February General Meeting


Welcome back! We will be continuing with virtual meetings and social events, several which are upcoming:

-OU Big Event: Details will follow as they become available.

-Virtual Social Event with Cornell University

-April General Elections: Any active member is welcome and encouraged to run for positions! Those running for President or Vice President must be a board member for the 20-21 school year.

Guest Speaker:

John Haynes is the Program Manager for Health and Air Quality at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As part of the Applied Sciences Program within NASA, Haynes uses the data from Satellites in order to provide local health departments with resources to fight re-emerging diseases across the globe. Recently he has worked with the South Dakota Department of Health to provide the public with information regarding West Nile Virus using climate satellites. In addition to using climate information to provide data regarding diseases, Haynes has been measuring changes in Air Quality due to COVID-19. He also explains that while his career initially represented what many expect meteorology to represent, there are many opportunities for meteorologists to be successful in interdisciplinary fields like the Health and Air Quality at NASA. In addition, students are encouraged to check out the Applied Sciences Program with the following links:



January Officer Meeting

The previous semester was a success given the fact that we are still dealing with a global pandemic. We had a total of 85 members of which 52% were active when not counting the yearly service requirement. Our numbers dwindled as the semester progressed from 49 members at the Joint OWL/SCAN Meeting in August to 26 members by the time the November General meeting rolled around.

Some updates from the AMS Conference. We again won Chapter of the Year for the second year in a row, and our chapter poster placed second in the chapter poster competition. To our knowledge, this is the highest that OU SCAN has placed in the poster competition.

Some notable things on the tentative spring schedule include the Career Fair on March 10th, a social event in late March, Officer Elections for the 2021-2022 Academic year on April 6th, and an online social/end of semester event in late April.

Due to the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional Groundhog Day party will not be held this year. We hope that we can continue this tradition in 2022.

Our February General Meeting will feature John Haynes who will speak about “a day in the life of a program manager for health and air quality at NASA” on Tuesday, February 2nd at 6:00 pm. More details regarding the future general meetings will be made available after the other officer meetings for that respective month.

We are throwing around the idea of having a Resume Help Session. We will discuss the idea more as a board and keep everyone updated with details once we have them.

We are looking at different ideas for social events. One main idea is to have a joint social event with Cornell. We are currently hashing out the details and will let everyone know when more details are available.

The finances of the Chapter are currently doing fine. We have not had to spend money on much if anything because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dues were changed to $5 for the year (for those who paid in the Fall), but if someone hasn’t paid them they will remain $5 for the Spring 2021 semester.

Big Event will happen this year. It is on April 10th, from 9 am – 2 pm. We are currently discussing with OWL regarding a joint team with them for Big Event. We are also in contact with the Big Event staff regarding how this will work, and if the event will be socially distant outside or if they are offering virtual options.

New things that we are continuing to look at. We hope to implement a monthly newsletter via Engage; however, more work will need to be done to get Engage up and running for this to occur. We want to institute Student Spotlights to highlight the amazing things that our members are doing. We also hope to add a google calendar to the website so everyone can see our events when they go to the website. We plan on starting to reach out to alumni to do a throwback Thursday post. We are currently still hashing out the details of this.

November General Meeting

Aisha Owusu, an adjunct professor at Columbia University and OU Alumni gives a presentation on the importance of diversity in STEM and Meteorology as well as its importance to weather data access. Owusu began her career following graduation at Weather News in Norman. While working within the private sector, she became interested in rerouting cargo ships due to weather to save fuel as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. She continued to pursue jobs under almost every area in Meteorology and Climatology including working with the World Health Organization. Owusu explains that the definition of diversity accepted by many does not represent the thoughts of all communities as there are many that remain marginalized. Diversity also does not rely on an individual, she explains that it takes an entire community of differences to create a diverse atmosphere. In STEM, science is not talent, it is created by training and diverse teams of people. Owusu also talks about that in STEM a significant number of communities are under-represented due to economic and social issues stacked against them. Weather Data is not just about what is on TV, thousands of scientists across the globe use the data to provide valuable data to the public. Owusu explains that Climate Science is a service, the data that scientists collect and produce is important to all people. While in the United States weather and climate data is freely available in the developed world, many other countries do not have public organizations that distribute data. In many African Countries, data is limited or in-existent. Not only do governments limit or charge for the use of climate data, many areas have no infrastructure to support the collection of data. Some countries that do have climate agencies are forced to fundraise themselves meaning that high prices are charged for access to the data.

