From its beginning, the American Meteorological Society has been the home of professional meteorologists, and it became MY society nearly thirty years ago. It has since been my pleasure to serve in many AMS volunteer roles, and It is an honor to be considered for a position as a Member of the AMS Council.
Our field continues to evolve, and it is not good enough to just consider weather or the atmosphere (it has not been for quite some time); I am proud of our Society for embracing professionals in the related fields, and in all areas of this important enterprise. The academic sector for which I am being considered is fundamental, as it brings forward the workforce of future meteorologists, climatologists, hydrologists, etc. and it engages in the discovery and the application of knowledge about this Earth System in which we must survive.
In considering challenges facing the Society, it is impossible to ignore the socioeconomic background in which our membership is embedded (human rights, diversity, equality, and so many social issues, as well as financial pressures coming from all directions). The Society needs to be a good steward of its own resources while staying accessible to its members. It needs to support all sectors but also make decisions about its priorities. It needs to be an authoritative voice that advocates for science, and a place where the scientists come to debate. The Society needs to stay relevant in a world where there is too much going on. No one individual can tackle these considerations on their own. I see my role as one of positive support, of sharing of my skills and expertise, providing a voice of reason, as we work together to deal with challenges that will keep coming.
Lourdes Avilés is the Associate Provost at Plymouth State University, where for nearly two decades she was part of the faculty of the meteorology program; and more recently served as chair of the program and director of the Computational, Applied, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences Academic Unit. She has served in a variety of AMS Committees: the Board on Higher Education, the (formerly named) Board on Women and Minorities, the History Committee (which she also chaired), and is currently also an Academic Ambassador for the AMS Committee for Hispanic and Latinx Advancement. She has also been part of many award and ad hoc AMS committees. Lourdes is currently the Vice Chair of the UCAR Board of Trustees, and was also recently appointed to the Mount Washington Observatory Board of Trustees. She holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. She has done research in tropical meteorology, air quality, historical meteorology, and is currently focused in the interdisciplinary science, history, and social connections of atmospheric phenomena. She published an award winning AMS book on the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, and is currently working on an introductory interdisciplinary textbook about Atmospheric Optics. Lourdes enjoys traveling, photography, choral singing, playing the piano, and appreciating musical theater and works of art. She is originally from Guánica, Puerto Rico, and currently lives in central New Hampshire with her family.