Hello and welcome to the official page of the Ohio University Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, also known as OUCAMS. The chapter became affiliated with the American Meteorological Society in 2009, after being established four years earlier as the OU Meteorology Club. Over our relatively short history, OUCAMS has grown tremendously, topping out at over 50 paid members this past year. The club also received the honor of AMS Student Chapter of the Year, for its efforts during the 2014-2015 school year!
OUCAMS is a student organization at Ohio University’s Athens Campus, which serves to foster the growth of students pursuing meteorology or related fields through community outreach, professional development, academic achievement, and social events. Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to join the club, as an interest and passion for the weather is all that is needed.
Community outreach is a high priority for our chapter, and there are many ways members can get involved. We are currently involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program, and clean a two-mile stretch of highway just outside Athens throughout the year. Another way we give back to the Athens community is through Athens Beautification Day, where students volunteer to complete community service projects throughout the city, such as picking up litter, painting walls, or removing graffiti.
Educational outreach is another big part of what we do, which includes visiting local elementary schools to teach students about the weather and severe weather safety through interactive activities and experiments. This year’s outreach included classroom visits, classes visiting campus, and collaborating with community events and groups such as Fall Family Night at Coolville Elementary, Family Science Saturday on OU’s campus, and Kids-On-Campus at The Plains Elementary. On top of this, OUCAMS sent 28 members to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, to volunteer for StormFest, which is put on annually by California University of Pennsylvania’s local AMS chapter.
The highlight of our year is always the OU Meteorology Symposium, held every spring. Attendance at the 7th annual symposium broke records again, with eight fantastic speakers from all backgrounds, including The Weather Channel, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, WPC, NASA, the University of Illinois, and more! The chapter also had 14 students travel to New Orleans for the AMS Student Conference, with six staying for the annual conference, and three seniors presenting on their research during the poster session. Four of our officers were also on hand to accept the award for AMS Student Chapter of the Year! The conference served as a great educational and networking opportunity for our members.
Beyond all of the outreach and professional development, OUCAMS has a thriving social aspect. Trips to the movies are common amongst members, along with intermural sports on campus such as sand and indoor volleyball. Other events include Game Night, Bingo Night, the annual Alumni Spaghetti dinner, and our Spring Cabin Trip in the Hocking Hills.
Another great aspect of our club is the Peer Mentor/Mentee Program, which pairs new members with a junior or senior within the club. The program helps new members transition into college life and make the chapter feel like one big family. This year the program expanded with even more fantastic events such as a Minute to Win It Night, Coffee Dates, and Finals Care Packages.
Personally, OUCAMS has helped me grow tremendously as a leader and a meteorologist. Helping our members succeed is the foundation of this family, and we encourage anyone who is interested to become a part of something special here at Ohio University. If you are a student who is interested in joining, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow OUCAMS on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
President of the Ohio University Chapter of the American Meteorological Society