J16.1 AMS Early Career Leadership Academy

Tuesday, 14 January 2020: 10:30 AM
258C (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Matthew C. Lacke, Jefferson County Department of Health, Birmingham, AL; and R. DePodwin, A. K. Anderson-Frey, J. Rennie, A. R. Cook, C. Vagasky, B. V. Smoliak, and M. Newberry Jr.

The AMS Early Career Leadership Academy (ECLA), with support provided by IBM, aims to build and sustain a diverse network of early career leaders in weather, water, and climate science (WWC), especially among women and underrepresented minorities. ECLA provides an opportunity for participants to connect with colleagues across sectors, learn and grow as leaders, support one another as collaborators and mentors, eventually take on leadership roles within their respective workplaces and in the AMS, and contribute positively to the field and AMS. ECLA is a unique AMS program in that it is a joint commission endeavor. Oversight of the program and selection of the ECLA participants is the responsibility of an Advisory Committee that is led by the Commissioner of Education and Human Resources and the Commissioner of Professional Affairs. An ECLA Planning Committee is charged with planning all ECLA activities and is composed of current and former members of the AMS Board for Women and Minorities and the AMS Board for Early Career Professionals, as well as previous ECLA class members. Participants are selected from a pool of applicants who qualify as early career as defined by the AMS, are members of the AMS, and work in the WWC enterprise. The 2019 Academy entailed an orientation webinar, three leadership webinars, three peer mentoring calls, and culminated in a 2.5-day in-person meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The leadership webinars focused on emotional intelligence, hearing from established leaders in the field, and science communication. The in-person meeting had participants take a formal leadership strengths assessment, reflect on their own personal leadership styles, network among class members, take a trip to The Weather Channel, and discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, as well as conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, and science communication. There were fun and interactive activities during the evenings that focused on developing better communication skills via listening and responding, getting to know participants better, and enhancing creativity and collaboration with teamwork. In response to the specific leadership needs of participants, most topics addressed during ECLA are derived from participants applications, as well as ongoing surveys throughout the program. Future efforts include planning for the 2020 Academy and holding an annual reception for former ECLA participants and speakers starting at the 2020 Annual AMS Meeting.
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