University of Vermont

University Communications

State Climatologists Gather From Across United States

Release Date: 07-03-2008

Author: Joshua E. Brown
Email: joshua.brown@uvm.edu
Phone: 802/656-3039 Fax: (802) 656-3203

It may be true that "neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor gloom of night," will stop the postal service. But letter carriers have nothing on state climatologists who add to their list forest fires, hail, flash floods, tornadoes, droughts and hurricanes.

More than 80 of these official weather-watchers from almost every state will gather for the American Association of State Climatologists annual meeting, co-hosted by the University of Vermont, July 7-10, 2008 at the Sheraton Conference Center, Burlington.

This is the first time in the organization's 32-year history that the national meeting will be held in Vermont.

Historic Weather Bureau Building at UVM to be Dedicated
The meetings will open with a dedication ceremony at UVM's Adams Building that functioned as a US Weather Bureau building from 1906, when it was built, until 1943. The National Weather Service in Burlington, now located at the Burlington airport, has coordinated with UVM to install a commemorative sign.

"This [building] was the first presence of the Weather Bureau in Burlington," said Andy Nash, chief climatologist for National Weather Service in Burlington.

The ceremony to dedicate the sign will take place on July 7, 4:30 pm, at the Adams Building, 601 Main Street.

Members of the press and the public are welcome at this free event.

Climate Services Surge
Co-organized by Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, Vermont's state climatologist and associate professor of geography at UVM, the AASC meeting will showcase a new national drought information system that helps users assess drought risk and mitigation. The new system is part of a larger focus of the meeting on the numerous forms of information that state climatologists gather—and how best to present this information.

"We provide climate services that every member of the public needs to make decisions," Dupigny-Giroux said, "whether it's planting a crop or dealing with flooding in your basement or planning a vacation."

The combination of global climate change and rapidly evolving technologies—like Google Earth—are increasing the expectations on state climatologists, Dupigny-Giroux says.

"We are increasingly inundated with requests for information," she says.

"So, how do we best communicate with the public?" will be an important question throughout this year's meetings, she says. "People are not content with downloading Excel tables anymore—we want a nice multicolored map."

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For more information about the meeting and Adams Building ceremony, contact Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, state.climatologist@uvm.edu, 802-656-3060. More information about the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC) is available here: http://www.stateclimate.org.