Minutes of the High Plains AMS/NWA Chapter Meeting

January 24, 2007

December 12-24, 2006 Email Meeting

Synopsis:  An email message was sent to all members, soliciting input via email on included topics.  Minutes from the 10/05/06 meeting held in Dodge City during the HP10 Conference were distributed on 10/11 and accepted.  An electronic version of the Treasurer's report gave a HP10 Conference summary of $3254.10, $3414.29 in expenses, for a net cost of $-160.19.   The checkbook and ledger both balanced at $1506.52.

The Jim Johnson Scholarship was discussed, with a representative from each of our 4 offices serving as focal points for their respective areas:  Rick Ewald form Hastings, Sarah Johnson from Goodland, John Stoppkotte from North Platte, and Matt Gerard from Dodge City.  These individuals will send letters to area high schools, act as the office contact for that area, and serve as the committee to decide who will receive the scholarship.   This is a $500 dollar scholarship for a high school senior in KS or NE pursuing a career in a physical science.  The 2007 chapter dues will be $15.00, with the $5 increase going toward part of the Jim Johnson Scholarship fund.  This email opened up nominations from officers, and the nominations for 2007 officers were:  Rick Ewald/President, Mike Umscheid/Vice President, Matt Masek/Treasurer and Tim Burke/Secretary.  A vote will be held via email prior to the next meeting.  The 11th Annual High Plain conference will be in Hastings, NE from Aug 15-17th, a couple months earlier than normal.  Does anyone have an update on WFO Wichita’s proposal to join our conference rotation?   The next meeting will be in mid-January, with suggestions for the place and speaker solicited.

January 24, 2007 Chapter Meeting

This gathering started with lunch at the Pizza Hut in Norton, KS.  14 members attended, with one visitor, a new member of the GLD staff.  After a nourishing meal of pizza and salad, the meeting was held.

After the meeting, a representative from each office gave a wrap up of the two winter storms which recently blew through the high plains.  Lively discussions centered on what went well and what could be improved upon.  One “best practice” item all agreed worked well and should continue in the future is initiating mass conference calls prior to a big event to Emergency Managers, Department of Transportation officials, School superintendents, the media, etc.  A lot of positive feed back came from this practice.  Another good suggestion was to frequently update stories on the office webpage, so anyone with internet access can obtain them.  A problem that arose for one office was the loss of a primary communications tower, so an alternate means of disseminating information had to be found.  Another weakness identified was not enough staff on duty during significant weather.  Hydrologist and member Rick Sloan/DDC showed maps of how much water content is stored in all that snow upstream, which could lead to flooding issues this spring.

Call to order.   The meeting was called to order at 11:53 AM.  Secretary Tim Burke/DDC read the 10/05/06 meeting minutes, which were accepted as read.  Notes and messages from the Dec email meeting were accepted as well, and members were told minutes from the email meeting would be included with this set of minutes.

Treasurer’s report.  Treasurer Matt Masek/LBF reported a starting balance from 12/15/06 of $1506.52, $45.29 additions from dues and interest, zero subtractions, for a 01/24/07 balance of $1551.81.  $5 from each member's dues is being slotted for the Jim Johnson Scholarship fund, so $15 is currently in that fund.

Old Business.  Administering the Jim Johnson Scholarship was discussed.  $500 was donated for this first year of the scholarship by member and GLD MIC Scott Mentzer; a second $500 was donated anonymously, so the 2nd year is also covered financially.  Five dollars from each member’s dues ($15) will be earmarked for this scholarship fund.  We decided the prize money amounts will likely have to be lowered at our annual conference, for the student paper/presentation contests.  We have been awarding $500 each to a graduate student presenter and an undergraduate presenter.  Letters to areas high schools will be sent out this week, papers will need to be submitted by applicants by April 1st, and the scholarship is planned to be awarded by May 1st.

President David Floyd queried if any member had heard from the Wichita AMS chapter concerning the proposal to possibly join the hosting of our conference rotation.  No contact from the Wichita chapter was known, thus President Floyd volunteered to contact the Wichita chapter.

New Business.  The 11th High Plains conference will be held August 15th-17th in Hastings, Nebraska.  The earlier than normal date was chosen in hopes of drawing more students, and to avoid the early fiscal year problems.

Officers:  An electronic vote open to all members was conducted from Jan 18-25th.  The Chapter officers for 2007 are:  President – Rick Ewald/GID; Vice President – Mike Umscheid/DDC; Treasurer – Matt Masek/LBF; and Secretary – Tim Burke/DDC.  Congratulations to all!  Outgoing President Dave Floyd was given recognition and applause for serving our Chapter during this past year.   

Adjournment.  The meeting adjourned at 12:20 PM.  The next meeting should be held in the Apr/May time frame, you will be notified.  Anyone want to do a presentation at our next meeting?

Dave Floyd, President and Tim Burke, Secretary