High Plains Chapter of the AMS/NWA
Minutes of the Regular Meeting

April 23, 2002

The gathering started off with a fine buffet lunch from the Town and Country Kitchen in Norton, KS. In addition to the 11 members, Mrs. Poage, mother of member Kyle Poage, joined us for lunch. Our invited speaker, Ed Szoke from the Forecast Systems Laboratory, FSL, in Boulder, CO, was unable to attend at the last minute. The topic Mr. Szoke was going to present was the upcoming International H2O Project, IHOP.

Vice President Jim Johnson did a nice job facilitating the meeting, as President John Stoppkotte was unable to make this meeting. The meeting was called to order at 12:50 PM.
Secretary Tim Burke read the minutes from the 01/24/02 meeting, which were accepted as read.

REPORT OF THE TREASURY

Treasurer Mike Moritz presented the treasurer’s report as of 4/23/02. Very little financial activity had taken place since the last meeting. Deposits totaled $90.00 (dues), plus $3.86 in interest. Expenses totaled $66.61, which covered expenses for the AMS scholarship mailings. The current balance was $2234.66.

Mike also informed us the name of our servicing bank changed from First Federal of Lincoln to 1st Tier. This change should be transparent to chapter financial operations.

Our current membership is 48 - an all time high for the High Plains AMS/NWA chapter. A few members have been transferred, but will continue to receive the meeting minutes until they inform us to stop sending them, or their membership runs out.

The treasury report was accepted as read.

OLD BUSINESS

Updated reports from the Hastings and Dodge City NWS offices were received on mailing notifications of AMS Minority Scholarships. The Hastings office sent out 93 information letters by January 31st, and the Dodge City office sent out 55 notification letters by Feb 4th. These numbers, added to the 56 from North Platte and the 33 from Goodland, brings the total to 237 mailings sent out by members of the High Plains Chapter.

The 6th High Plains Conference is well into the planning stages, and still set in Dodge City, KS for Oct. 9-11th, 2002. Jim Johnson is serving as coordinator of this event, and stated the planning committee will be meeting again very soon to firm up some of the events planned. Jim stated the Call for Papers will go out within a week, and he was especially going to distribute the call to numerous universities. Discussion centered around possibly getting too many student presentations to fit into the schedule. Would a poster format, or a paper judging event, be more flexible? On the other hand, the location and travel time to Dodge City could be one factor weighing against a large student turn out. The general consensus of those present was to go ahead and issue the Call for Papers/presentations, announce our scholarship criteria, and deal with a large number of student presentations if that should arise (We only had 1 student presenter last year.) We could adjust accordingly next year.

NEW BUSINESS

Our chapter is without a Web site! This came rather unexpectedly. The government has ruled that no government server (such as NWS Central Region) can host a “non-government” organization. So, we must find another host. Additionally, government computers and software cannot be used to maintain such a page, as has been done in the past. Government employees may maintain such pages, but only from non-government resources and on their own time.

Jim Johnson had researched this issued, and found there were approximately 20 current AMS/NWA chapters with “noaa.gov” web hosts. He also solicited those web masters and asked what they were going to do. As of this meeting, the High Plains chapter appeared to be the first such site asked to immediately take down their web page. A number of the other chapters were not yet aware of the ruling from the National Weather Service Headquarters.

Jim presented a couple of viable options he had discovered, both free and feasible. The New York City, NYC, NWS office webmaster offered to let us have a web page off of their host site, Brookhaven Labs. A local ISP in Dodge City also offered free web page space, and possibly our own domain name. Space on their drives is the question, such as for posting post prints to our conferences as we have done in the past. Several suggestions were made to get around the space issue. It was thought that the more important issue here was to obtain a web page quickly, so others could get information on the upcoming conference, and the Call for Papers. We can change Web hosts later, if needed.

Aaron Johnson/North Platte, NE, LBF, our Web master for nearly three years, has asked to resign, as he does not have the resources to maintain our web page on his own. The chapter sincerely thanks Aaron for all his hard work and dedication during the last 3 years. Aaron, you have done an excellent job! Jim Johnson/Dodge City, KS, DDC, has offered to maintain the web page at its new location until a replacement for Aaron can be found. Any volunteers?

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 1:29 PM. The next meeting date has not been set yet.

Respectfully submitted,

Tim Burke, Secretary Jim Johnson, Vice President