Houston Local Chapter of the AMS

          March 2005 Newsletter


Next Meeting: Thursday, March 17th, 2005



Dinner Location:

Fuddruckers Restaurant

Address: 2040 NASA Parkway

Houston, TX 77058

Phone: 7281-333-1598

 Meeting Location:

N.A.S.A. / Johnson Space Center  


Address: JSC Employee Gilruth Center*

* Precise location will be noted in the follow-up e-reminder



6:00 PM (Dinner) / 7:00 PM (Meeting)


Mr. Tim Garner: SMG Lead Forecaster

 Speakers Bio:

Mr. Garner’s bio can be located at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/smg/tim.htm


This month’s meeting is very unique and poignantly hits all of us Americans / Houstonians both in our hearts & at home. Mr. Garner will discuss NASA’s Spaceflight Meteorology Group’s (SMG) efforts in the recovery of the doomed re-entry of the Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) on February 1st, 2003. Their goal was to recovery as much as humanly possible by tracking the debris field via the WSR-88D radar. Mr. Garner will shed light on his group’s mission those weeks following that tragic day along with their stratospheric and mesospheric analysis in support of the accident investigation.





A complete retrospective on the Columbia and her crew:



In Remembrance:






We will also play host to Iowa State Universities’ AMS Student Chapter, who will join us for dinner and the SMG meeting. Check out their site at:






Notes from the President:

 We had a great showing at last month’s meeting, which was held at the popular Mykonos Island Restaurant on Richmond.  Our featured speakers were four professors from the University of Houston’s new meteorology program.  Our main speaker was Dr. Sharon Zhong, who is currently teaching an undergraduate course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Sciences.’  Dr. Zhong outlined the newly formed atmospheric program’s courses and offerings, which are heavy in the atmospheric chemistry and air pollution realm of meteorology. In addition, each of the professors gave a briefing on their current research and course work at U of H.  

The month of March is a busy time of year for the AMS and many meteorologists in our organization.  Members of the Houston Local Chapter finished the initial screening of the 2005/2006 AMS/Industry Minority Scholarship applications.  The applications were forwarded to a national committee, who will then select recipients based on our recommendations.  We also have the 2005 Science Engineering Fair of Houston and are looking for volunteer judges. Fair dates are March 17-19, 2005, in the George R. Brown Convention Center. The week of March 6th through March 12th is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in many states including Texas and Oklahoma.  Many NWS and television meteorologists will use this week to relay life-saving information to help Texans prepare for the upcoming severe weather season.

 Our featured speaker this month is Timothy Garner of the NWS Spaceflight Meteorology Group, NASA Johnson Space Center. As said before, we are always looking for new and interesting subjects and, if you have any ideas for topics or speakers, please let me know.  See you on Thursday night, March 17th for the next meeting!

 Your President,

Liz Stanko




A Message from the National AMS President:


1 March 2005

Dear Members and Friends,

You may, or may not, be familiar with AMS's Awards and Fellows nominating processes. BAMS and the AMS web site advertise these processes, and this year we are making use of e-mail to be sure the message is as widely distributed as possible.

Currently the AMS has over 25 awards, with most of them available on a yearly basis.  I am writing to encourage the nomination of peers who might be worthy of achieving the status as a recipient of our prestigious awards.  There are a number of individuals who have given to the sciences and remain unrecognized by many.  A simple nomination letter, along with up to three supporting letters is all it takes to initiate the process.  Your efforts could help this individual become more widely honored and recognized.

To recommend individuals as a Fellow of the AMS, the nominee must be a Member of the Society and shall have made outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years.

The process to nominate a person as Fellow requires completing a nomination form, and submitting up to three supporting letters.

For further information on our awards, awards descriptions, previous recipients and form, and/or Fellows, previously elected and form, visit our web site http://www.ametsoc.org/EXEC/nomination.html  

The deadline of 1 May is fast approaching.

Walter A. Lyons, CCM
2005 AMS President


Chapter Notes:


·         Local Chapter Meeting being highlighted in February’s BAMS issue


The minutes from our October Meeting will be published in the upcoming issue of BAMS. If you remember, the meeting consisted of a panel of the Houston’s energy forecasters discussing their careers, forum-style, in the energy trading world.

 It seems like the folks up in Bean Town liked it…..so check it out when it hits the newsstands!!!!


·         46th Science Engineering Fair of Houston:

The Houston Local Chapter will once again serve as a Special Awarding Agency for the 2005 Science Engineering Fair of Houston. Fair dates are March 17-19, 2005, in the George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall C and will take place in the same meeting room as last year (301 – level 3). The Houston Chapter will be recognizing individual students in each of the three divisions: Junior/Middle School Division (Grades 7 & 8), Ninth Grade Division, and Senior Division (Grades 10, 11, 12).


Judging takes place on Friday, March 18 and the awards ceremony is Saturday, March 19.


