156 Why Aren't More African Americans Drawn to the Atmospheric Sciences?

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Davyon Hill, NWS, Shreveport, LA; and F. Bowser, W. Parker, J. P. Moore III, J. D. Sims, H. Hasberry, L. Alomassor, C. Woods, and C. K. Palmer

In July 2016, the United States Census Bureau estimated that African Americans account for 13.3 percent of the US population. However, recent surveys concluded that African Americans make up less than 5 % of the meteorologists in the National Weather Service and only 2% of the membership of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). These statistics are shockingly low, considering the long rich history that African Americans have in the field. From the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II to current television personalities like Al Roker to acclaimed meteorologists like Dr. Marshall Shepherd, many African Americans have been trailblazers in the science. Despite all of the historic accomplishments, the number of African Americans in Atmospheric Science remains low. WHY?

This study will show that simply increasing awareness in the community can go a long way in increasing the numbers in the science. We evaluate different methods and tools to expose more African Americans to the science, as well as discuss new innovative and practical methods to bring more Atmospheric Science to the African American community.

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