Meteorology society makes positive impact

Alyssa Miller

Iowa State’s chapter of the American Meteorological Society was recently named Student Chapter of the Year for the third time since 2006.

Josh Alland, senior in meteorology and president of the American Meteorology Society chapter, is looking into ways to expand their level of outreach.

“I think in the past few years it’s been the outreach that makes us stand out compared to everybody else,” Alland said. “What [the American Meteorological Society] is looking for is not only consistency but improved growth.”

Last year’s chapter president, Robert Nelson, and vice president, Sam Santeiu, played important roles in securing their nomination for Student Chapter of the Year.

“They really deserve all the praise. They did so much last year,” Alland said.

The ISU chapter of the American Meteorological Society was reportedly named an honorable mention every other year.

“It’s an amazing group. It always surprises me how long the list is and what they’re trying to do,” said David Flory, senior lecturer of geological and atmospheric sciences and adviser to the group. “Year after year we see this, but it gets longer and longer, and they’re always trying to improve, and it’s great.”

As part of outreach, the ISU American Meteorological Society chapter travels around the country helping towns that have been devastated by natural disasters.

“There were a lot of tornadoes down there [in Alabama], so we drove all the way down to help with tornado relief for about a week,” Alland said.

On occasion the chapter gets together with other American Meteorological Society chapters across the nation.

“They organized a Midwest [American Meteorological Society] Conference Call and the National [American Meteorological Society] really liked that because we’re not all bickering and trying to get Chapter of the Year; we’re actually trying to work together for a common goal,” Alland said. “This year we’re trying to expand that. We’re expanding it to basically the nation.”

The leadership skills that students learn by being members of the American Meteorological Society look great on a resume for graduate school. Flory said involvement in American Meteorological Society shows that a student is willing to get involved with activities that are beneficial to the community as a whole.

“When they’re looking for graduate school, if they’ve had the leadership positions, that’s something to put on a resume, so it definitely makes themselves stronger and stronger as students by being involved in it,” Flory said.

One way the chapter plans to get schools involved in their work is by getting them storm-ready with the help of the National Weather Service.

“If a tornado comes or a severe weather incident such as a flood, they know what to do. A lot schools actually don’t know what to do; they don’t have the necessary protocol,” Alland said. “We’re going to work with the weather service and the school district superintendents to make school districts around Ames storm-ready.”

Alland said he hopes to expand out even further in the future.

“Other majors are welcome,” Flory said. “Most of them love storm chasing, so that’s the main thing they come and get involved in.”