UVM Geography professor Lesley-Ann L. Dupigny-Giroux, Ph.D., the Vermont State Climatologist, has been elected to serve a two-year term as the president of the American Association of State Climatologists. The AASC serves the nation by providing timely expertise, outreach and communication about climate and climate-change issues to all members of the public, state agencies, private sector and the federal government.
“I am humbled and deeply privileged to serve in this role, as we in the association seek to provide climate services to all of our stakeholders in equitable ways, while growing and supporting our upcoming generations of climatologists,” Dupigny-Giroux said.
With roots in a federal program that has provided state climate service since 1885, the current AASC was founded in 1976. It is a professional scientific organization composed of state climatologists, directors of the six Regional Climate Centers and associate members interested in the goals and activities of the association. State climatologists are either affiliated with an academic institution, as with Dupigny-Giroux, employed by local state agencies or appointed by the governor. They are also recognized by the director of the National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The role of state climatologists is wide-ranging. They provide advice and testimony to state legislatures; work directly with K-12 students and teachers on climate change education; partner with university extension offices to make presentations and provide collaborative research to individual farmers or farm agencies; respond to questions from the public about climate data for their home needs or litigation; and provide information to print, radio, on-air, blogs and other media. Dupigny-Giroux is also part of the AAAS SciLine program, which allows the AAAS to connect her directly with national and international reporters who are working on stories.