Interview with DMG Member Petra Gebauer

Petra Gebauer, DMG (photo private)
EMS Liaison Committee (LC): Is your job related to meteorology?

Yes, I am the chairwoman of a non-profit organisation called Berliner Wetterkarte e.V. My work, and that of several colleagues, ensures the continued publication of the Berliner Wetterkarte, a daily weather  bulletin which has been issued since 1952. This weather  bulletin is eight pages long and is published in print and digital format. It is unique in Europe at least. We also support the education of students at universities and schools and connect both theoretical and practical aspects of weather observing, analysis and forecasting.

EMS LC: What society are you a member of, and since when?

I am a member of the Deutsche Meteorologische Gesellschaft (DMG) since 1985 .

EMS LC: Why are you a member? What aspects of meteorology interest you most?

I was already part of the German community of meteorologists when I was a meteorology student at the Free University Berlin. Prof. Werner Wehry was certainly the driving force for me joining DMG. Soon after I joined, I attended different events organised by DMG, both as a participant and as a supporter of the organisation teams. I’m interested in many meteorological topics, but am particularly interested in weather observation, analysis, forecasting, extreme weather and practical education.

EMS LC: What is your favourite type of weather?

Thunderstorms! Since I was a child  I liked to watch lightning, as it is always a spectacle in the sky. And it is fantastic, that only water and air are the trigger for this meteorological “event”.

EMS LC: What is the extent of your involvement in your Met Society?

During my meteorological studies at the Free University Berlin I have been involved with DMG on a voluntary basis. I was involved in the organisation of events as well as being a member of the Society’s committee (treasurer of the Berlin-Brandenburg section, secretary of the main committee). Now I work in the main office on membership support.

EMS LC: What type of Met Society events do you like to attend? Have you ever attended an event remotely, via a webinar, Facebook Live, etc?

Most of all I like to attend meetings in person; dialogue between meteorologists is very important. I’m not sure if I would attend an event remotely, even if there were any organised by the DMG.

EMS LC: What type of events would you like your organisation to host? Do you have any suggestions of new types of event to be run by your Met Society?

Education events for students of different ages.

EMS LC: What has been your favourite event to date that was carried out by your Met Society?

There is not just one favourite event. Approximately every three years the DACH conference is organised by the meteorological societies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This is a special occasion to meet and hear about progress in various meteorological-related fields.

Several local events are also regularly held.  My favourite of these is a workshop for teachers called Herbstschule. This workshop is co-organised with the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam and is held in autumn each year.

EMS LC: What advantages do you get from being a member of your Met Society?

I joined the DMG to be part of the meteorological community. I like the discussions, meetings, education, the possibility to present my own work and to air and find out about new ideas.

EMS LC: How are you kept informed of the activities of your Met Society?

Information about events and other DMG activities is published quarterly in the members’ bulletin “DMG Mitteilungen”, which is available in printed form and online. Members also receive e-mails about lectures and presentations.

EMS LC: How is social media used to support the activities of your Met Society? What more could be done to enhance the social media presence of your Met Society?

DMG is not very active on social media. This activity requires a lot of time and special care in order to be done responsibly. Social media should not be used only to announce events but also to inform members and the general public about DMG’s work. This requires more work by DMG.  

EMS LC: Thank you very much for the interview!

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