The entire Ohio University Chapter of the American Meteorological Society hopes everyone made it back to school safely and is excited to have a great 2014-2015 school year! Make sure to LIKE Scalia Lab's Facebook page below and to share the page with family and friends! Also, be sure to check out our OUCAMS Facebook and Twitter sites (links to these are found on the right side bar).
Welcome to the official website for the Ohio University Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (OUCAMS). In 2005, this chapter was originally known as the Ohio University Meteorology Club. In 2009, the club then became affiliated with the American Meteorological Society (AMS) to now be known as OUCAMS, and is also a local chapter of the national AMS.
OUCAMS is a student organization here at the Ohio University Athens campus that has a passion for the weather. Students don’t have to have a Meteorology major, or even a minor, to be a member of this chapter. All you need is the passion, or just an interest, in the weather. This student chapter has grown tremendously throughout the years, and has been getting more recognition through many outreach programs in the Athens community and surrounding areas.
Last fall, planning for events throughout the school year began early. The first weekend back to school, members had a cookout to help welcome the new students into the chapter. Within a couple weeks, the national weather challenge against student and faculty, known as the WxChallenge, began. People competed against each other by predicting the weather for different cities across the country. Also, a committee was set up to create the banner for the homecoming parade. Homecoming 2013’s theme was “OUr Past, OUr Present, OUr Future”, where members of the committee created a banner with three puzzle pieces: Piece one had college green; piece two had our lab with Rufus and the names of our faculty members; piece three had the new residence halls they are building. We knew it was our year, and we were right…the chapter received first place with their banner and costumes. About half way through the fall semester, the peer mentor/mentee program was set up, where underclassmen can get paired with an upperclassmen (if they wish to participate) in order to have someone help ease the transition of underclassmen (especially first year students), and to have some help throughout a difficult major. The chapter also had 100 5th grade students from Nelsonville-York come visit the campus, along with a tour of the lab, the weather tower, and learn experiments about the weather from many chapter members. Toward the end of the semester, the chapter organized a way to raise money and take donations for a Care Package for Troops, where many donations were taken. All donations were sent to members of the Navy out at sea, just in time for Christmas!
Coming back to classes for spring semester, the chairs and officers knew they had a lot more planning left to do, as many more events occur during spring semester. The first order of business was to finish planning for the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) conference that was held in Atlanta, GA. A couple students, and a professor, went to the conference in order to present research they have completed, while many others went for the experience and to see what all job opportunities there are in the field. Two students even received funding for travel and assisting at the conference. In early March, 12 students in the chapter went to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio for a tour and to watch the release of a weather balloon. This coming year, we plan to do the same, either going back to Wilmington and to visit the Charleston, WV office! Following this, the chapter had their main event of the year…the fifth annual Meteorological Symposium. Speakers from this past year’s symposium came from AccuWeather, the Storm Prediction Center, the National Weather Service, Air Force, WeatherWorks, the Forestry Service, and more. After the event, members could network and eat with these speakers at a local restaurant here in Athens, where reservations were held. Many more outreach opportunities came up within spring semester as well. Several of these outreach opportunities were: a Chillicothe school came for a visit/tour and several students went to Amesville Elementary and Trimble Middle School to give weather presentations and do weather demonstrations for the students. Within the last month of school, members attended the annual “Twister Night”, where we get food and watch the classic movie Twister! A week later, there was a Rock Band contest between members who wanted to participate, and it was such a success that we will for sure be planning another one this year!
This upcoming school year will be even better yet! I would like to officially announce that OUCAMS will be adopting a highway in Athens County! What does this mean exactly? The Ohio Department of Transportation will be assigning OUCAMS a two mile stretch of highway somewhere within the county. We will be required to clean the highway four times a year. This may not sound to exciting to some, but remember, we are starting to become involved in activities like this to help better ourselves and give back to the wonderful Athens and Ohio University community. Not to mention, we will be getting two road signs with our organization’s name on them to be placed along our two mile stretch of adopted highway. How cool!
We will also be having another fully booked year of outreach events. Our school year will start out early with an outreach event that will be presented to the Athens Garden Club. Several members will be talking about this past winter’s “polar vortex.” Club members will then be travelling to Pittsburgh in February to help participate in the CalU Storm Fest activities at the Carnegie Science Center. We will also be opening our doors all school year to local schools to visit us again, and also we will be traveling to local schools to give weather presentations. Our outreach program at Ohio University has tremendously grown over the past few years, so let’s keep up the good word and help spread the word about Ohio Meteorology!
In January, many of us students will be flocking to Phoenix, Arizona, for the 95th annual American Meteorological Society conference. We will be making a poster to represent our AMS chapter and will be presenting it during the conference. After returning home from the conference, we will be very busy with planning the final stages of our 6th Annual Spring Meteorology Symposium. This symposium will be held on a Saturday in March of 2015, so keep on the lookout for more updates. This year, we will be trying to get Mike Bettes and Dr. Greg Forbes from The Weather Channel to come and join us so be sure to mark your calendars once you the exact date!
There are even more events planned, or in the making of being planned! First, the week of October 6-11th is Homecoming Week! Everyone, please mark your calendars! This year’s them is Bobcat Family Reunion. We will need as many alumni as possible to join us if we want to compete for 1st place in the banner/parade walk this year! We did it once, why not make it twice!? Other events that will be planned will be a welcome cookout, spring cabin trip, spring cookout, fall jamboree, alumni dinner at Dr. Fogt’s, spring cookout at Dr. Fogt’s, and creating an intramural sports team! Other ideas for events include, but not limited to: paintballing, canoeing, ice skating, snow sledding, and going to Hocking Hills.
I hope this has given everyone a good overview of our organization and what we strive to do. I really look forward to getting the start of the year kicked off in the right direction. As a club, or family like many of us say, can accomplish anything if we put our minds, heart, and soul in it. With that said, I would like to see this organization continue to grow and prosper year after year and I am very lucky to be able to say that I have led and been a part of this organization for over 3 years now. I hope to make my last year here at OU a success, and I couldn’t do any of it without all of our club members and faculty! Go Bobcats!
President of the Ohio University Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society