Program Priorities

Observational and modeling studies related to improving both our understanding of the fundamental processes that lead to extreme events and predictability are encouraged The impact of a changing climate on extreme events will be highlighted. There will be sessions that provide illustrative examples of successful convergent research from multiple disciplines and approaches to obtain funding for interdisciplinary work. Efforts to build resilience, improve communication, provide decision support for extreme events, and work closely with municipal city managers and emergency responders will be highlighted. International partnerships that address research and applications on extreme events and efforts to increase diversity in the weather enterprise, including training the next generation of scientists and engineers, are major thrusts under this theme.


Presidential Forum

The Presidential Forum will begin with a keynote speaker on Sunday afternoon and will continue throughout the week. The speaker will be an exemplar of the new “process” being introduced at this AGM. The Presidential Forum will continue into one or two sessions per day, challenging the members of our community to practice their professions in a holistic and interdisciplinary way. The form of these sessions will evolve in conjunction with Program Committee and the session leaders.