Interview of the month: Croatian Meteorological Society
Interview with the President of the Croatian Meteorological Society (HMD), Antun Marki.
EMS LC: If you were to describe your society in one sentence, what would you say?
Antun Marki: HMD is a society of professionals, but also a society for those who just like to observe weather phenomena.
EMS LC: When was HMD founded?
AM: HMD was founded on the 15th May 1965. We have gained a lot of experience during the past 50 years or so through active work in very diverse social environments, a changing social system and a 4-year period of war.
EMS LC: What are the objectives of HMD?
AM: The main objectives of the Society are
- to promote and popularise meteorology
- to work on the creation and development of professional meteorological advice on important issues relating to atmospheric science and meteorological practice
- to spread knowledge on the application of the results of meteorological research on social and economic activities dependent on weather and climate
- preparation of documentation on issues relevant to the meteorological profession, legislation etc
- to assist in planning the development of meteorological activities, provide advice and scientific expertise on studies and projects that are important to the development and application of meteorology
- to promote the development of education and scientific training of meteorological personnel
- to encourage experts in non-meteorological fields to partake in the promotion of meteorology education.
EMS LC: Could you explain the structure of your membership?
AM: HMD has 250 registered regular, honorary and associate members. Regular and honorary members are professionals who can elect and be elected to the board of HMD, while associate members are mainly meteorology enthusiasts who enjoy some of the benefits of membership. Regular and honorary members make up approximately 85% of the membership, and the remaining 15% are associate members.
EMS LC: What are HMD’s recent achievements?
AM: Recently we have aligned our Statute, which is the legal basis of our activities, with the latest Croatian Law on Associations. In November of this year, we successfully organised the 6th edition of Challenges in Meteorology, a scientific-professional conference, which was held in Zagreb and was attended by approximately 110 participants from Croatia and abroad. There were more than 40 talks and 14 posters at the conference. We would like to take this opportunity to thank EMS for their support of this conference.
During 2018, we also organised two trips for members of the Society and their families. These events always include a mix of meteorology (e.g. a visit to the site of a weather radar or to a professional meteorological station) and social activities. We are also very proud that, as a leader of a consortium of 17 scientific institutions, societies and local authority units, we applied to the European Social Fund on Climate Change for funding for a project entitled “Climate Change and Spatial Planning”. This application is currently under evaluation.
EMS LC: Where do you see the greatest challenges?
AM: One large challenge for us is to bring the annual EMS Annual Meeting to Zagreb in the near future. The HMD committee has been working on this for a number of years. Another challenge is to ensure the position of our profession through a law on meteorological activities. We are planning trips to visit EMS Member Societies in neighbouring countries to deepen our cooperation with them. It would also be great to hold more meteorological workshops and seminars for the public, and to expand education for people who work in meteorology and associated natural/technical fields, stakeholders and users.
EMS LC: Which activities are you planning for the coming months?
AM: In the coming months we are obliged to hold two Assembly sessions: the first will involve the adoption of the work and financial plans for the next calendar year, and, in the second we will consider and adopt this year’s report on the work of the Society, the financial report and the report of the Supervisory Board. HMD will actively participate in the organisation of World Meteorological Day and will present a Young Scientist award and a Senior Meteorologist Life Award. Two new trips are in the planning stages. We will continue to work with members on project proposals and applying for calls.
EMS LC: Are you collaborating with other EMS Members?
AM: We naturally cooperate with EMS member societies in our neighbouring countries. We have a good relationship with societies from Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria and Spain (Catalonia) and we are open to all types of collaboration with other EMS Member Societies.
EMS LC: What do you expect from the EMS? In what ways can it help you to develop your activities?
AM: We would like to continue our current excellent cooperation with the EMS. EMS provides great support for our conference, Challenges in Meteorology. All EMS Members are informed about HMD activities through the ems-message, and we are very thankful for this. EMS supports our young scientists through the EMS Young Scientist Travel Award. This award helps them greatly by promoting their scientific work and research during the early years of their scientific career. Each year between 10 and 20 of our members, working in different institutes throughout Croatia, participate at the EMS Annual Meeting, and we hope that this will continue in the years ahead.
EMS LC: What have been your most successful events in the last three years?
AM: In each of the last three years we successfully organised a Challenges in Meteorology (4th-6th) conference. The 5th Challenges in Meteorology conference was a joint event in collaboration with the Catalan Meteorological Society (6th International Conference on Meteorology and Climatology of the Mediterranean). We are proud to be co-organisers of World Meteorological Day celebrations, which traditionally comprise of the issuing of special commemorative envelopes, a postmark and stamps. The Croatian Meteorological Journal issued three of its volumes. Five professional-social trips for our members were also organised.
EMS LC: What changes do you believe your society needs to make?
AM: We believe that our society should be a bridge between professional meteorological institutions/companies, members of the public who have an interest in meteorology and consumers of meteorological information and products. This can be achieved by organising workshops and meetings on meteorological topics suitable for the general public of all ages, and by applying for funding for projects which connect scientists, executive bodies, consumers of meteorological products and the general public.