Minutes of the High Plains AMS/NWA Chapter Meeting

April 30, 2008

Sixteen chapter members came together at mid day on Wednesday, April 30th.  This assembly started with a meal from the Town & Country Kitchen in Norton, KS, with most of our members selecting the buffet meal.  After our stomachs were satisfied, we began the meeting.  Following the meeting, a very interesting slide presentation was given by Tim Samaras - research storm chaser from Lakewood, CO. Tim Samaras awed and fascinated us with lightning pictures from a high speed camera.  Most of us had never seen lightning pictures like this, as his imagery captured shots too fast for the human eye.  His presentation, “Visualization of Naturally Produced Lightning Strikes Using High Speed Imaging”, was absolutely breathtaking.  Check out this link from National Geographic, which includes some of the pictures Tim Samara showed us at our meeting:  lightning-up-close Natl Geographic video  (Ctrl-click, or Right click/Open Hyperlink.  Short commercial will play first). We attempted to persuade Mr. Samaras to be a key presenter at our upcoming September conference in Hays, but nothing was firmed up. 

Call to order.   The meeting was called to order at 12:30 PM, followed by a quick round of introductions.  President Ewald waived the reading of the past meeting’s minutes for the sake of time.

Treasurer’s report.  Treasurer Matt Masek gave the following summary of our treasury:  the balance from 2/6/08 was $3783.05; Deposits totaled $499.52 and Withdrawals totaled $133.00, leaving an overall balance as of 4/30/08 at $4129.57.  The Jim Johnson Scholarship Fund stands at $1425.00, leaving our High Plains checkbook balance on 4/30/08 at $2724.57.

Old Business. An update on the coming HP13 conference on September 4-5th, hosted by the Goodland staff and to be held in Hays, KS was by given by Al Pietrycha.  The conference will be at Holiday Inn on north Vine St, near Interstate 70.  The conference cost will again be kept as low as possible, in the $60-65 range, which will include lunch on Thursday, Sep 4th.  A banquet is planned for Thursday night, which will be an additional $15 fee.  Three excellent key speakers have been secured, and a 4th is being sought.  A Call for Papers has been sent out, and is available via our website, www.highplains-amsnwa.org , with a deadline of Aug 1st.  All members are encouraged to submit a paper for presentation – this is a good opportunity to share your knowledge with your peers, in a relaxed conference atmosphere.  We will once again sponsor a student paper competition, with $400 to be awarded in each of the Undergraduate and Graduate categories.  All abstracts are to be submitted to: david.l.floyd@noaa.gov .

New Business.  Secretary Tim Burke explained the AMS Chapter of the Year application process, and asked members to keep track of any significant outreach activities they participate in.  We plan to submit an application for Chapter of the Year to the NWA by July 1st.

President Rick Ewald reviewed the Jim Johnson Scholarship process the committee had just completed.  With 4 members on the committee, the selection resulted in a tie.  Our Chapter Vice President was enlisted to break the tie. The winner will be announced later, after the student is presented his award at the upcoming school awards day.  Measures will be taken to add a 5th committee member, such as one from outside the NWS, before next year, to avoid a tie vote. 

Adjournment.  The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.  The next meeting will be held in the mid to late July time frame.

Rick Ewald, President
Tim Burke, Secretary