About the Meeting

Theme of the 2021 Annual Meeting

Strengthening engagement with communities through our science and service

Why

  • Improve actions/decisions with respect to our environment and keeping people safe
  • Help us shape our science to be actionable and improve our services
  • Improve understanding of the value of our science and build support for funding
  • Help us improve our research focus and its applicability to societal needs

Discussion

It is increasingly clear that the development of sound science is necessary but not sufficient to translate into beneficial actions with respect to the weather, water and climate threats and opportunities.  There are numerous cases to demonstrate this including:

  • Post-disaster surveys following major weather disasters that document decision makers not understanding and reacting to the forecast and warning information received
  • Disproportionate impacts in diverse and marginalized communities
  • The lack of action commensurate with the threat of climate change impacts
  • Flat or reduced funding for key science efforts including sustaining basic observing systems.
  • Inadequate engagement with communities to contribute to resilience (e.g., inadequate building standards).  

We must expand our engagement of communities in meaningful and respectful ways; we must meet communities of stakeholders where they are versus where we are. Engagement implies a two-way dialog where we enter the conversation equally interested in learning as we are in communicating our ideas.

Communities include the public at large through various structures (e.g., faith-based communities, civic associations, etc.), policy makers in governments at all levels, the emergency management community, and other stakeholders.

We should be focused on how we better serve disadvantaged communities by working with policy makers and non-profit organizations.   Social justice should be germane to our actions.

We should be identifying more ways for communities to contribute to our science and services.  Examples include citizen science, being ambassadors from various communities (e.g., faith based), etc.

New Orleans

The 2021 meeting will be held in New Orleans, LA, a location familiar to many AMS members.  In the past, this setting has allowed us to explore actions this region has taken to become more resilient to disasters.  We should continue to explore that topic but broaden the lens to include other key features in the NOLA culture including art and food.  For example, how have changing conditions in the Gulf of Mexico influenced the local food scene.
  
With the theme of this meeting in mind, the planning committee intends to build some partnerships with local people to develop aspects of the meeting to contribute to community needs as well as meeting attendees to learn about NOLA initiatives.  For example, the latter could be accomplished through a walking map of community arts, music, culinary and weather sights.