Volunteers are needed for judging Friday, March 18th from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Please contact Liz Stanko at elm4wx@yahoo.com if you would like to participate!


·         North Carolina State University and Community Outreach:

The North Carolina State University (NCSU) Student AMS Chapter is considering how it can maximize their efforts to reach out to their community in the Raleigh, NC, area.  Their student chapter wants to raise awareness of current and emerging atmospheric science topics, careers in the atmospheric sciences, etc., to local middle and senior high school students.  This is partly due to the fact that professors at NCSU are swamped with requests to speak in schools in and around the Raleigh area.  The NCSU student chapter hopes that their student chapter could absorb these requests into a community outreach program. Their idea is to write 45-60 minute technologically exciting presentations, one tailored for middle and another for high schools, to be given by chapter members in the schools.  In addition, they would develop and host a training class prior to sending members into the schools to ensure the students received the highest quality presentation. Depending on the success of this initiative, they would like to make their efforts available to other student chapters so that similar programs could be developed in other parts of the country. However, before they begin on this initiative, they want to know if anyone else has experience in this area, and could provide them some feedback, lessons learned, or help! If you could provide any information to the NCSU student chapter contact, Kyle Presser, kgpresse@ncsu.edu. He would greatly appreciate it!



Upcoming 2005 Conferences:

 National Hurricane Conference
21 – 25 March, 2005, Hilton
Riverside, New Orleans, LA  

Atmospheric Sciences and Air Quality Conference
27–29 April 2005,
San Francisco, CA

 13th Conference on Middle Atmosphere
13—17 June 2005,
Cambridge, MA

 15th Conference on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics

13—17 June 2005, Cambridge, MA

17th Conference on Climate Variability and Change
13—17 June 2005,
Cambridge, MA

15th Conference on Applied Climatology
20—24 June 2005,
Savannah, GA

13th Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation
20—24 June 2005,
Savannah, GA

34th Conference on Broadcast Meteorology
21st Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting
17th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction
1-5 August 2005, Washington, D.C.

NOAA/EPA Golden Jubilee Symposium on Air Quality Modeling and Its Applications
20—21 September 2005,
Durham, NC

12th Conference on Mesoscale Processes
24-28 October 2005, Albuquerque, NM

32nd Conference Radar Meteorology
24-29 October 2005, Albuquerque, NM ***************************************************************************************************

The Next Meeting:

April 14th (Tentative) / Meeting Location TBA


Ed Russell of Centerpoint Energy was one of the main players in aiding the State of Florida restore its power after being pummeled by 4 hurricanes last season. He is slated to talk to our group on those power-restoring efforts made in the field, by him and his crews, months after the initial devastation. He will also be a speaker at the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service’s Hurricane Workshop (sponsored by Centerpoint Energy), Thursday, May 26th, in Pasadena, Texas. 

Chapter Web-site: www.amshouston.org


Contact Information:

Feel free to contact any of the officers for comments, questions, suggestions or even additions to the newsletter.  We would appreciate hearing from you. 


President Liz Stanko

Ph: 713-621-4474

email: elm4wx@yahoo.com


Vice President Anthony Yanez

Ph: 713-778-8950



Secretary Patrick Blood

Ph: 281-337-5074 (Ext:304)

email: pgblood@yahoo.com


Treasurer Brian Planz

Ph: 713-430-7100

email: penst8wx@houston.rr.com


Or e-mail the Local Chapter: houstonams@houston.rr.com


E-mail is Preferred:

The use of email helps us cut down on costs.  If it is available to you, we would like to add you to our e-mailing list.  If you have changed your address, prefer another address, or no longer want to receive this newsletter, please let us know by filling out the form and giving it to any officer. 


Brought to you by……Houston AMS Chapter ’04-’05 Sponsors:





We are looking for additional sponsors for the 2004-2005 Houston Local Chapter of the AMS.  Please contact one of our officers above if you or your company would like to sponsor the newsletter.

 Dues/Address Change:

Don't forget to pay your $10 annual dues that were due this past September. 

Please include dues with the form below and turn it into any officer. If you prefer, you can mail the form and check to our Treasurer, Brian Planz. 

Checks should be made out to:  Houston Chapter of the American Meteorological Society

Send to:

Brian Planz
c/o Wilkens Weather Technologies, Inc.
2925 Briar Park Drive, 7th Floor
Houston, TX 77042

Include Below Information with Dues or Address Change.  Please mail to Treasurer or give to an Officer.




Work or Home? (please circle one)

Email Address________________________

Home phone number__________________


Send my newsletter by:___ mail/___ email.

This is for: ____ Dues/____Address change.



Houston Chapter of the American Meteorological Society

c/o Patrick Blood

Houston/Galveston National Weather Service, 1620 Gill Road, Dickinson, TX 77539