Owusu worked 5 years in Africa to improve many of these issues by giving and training parts of Africa. By increasing the need for accurate data, some governments are forced to increase funding to obtain reliable weather data.

Hurricane Fundraiser continues! You can make one up by completing a FEMA course, feel free to ask an officer for more details. An additional social event will be coming later in the semester, more details to come!

November Officer Meeting

Check your inboxes in December for a SCAN Semester in Review email that will detail everything that the OU SCAN Chapter was able to accomplish during the Fall 2020 Semester.

We are currently planning our Spring 2021 Semester where we are currently planning on having a full online semester again due to concerns of COVID-19.

We are looking at having a Social event with SAC/New Student Mentor Program. We are currently looking at the Week after Thanksgiving (November 30th through December 4th). If possible, we are thinking about having it on Thursday, December 3rd at 6 pm. However, nothing is set in stone, and more details are still to come. We are planning on playing virtual games which would include playing games like Apples to Apples, Among Us, and other virtual games.

Please look out for our Google Form where we want your feedback regarding how the Fall 2020 Semester went. We want to know what worked well and what did not work that well.

We are currently planning our Chapter Poster for the 2021 SMA Conference. We are taking feedback from last year and looking at who won last year in order to determine how we can improve our posters.

We are still thinking about new things to implement. We are looking to implement a Monthly newsletter via Engage with a trial run in December of the SCAN Semester in Review email. We are also looking at doing student spotlights in order to highlight students that are doing great things within the School of Meteorology. Furthermore, we are looking at adding a calendar to the website so that whoever looks at the website can see a general schedule of our events. Finally, we are looking to start reaching out to alumni to start doing Throwback Thursday posts to highlight all the amazing things that our alumni are doing.

October Officer Meeting

We have officially hit the middle part of the semester. With this, we are planning on having a Social Event with ISU on October 20th at 7:00 PM CDT. We will be having breakout rooms to help with networking between the memberships.

We are also continuing the Hurricane Fundraiser through Hurricane Season. We have already raised $1000, and our next goal of $2000 will greatly help. Furthermore, if we reach $2000, some of the Graduate Student TAs will be performing a TikTok dance. We already have Amanda Kis, Cameron Homeyer, Elinor Martin, and Jeff Basara doing TikTok dances, and they would greatly appreciate if some of the TAs would have to do dances as well.

We are excited for our November General Meeting with Aisha Owusu on November 4th. She will be talking about diversity in STEM and meteorology, and she will be discussing the importance of access to weather data.

We are looking to start sending out monthly newsletters to our membership to help everyone stay up to date with everything OU SCAN. We are also about to start doing alumni spotlights to showcase all the fun and exciting things that our alumni are doing in the Meteorology community.

October General Meeting

Don’t forget about the Hurricane Relief Fund sponsored by SCAN/OWL/SAC. As incentive for donations, some OU Meteorology professors will be doing TikTok dances if certain donation thresholds are reached. We have currently raised $1,000. This means that Dr. Amanda Kis, Dr. Cameron Homeyer, Dr. Elinor Martin, and Dr. Jeff Basara will be performing TikTok dances. However, we are still taking donations, so please donate because the next goal is $2,000 for yet another professor to do a TikTok dance.

Please join us for our October Social Event with AMS at Iowa State on October 20th at 7 pm CDT. We will be doing icebreakers in breakout rooms and working to network with fellow meteorologists from a different program.

Furthermore, a preview of our November General Meeting on November 5th at 6 pm CST. We will be having Ashia Owusu speak on diversity in STEM/Meteorology along with the importance of access to weather data.

Finally, we will be having Bill Walsh speak today about broadcast meteorology and a station tour. Bill Walsh is a broadcast meteorologist for WCSC-TV 5 Charleston, and he has won 2 Emmys. Broadcast meteorology includes building graphics, do the forecasting, do the radio segments, and get ready to speak on air just to name a few. Furthermore, broadcast meteorologists can experience a schedule where they do not have dedicated time off because they continue to tweet and monitor the weather to keep the public informed where other jobs are able to walk away from the office. He also provided a tour of the WCSC-TV 5 studio.

September Officer Meeting

All officers were present at the September Officer Meeting. The first order of business was amending the tiebreaker clause within the SCAN Constitution. The addition changes the endless cycle of run-off elections. The new amendment will have two run-off elections, and if there is still a tie, the SCAN board will fill the position. This amendment was passed by a unanimous vote of the eleven (11) voting board members.

