Attendance at the annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2010 Fall Meeting and 91st American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting hit new highs this year, and ARM and its users were in full force at both meetings. While setting record-breaking attendance at AGU is not new, this year’s fall meeting hosted more than 18,400 participants in San Francisco December 13-17, 2010—almost 2400 more than last year’s record of 16,000. Meeting organizers announced this was the largest international meeting ever for earth and space sciences. For AMS, attendance has remained fairly steady, until this year, with nearly 3,800 researchers participating.
The Facility’s participation in these two meetings also soared to new heights. More than 100 researchers presented results of their research using ARM data at AGU, and the ARM outreach exhibit drew nearly 500 visitors. From January 22-27, at AMS in Seattle, just over 40 researchers shared their results from using ARM data, and approximately 250 meeting participants made their way to the ARM exhibit. Notably at the AMS meeting, scientist and ARM user Rob Wood was given the Henry G. Houghton Award, and ARM Southern Great Plains site scientist Pete Lamb’s election to the AMS Council was formalized.
Building on the timing of the recent call for proposals, many visitors to the exhibit were interested to learn about the Facility and how to get involved through field campaigns and using ARM data. Some international visitors were pleasantly surprised to learn that the ARM Facility is open to them and not just available for U.S. users. The availability of free data continued to be a conversation starter as well.
As part of the Facility’s outreach efforts, ARM communications staff participated in both public science fairs sponsored by the meetings. In its second year, Exploration Station nearly doubled its attendance to 250 and continues to grow as a popular AGU event. WeatherFest, in its 10th year and second appearance in Seattle, had a much larger turnout with nearly 5000 students, parents, and teachers attending. Professor Polar Bear and the Climate Kids received lots of attention, and parents were happy to receive lesson plans and the new education newsletter published just in time for WeatherFest. To learn more about ARM’s science fair experiences, read these blog posts, A Great Day at Exploration Station and Science + Fun = 2011 WeatherFest.