In my 25 years in the AMS, I have been fortunate to meet some of the experts who wrote the textbooks I read in college. I got to know some of the people who wrote the research papers I used in my studies. I was able to work side by side with leaders in weather and climate. In short, AMS was the society that enabled me to meet many of the giants of our enterprise.
Now when I go to the Annual Meeting or AMS specialty meetings, I see young people in attendance who are just getting started on their careers. I see them navigating their way through the halls, finding their sessions of interest, and the smiles on their faces as they gain new friends and future colleagues. I see them meeting, greeting, and even networking with the giants - the same way I did when I was in their place.
To me, the most important word in our name is Society, the etymologic cousin of the word social. The pandemic hurt us. Bad. AMS journals - the backbone of the “M” word in our name - were still available. There were Zoom meetings to discuss the inner workings of our organization. But the social - it essentially disappeared.
We’ve moved on. Meetings have resumed - but they have returned in hybrid form, with people able to simply watch presentations online instead of investing time and effort to show up in person. Setting aside a discussion of the efficacy of distance learning, I believe the biggest challenge facing our Society is keeping the social part alive and vibrant. We must ensure that our meetings are compelling, and that costs and prices are controlled so that members or their institutions can justify attendance. Keeping the social in the Society is important. Without the social, we are merely the American Meteorological something.
Jay Trobec is Chief Meteorologist at KELOLAND Media Group in Sioux Falls, South Dakota – a position he has held for more than thirty years. He is a past AMS Commissioner of Professional Affairs (2010-2016) and is the chair of the Dublin-based International Association of Broadcast Meteorology.
Jay’s formal credentials include the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) and Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) designations from the American Meteorological Society, and National Weather Association Broadcast Seal of Approval. His diplomas are from St. John’s University (B.A.), Mississippi State University (M.A.), and South Dakota State University (Ph.D. in Atmospheric, Environmental, and Water Resources). Jay has also taught physical climatology and meteorology at SDSU and has testified about weather communication before the Commerce Committee of the U.S. Senate.
Jay has been interviewed about weather by over a dozen national and international television networks and has given oral presentations at over thirty national and international weather conferences.
He has been named Broadcaster of the Year by the National Weather Association (2001) and has received numerous Emmy Awards as a Weather Anchor from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Television Academy.
Jay was elected a Fellow of the AMS in 2014.