PRESS RELEASE: Boston, MA — May 1, 2023 — Girls Who Chase, the initiative committed to empowering women in storm chasing and meteorology, and the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the professional society for atmospheric and related sciences, are teaming up to create more space for women in weather through education and awareness.
Women and girls passionate about weather and science face many challenges in chasing their dreams—from outright harassment to systematic exclusion from hobbies and professional opportunities. Girls Who Chase was founded by Jen Walton in 2021 to amplify the work of women in storm chasing, in order to combat and shift stereotypes and exclusion in the world of weather. With the American Meteorological Society’s longstanding commitment to “a diverse, inclusive, and respectful community,” the partnership has great potential to make a difference.
“It is time for women to be fully represented and recognized for their achievements in storm chasing and weather,” says Walton. “But even more critically, girls deserve role models they don’t have to struggle to find. In this arena, the adage ‘if you can see it, you can be it’ rings so importantly true, and our partnership with AMS and its more than 10,000 professional and student members will go a long way toward ensuring girls and women can find their future in weather.”
“We all suffer when we lose the talent and expertise of women in weather, water, and climate sciences, and in all sciences for that matter,” says AMS Executive Director Stella Kafka, PhD. “Girls Who Chase has been instrumental in raising the profile of women in storm chasing and meteorology. With the essential work of our Board on Representation, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity (BRAID) and the Culture and Inclusion Cabinet (CIC) leading the charge, AMS is committed to advancing those same goals. Girls Who Chase and AMS aim to provide strong role models for young women, and build supportive communities of practice and belonging in the weather, water and climate enterprise.”
The two organizations will join forces on a number of initiatives, with AMS supporting the creation of free or low-cost GWC education and training sessions in the fall of 2023. This will include a “media and communication 101” training that will empower storm chasers to speak with the media about their work and be ambassadors providing accurate information on weather phenomena. AMS will also sponsor Walton’s attendance at its 104th Annual Meeting, “Living in a Changing Environment.”
In addition, Girls Who Chase and the American Meteorological Society will create joint content including podcast episodes and social media discussions spotlighting women in storm chasing, weather, and meteorology.
“Our content will focus on showcasing the successes of women in meteorology and storm chasing, demonstrating their contribution to science through a much-enjoyed activity. We invite all who are interested in chasing some of the most dynamic phenomena on our planet to join us,” says Kafka. “The resources we’re creating together are available to anyone anywhere, and are just the beginning of what we hope will be a long and fruitful collaboration.”
About Girls Who Chase
Girls Who Chase, founded in 2021, is a media and education platform that inspires, empowers and equips girls and women globally to pursue storms, the sciences and their passions. Our vision is a world where girls and women know they can do anything and be anything they want, and feel supported and welcomed in any field they choose; most especially in storm chasing, meteorology, and other fields of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM). More information at www.girlswhochase.com.
About the American Meteorological Society
The American Meteorological Society advances the atmospheric and related sciences, technologies, applications, and services for the benefit of society. Founded in 1919, AMS has a membership of more than 12,000 professionals, students, and weather enthusiasts. AMS publishes 12 atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic science journals—in print and online; sponsors more than 12 conferences annually; and offers numerous programs and services. Visit us at https://www.ametsoc.org/.