The 98th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) was held last month in Austin, TX. As in past years, Riverside employees provided many technical contributions throughout the proceedings. Riverside’s participation spoke directly to the 2018 Weather, Water, and Climate Communications theme with numerous Riverside speakers and session chairs. Our booth focused on Riverside’s greatest assets, the Riverside employees, and how we are fundamental to the success of our company. Additionally, we sponsored a lunch session on Unlocking the Value of Satellite Observations through the Cloud. As always, one of the greatest benefits AMS provided was the opportunity for Riverside participants to connect with numerous current clients, potential clients, current partners, and potential partners.
The theme this year was, “Transforming Communication in the Weather, Water and Climate Enterprise Focusing on Challenges Facing our Sciences.” The following excerpt from the Program Proceedings places this theme into context. Note how it aligns with many of the activities that we currently perform for NOAA.
Communication is a dynamic, powerful, and essential part of the weather, climate, and water enterprise. Successful communication requires active engagement – not only thinking about what, when, where, how, why, and to whom we speak but also carefully listening to better understand and respond appropriately. Every day we communicate to share and generate ideas, exchange information, inform the public, and create an understanding and awareness of our sciences. And we do this with the goal of benefiting society within an ever-changing backdrop of policy, technology, and knowledge.
To ensure the success of our enterprise in the future, the 2018 AMS Annual Meeting theme is devoted to exploring our culture of communication. The years 2019–20 will mark an inflection point for the AMS as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. Regardless of how we communicated during the past century, the next 100 years will unquestionably be far different and ever-changing. Formidable challenges remain in communicating emergency actions simply, expressing probabilistic/ uncertainty information clearly, honing our predictive skills for chaotic systems, and perfecting our data collection and analysis techniques, all of which will be happening across scientific disciplines and between the government, academic, and commercial sectors, as well as with international collaborators. The intent of the 2018 Annual Meeting theme is to enhance our scientific conference with a focus on communication science and practice as the cornerstone upon which we can stand and lead through innovative, unifying solutions to enhance and strengthen our enterprise.
The 2018 AMS Planning Committee encouraged that time be devoted to answering one or more of the following questions through special sessions, keynote speakers, town hall meetings, oral/poster presentations and panel discussions:
- What are the key opportunities, both technical and practical, for improving communication within your specialty areas? What are examples of best practices for new methods of communication?
- What is the future of scientific communication in general including BAMS and other online AMS-related media?
- How should future AMS meetings be structured to improve community-wide engagement and knowledge exchange? How can technology make meetings accessible to more people?
- What are the communication opportunities across generations, languages, cultures, and the government, academic, and commercial sectors? In what ways can each specialty improve engagement with other disciplines, policy-makers, and the public?
These questions are worth considering as we perform our day-to-day activities. Consider the following quote taken from the main NOAA web page (emphasis added).
From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it.
The “provision of reliable information” requires two-way communication. It is not sufficient for NOAA to simply product products and information; they must also be understood by the intended audiences if they are to be catalysts for the transformation of data into value. That message is the essence of this AMS meeting. The salient question for us is, then, how can we help NOAA better achieve that goal? Riverside, in conjunction with AER, provided box lunches for the Panel Discussion on Unlocking the Value of Satellite Observation for the Public through Cloud-based Access.
NOAA's Chief Data Officer and Big Data Project (BDP) Director, Dr. Ed Kearns, convenes experts from across the commercial data industry and research sector to discuss how NOAA's satellite resources may be made available to a wider community through cloud-based platforms that focuses on maximizing data usability and accessibility. Panelists include BDP Collaborators, researchers, and commercial industry representatives who will discuss their experiences with GOES-16 and other satellite data on their cloud platforms, how these platforms can be used to support the development and distribution of future satellite products, and their view of the future for the cloud to ensure the maximum extraction of value for NOAA's data users. Q&A will seek user feedback on cloud data access, the NOAA BDP activity, and the suitability of the cloud for development and distribution of new information products. A limited number of boxed lunches will be provided by Riverside Technology and AER.
Riverside employees provided numerous technical presentations (oral and poster) and co-chaired various sessions. Riverside employees also contributed to papers or posters presented by others.
This year, our featured booth presentation focused on us, the Riverside employees, and how we are fundamental to the success of our company. Our stellar reputation, honestly earned by all our hard work and dedication to our customer’s needs, remains a great ambassador for us. In fact, we are always encouraged when young scientists and engineers seek us out to drop off a copy of their resume and this year was no exception.
We look forward to doing it all again in Phoenix in 2019 – we hope to see you there!