The American Meteorological Society (AMS) promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications. Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society has a membership of more than 11,000 professionals, professors, students, and weather enthusiasts. Some members have attained the designation "Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM)", many of whom have expertise in the applied meteorology discipline of atmospheric dispersion modeling. To the general public, however, the AMS is best known for its "Seal of Approval" to television and radio meteorologists.
The AMS publishes nine atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic journals (in print and online), issues position statements on scientific topics that fall within the scope of their expertise, sponsors more than 12 conferences annually, and offers numerous programs and services. There is also an extensive network of local chapters.
The AMS headquarters are located at Boston, Massachusetts. It was built by the famous Boston architect Charles Bulfinch, as the third Harrison Gray Otis House in 1806 and was purchased and renovated by the AMS in 1958, with staff moving into the building in 1960. The AMS also maintains an office in Washington, D.C., at 1120 G Street NW.
The AMS Seal of Approval program was established in 1957 as a means of recognizing television and radio weather forecasters who display informative, well-communicated, and scientifically-sound weather broadcast presentations. The awarding of a Seal of Approval is based on a demonstration tape submitted by the applicant to six members of a review panel after paying an application fee. Although a formal degree in meteorology is not a requirement to obtain the original Seal of Approval, the minimal requirements of meteorological courses including hydrology, basic meteorology & thermodynamic meteorology including at least 20 core college credits must have been taken first before applying (This insures that the forecaster has at least a minimal required education in the field). There is no minimum amount of experience required, but previous experience in weather forecasting and broadcasting is suggested before applying. It is worthy to note that many broadcasters containing the Seal of Approval do in fact have formal degrees in Meteorology or related sciences and/or certifications from accredited University programs. Upon meeting the core requirements, having the seal, and working in the field for 3 years that broadcaster may then be referred to as a Meteorologist in the broadcast community.
As of February 2007, more than 1,600 Seals of Approval have been granted, of which more than 700 are considered "active." Seals become inactive when a sealholder's membership renewal and annual seal fees are not paid.
The original Seal of Approval program will be phased out at the end of 2008. Current applicants may either apply for the original Seal of Approval or the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) Seal until December 31, 2008. After that date, only the CBM Seal will be offered. Current sealholders retain the right to use their seal in 2009 and onward, but new applications for the original Seal of Approval will not be accepted after December 31, 2008.
Note: The NWA Seal of Approval is issued by the National Weather Association and is independent of the AMS.
The original Seal of Approval program was revamped in January 2005 with the introduction of the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, or CBM, Seal. This seal introduced a 100-question multiple choice closed-book examination as part of the evaluation process. The questions on the exam cover many aspects of the science of meteorology, forecasting, and related principles. Applicants must answer at least 75 of the questions correctly before being awarded the CBM Seal.
Persons who obtained or applied for the original Seal of Approval before December 31, 2004 and were not rejected are eligible for an upgrade of their Seal of Approval to the CBM Seal upon the successful completion of the CBM exam and payment of applicable fees. Upgrading from the original Seal of Approval is not required. New applicants for the CBM Seal must pay the application fee, pass the exam, and then submit demonstration tapes to the review board before being considered for the CBM Seal. While original sealholders do not have to have a degree in meteorology or a related field of study to be upgraded, brand new applicants for the CBM seal must have a degree in meteorology or a related field of study to be considered.
In order to keep either the CBM Seal or the original Seal of Approval, sealholders must pay all annual dues and show proof of completing certain professional development programs every five years (such as educational presentations at schools, involvement in local AMS chapter events, attendance at weather conferences, and other activities of the like).
As of February 2007, nearly 200 CBM seals have been awarded to broadcast weather forecasters, either upgraded from the original Seal of Approval or granted to new applicants.
American Meteorological Society offers several awards in the fields of meteorology and oceanography.
Atmospheric Research Awards Committee
Oceanographic Research Awards Committee
The American Meteorological Society publishes the following scientific journals:
The American Meteorological Society produces the following scientific databases:
As a means of promoting "the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications", the AMS periodically publishes policy statements on issues related to its competence on subjects such as drought, ozone and acid deposition.
In 2003, the AMS issued the position statement Climate Change Research: Issues for the Atmospheric and Related Sciences: