Iowa State’s American Meteorology Society chapter earns top award

Simone Scruggs

The American Meteorological Society has awarded the ISU American Meteorological Society the Student Chapter of the Year award.

Marshall Shepherd, president of the society, called senior Kevin Smalley, president of Iowa State’s meteorological society club, to tell him about the award.

“The award is given to a student chapter who excels beyond the others in community outreach and academic support,” said Kenzie Krocak, vice president of the ISU club chapter.

The chapter sent about 40 members to society’s National Convention last year in Austin, Texas, which boosted involvement and attention for the ISU chapter to the society, Smalley said. This award has been given to the ISU chapter the previous three years.

Community outreach is a large aspect of the chapter’s purpose including attending local schools with a poster contest in the spring.

The chapter has 70 members, and it is looking to expand its membership.

ClubFest and Picnic at the Plaza have been two large recruitment and publicity opportunities the chapter has already completed this semester.

Participation in Keep Iowa State Beautiful is another major project of the chapter. Keep Iowa State Beautiful is the university’s mission for a green campus, which involves trash cleanups and greener ways for trash elimination.

The lawns around Agronomy Hall are kept clean due to the efforts of the members who took time to clean up trash.

“We are going to participate in Taking the Road Less Traveled,” Krocak said.  

Taking the Road Less Traveled is a career conference sponsored for surrounding middle and high schools. The conference is sponsored by the program Women in Science and Engineering at Iowa State.

The event occurs in October and April each year. The chapter demonstrates “Hands-On Weather Explorations” at the conference.

The chapter is hoping to put on an elementary school science fair this year that would be located on Iowa State’s campus in March or April.

“We participate in Veishea as well,” Smalley said. Veishea participation involves demonstrations of the chapter’s tornado machine and teaching visitors about the warning signs of severe weather events and how to prepare for weather related events.

A majority of the members are meteorology majors; however, the chapter welcomes any student interested in joining.

As a student organization, participation is an occasional problem for the chapter Krocak said. Another problem Krocak stated, is the chapter’s restriction on programs and projects is due to the lack of some qualifications required, and support from professionals or professors is needed but not always given.

Participation in the chapter’s outreach events from members and nonmembers, especially from underclassman at Iowa State, is a goal for the chapter in the upcoming year. Another major goal is the science fair project as well.

Members of the chapter are also featured in the ISUtv program. “Cy’s Eyes on the Skies” that is the local weather broadcast.