2017 AMS Conference Review

2017 AMS Conference Review

64th Annual IAEM Conference Review

Chris Soelle, Andrew Yarosh, Sepi Yalda         March 01, 2017
(Pictued above: Andrew Yarosh speaks to student attendee at the 97th Annual AMS Meeting)

The Center for Disaster Research & Education (CDRE) and Millersville University’s Master of Science in Emergency Management (MSEM) Program were represented by CDRE Director (Dr. Sepi Yalda) and MSEM student (Andrew Yarosh) at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) from January 22nd to January 26, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.  The theme of this year’s conference was “Observations Lead the Way” and over 4,400 scientists, educators, students, and other professionals from across the weather, water, and climate community attended the conference. Andrew Yarosh represented the MSEM program as a part of the Career Fair and Graduate School Reception during the AMS Student Conference of the annual meeting.


Sepi Yalda and Jeff Jumper, PA State Meteorologist, presented a poster based on the collaborative work of the Central PA Integrated Weather Impacts Team (IWIT) which is comprised of key partners in Central Pennsylvania that are involved in the preparedness and response to significant hazardous weather events. IWIT functions as a multi-sector/cross-disciplinary collaboration between the National Weather Service (State College Office) and its partners and aims to sustain a transactional communication synergy amongst these stakeholders - with an emphasis on improving the usefulness of forecast and warning information for impact-based decision making. By developing new partnerships and strengthening existing relationships across different sectors of the weather enterprise, the team aims to gain a better understanding of external users’ needs while providing a conduit for feedback to assess areas where the NWS products and services can be enhanced. The ultimate goal is to enable users to better exploit forecast and warning information in order to become ready, responsive and resilient to extreme weather threats. 


To date, IWIT has held two successful workshops (the first at State College and the second at Millersville University) which focused on assessing and evaluating current products and the dissemination and communication procedures of impact-based weather risk and safety information. By developing new partnerships and strengthening existing partnerships across different sectors of the weather enterprise in Central Pennsylvania, IWIT has and continues to gain a better understanding of the roles, needs and challenges that each sector faces in effectively utilizing and communicating weather and safety information. The IWIT workshops participants have included participants from across the weather enterprise including but not limited to: emergency management, public safety, media and communications, education, transportation, energy, health/medical, social scientists and others. 


Going forward, the team will continue to emphasize risk communication and look for areas where impact-based decision support services can be developed or improved to enhance readiness and resilience to high impact weather events. The next IWIT meeting and workshop will be held in late June at the new PEMA headquarters in Harrisburg, PA. Additionally, IWIT will host a special workshop at the annual PEMA conference in October 2017. IWIT is part of the National Weather Service’s Weather-Ready Nation program that aims to build community resilience. You can find more information about Weather-Ready Nation HERE.