Report #4 by

Chuck Doswell

on my activities as a

Councilor of the

American Meteorological Society

Created: 25 January 1999 Updated: 02 April 1999 (errors corrected and some small additions)

Disclaimer: Everything contained herein is associated with me personally, and has no connection with my employer [NOAA/ERL/NSSL] or with the AMS. That is, these are my personal observations, opinions, and recommendations and have no official standing or sanction. If you are offended or bothered by any part of this, take it up with me, not with either my organization or the AMS.

The AMS photographer catches me in the middle of some sort of rant, in a characteristic pose, during the January 1999 AMS Council meeting. Rick Rosen is to my right, Roger Wakimoto and Louis Uccellini to my left. Jeff Kimpel is on the extreme right of the image.

If you have not seen them before, I have other writings concerning the AMS at this Website. Please consult my campaign statement for some of this, and you can find my first report from the council meetings here, my second report here, and my third report here.


The Council - as of January 1999 Annual Meeting

The Council consists of (see Article VII.1 of the Constitution):


* Council Members not in attendance at this meeting.

$ Council members who have finished their terms (at the conclusion of the 1999 Annual Meeting).

# Dr. McPherson's appointment to the position of AMS Executive Director has taken effect.

% Dr. Kimpel is the new president-elect and so is no longer on the Council, as of the conclusion of the January 1999 Council meeting. The Council approved the Executive committee's recommendation to name John Spengler as Dr. Kimpel's replacement on the Council. [Yes, he is related to Ken ... his son.]

+ Attended the 15 December 1998 meeting (via teleconference) of the Executive Committee


The January 1999 AMS Council meeting participants. Using the key on the right, the participants are: 1. Ron McPherson, 2. Ken Spengler, 3. Mike Fritsch, 4, Dennis McCarthy, 5. Susan Avery, 6. Lou Uccellini, 7. Charlie Hosler, 8. Paul MacCready, 9. Paul Try, 10. Chuck Doswell, 11. Brad Colman, 12. Jack Hayes, 13. Eric Wood, 14. Mike Wallace, 15. Kerry Emanuel, 16. John Spengler, 17. Susan Zevin, 18. Tom Potter, 19. Rick Rosen, 20. George McVehil, 21. John Snow, 22. Ray Ban, 23. Roger Wakimoto, 24. Wayne Schubert, 25. Otis Brown, 26. Judy Curry, 27. George Frederick, 28. Gene Rasmusson, 29. Jeff Kimpel, 30. Ants Leetmaa. [thanks to Joyce Annese for helping with this!]


Thus, there are 21 members on the Council (four AMS officers, two past presidents, and 15 Councilors). The Executive Director and the Secretary-Treasurer are appointed by the Council (Article IX of the Constitution), not elected by the membership as a whole; they are ex officio members of the Council, not eligible to vote. Therefore, there are 19 voting members, and so a two-thirds majority is 13 members if all voting members are present at a meeting. A quorum is a simple majority (10) of the voting members.

The Executive Committee (see Article VIII of the Constitution) consists of the Officers of the AMS, plus two selected Council members ... [I wasn't selected ... what a surprise!] ... the constitution states that there should be two Council members, but apparently, at the 15 December meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCom), three Council members were present. This may have some simple explanation, but I am unaware of it at this time ...

Note added 02 April 1999: I am told that Judy Curry replaced Ron McPherson on the ExCom when Ron became the Executive Director. The norm on the ExCom is still 2 Council Members. Otis Brown was the newly elected Councilor on the ExCom, following the Council Meeting on which I'm reporting. I'm told that there will only be 18 voting Council members this year ... for reasons yet to be explained.

the organization issue of the Bulletin claims the two Councilor members of the ExCom are Drs. Avery and Colman.

My Fourth AMS Council Meeting - Impressions

Attendance at this one-day Council meeting (held in conjunction with the AMS Annual Meeting on 10 January 1999), was excellent (only one no-show), making a quorum easily attainable. As is standard practice, also attending (for the purpose of making presentations to the Council, but not eligible to vote) were various Commissioners (in this case, the newly-reappointed STAC Commissioner [Rick Rosen], the Publications Commissioner [Wayne Schubert], the Planning Commissioner [Charlie Hosler], the Professional Affairs Commissioner [Ray Ban], and the ougoing Commissioner of Education and Human Resources [John Snow]). The minutes, dutifully recorded by Werner Baum, will appear in a future issue (likely in June 1999; the minutes of the September 1997 meeting were finally published in December 1998) of the Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc, suitably sterilized for publication. I actually recommend that you read these minutes. There is information in them, but you can be sure that some of the entries are not so brief as they appear in the minutes! I will state right now that there will be aspects of some of the discussions that (rightfully) will not be in the minutes and will not appear here, either.

As a Council veteran, I am now seeing the fumblings of new Councilors in a new light. We really need to have some sort of way to allow incoming Councilors to learn more about the workings of the Council more quickly. It takes at least two Council meetings for the newly-elected to feel they can contribute much. I had the benefit of coaching from Bob Maddox.

I came away from this meeting feeling a bit more frustrated with this Council meeting than the Fall meeting. I will detail some of the reasons for this in what follows. We spent a lot of our precious time in what I saw as mostly pointless arguments and trivial wordsmithing. I'll have more on this later. As before, I am providing an assortment of impressions and informational tidbits, again in no particular order.