We are looking at different ways to donate to help with relief for Hurricane Laura. We hope to have a GoFundMe to automatically donate to the desired organization. We are looking into having rewards that might involving professors similar to last year’s pie in the face.

We welcomed three new officers to the SCAN board this week. The two Freshman Representatives are Sara Raffel and Preston Roesslet, and the new Graduate Student Representative is Brandon Cohen.

We are planning a Virtual Trivia Night for our September Social Event via Kahoot. The current date for the Trivia Night will be on Thursday, September 24th at 7:00 pm. There will be both a meteorological knowledge and pop culture knowledge Kahoot. 

Our next general meeting is on October 6th at 6:30 pm. We will be having Bill Walsh speak about broadcast meteorology and his background in the military. He also won an Emmy for his reporting on Hurricane Hugo. Look out for an email from SCAN regarding the zoom link for the meeting closer to the end of the month.

Finally, as of the OWL/SCAN Joint meeting, we currently have 70 members in SCAN. There are 27 Freshman, 15 Sophomores, 14 Juniors, 9 Seniors, and 5 Graduate Students. However, we hope to have more people involved once we return to in-person general meetings which will hopefully occur in the Spring 2021 semester.

September General Meeting

OWL had their time giving a background on who OWL is and what they do. They are primarily a forecasting group emphasizing the importance of forecasting and broadcasting.

OU SCAN provides a brief background into what we are. It is the student chapter of the AMS/NWA. We went over who is on the board and the three positions that are up for election today. Dues are currently $5 for the virtual semester. Bruce Pollock talked about the Outreach committee regarding things that they do and what the Weather Friends do/are.

We had Dr. Elizabeth Smith talk about her research and her path to her Ph.D. She grew up in rural West Virginia. She did her undergrad at California University in Pennsylvania, and all of her graduate experience was at the University of Oklahoma while working with Petra Klein. She went to CIMMS for a Postdoc and joined NSSL a few years later.

She discussed her experiences throughout her education such as dealing with imposter syndrome, burnout, and having to learn on your own. Once you hit graduate school, you not only have to deal with classes – which are more self-learning – and you have to learn to perform research on top of that. Undergraduate research can be very helpful in determining what you want to do later on in graduate school.

Elizabeth works with boundary layer measurements. While working with NSSL, she has been able to help with furthering research in boundary layer measurements to help improve the observational network and our understanding of the science. She discussed the VORTEX 1 and 2 projects and how they have impacted the weather community. She uses a mobile radar and lidar to take measurements of the boundary layer which is also co-located with a mobile mesonet truck and balloon launches to help sample the area in the data gap between the surface and 1000 meters.

She talked about TORUS and the research involved with the field campaign. This includes the delay of the TORUS 2020 field campaign into TORUS 2021. Elizabeth specifically is working with a lidar that in measuring wind observations associated with supercells. Thus, they ideally can see how the storm modifies the environment around it.

The elections will occur after the joint meeting and results will be posted after votes have been collected and counted.

August Officer Meeting

August 25, 2020

The main takeaway from the August Officer meeting was discussing the SCAN/OWL Join Meeting that will be held on Tuesday, September 1st from 6-8 pm CDT. It will feature Elizabeth Smith who is going to talk about tornadoes/TORUS as well as her path to becoming a research scientist.

Furthermore, the SCAN section of the meeting will feature elections for two (2) Freshman Representatives and one (1) Graduate Representative. Nominations for the positions will be via the Zoom chat. We will then have them turn on the video to present speeches and then send out a google survey for them to fill out in order to vote. Dues will need to be paid in order to be eligible to vote. Dues will be $5 for the Fall semester. We are still working to have the capability to have dues paid virtually via Venmo or PayPal.

OU SCAN is also currently taking submissions for the LCAC photo contest. We are accepting submissions through September 15th, and the chapter will end up voting on their favorite to be our chapter’s submission.

The officers are currently planning a virtual social event for September. It will be a Kahoot style of trivia night with different opportunities to play and win. 

Plans are currently underway for the October and November General meetings. We are currently planning for the October General meeting to feature a broadcast meteorologist and the November General meeting to feature diversity in the SoM.

There were other talks about fundraising for different causes like the impacts from hurricane Laura or the wildfires in California and Colorado. Stay tuned for more information about how you can help.