Hello and welcome to the official page of the Ohio University Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, also known as OUCAMS. The chapter became affiliated with the American Meteorological Society in 2009, after being established four years earlier as the OU Meteorology Club. Over our relatively short history, OUCAMS has grown tremendously, topping out at 50 paid members this past year. The club also received the honor of AMS Student Chapter of the Year, for its efforts during the 2014-2015 school year and Chapter Honor Roll for the 2015-2016 school year.
OUCAMS is a student organization at Ohio University’s Athens Campus, which serves to foster the growth of students pursuing meteorology or related fields through community outreach, professional development, academic achievement, and social events. Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to join the club, as an interest and passion for the weather is all that is needed.
Community outreach is a high priority for our chapter, and there are many ways members can get involved. We are currently involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program, and clean a two-mile stretch of highway just outside Athens throughout the year. Our chapter also visited the Southeast Ohio Foodbank during the spring semester, and packaged over 750 boxes to be distributed to households across Southeast Ohio.
Educational outreach is another big part of what we do, which includes visiting local elementary schools to teach students about the weather and severe weather safety through interactive activities and experiments. This year’s outreach included classroom visits, classes visiting campus, and collaborating with community events and groups such as Fall Family Night at Coolville Elementary, Family Science Saturday on OU’s campus, and Kids-On-Campus at Morrison Elementary.
The highlight of our year is always the OU Meteorology Symposium, held every spring. Attendance at the 8th annual symposium approached a record number again, with the symposium being a Zero Waste event and a full live stream for the first time ever. We had nine fantastic speakers from all backgrounds, including the EPA, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Center for Severe Weather Research, SUNY-Albany, the National Weather Service offices in Charleston, WV and Key West, FL, and more! The chapter also had 18 students travel to New Orleans for the AMS Student Conference, with six staying for the annual conference, and six seniors presenting on their research during the poster session. The conference served as a great educational and networking opportunity for our members.
Beyond all of the outreach and professional development, OUCAMS has a thriving social aspect. Trips to the movies are common amongst members, along with intermural sports on campus such as sand and indoor volleyball, along with the ever-dangerous dodgeball. Other events include Game Night, OUCAMS Family Feud, the annual Alumni Spaghetti dinner, and our Spring Cabin Trip in the Hocking Hills.
Another great aspect of our club is the Peer Mentor/Mentee Program, which pairs new members with a junior or senior within the club. The program helps new members transition into college life and make the chapter feel like one big family. This year the program expanded with even more fantastic events such as a Minute to Win It Night, Coffee Dates, and Finals Care Packages.
Personally, OUCAMS has helped me grow tremendously as a leader and a meteorologist. Helping our members succeed is the foundation of this family, and we encourage anyone who is interested to become a part of something special here at Ohio University. If you are a student who is interested in joining, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow OUCAMS on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
President of the Ohio University Chapter of the American Meteorological Society