Interview of the Month: Dutch Meteorological Society

Gert-Jan Steeneveld (photo: Tanja Cegnar)
Gert-Jan Steeneveld (photo: Tanja Cegnar)

Interview with the President of the Dutch Meteorological Society (NVBM) Gert-Jan Steeneveld

EMS LC: If you wanted to describe your society/organisation in one sentence what would you say?

The NVBM promotes the profession of meteorology and climatology and its connection with society, and offers a professional and social platform for its members.

EMS LC: What are the objectives of your organisation?

The NVBM promotes professional careers in scientific, social and interpersonal fields, professional views and mutual social connections.

EMS LC: When was your organisation founded?

March 1991

EMS LC: Could you explain the structure of your membership?

The NVBM membership is open to anyone who is professionally involved in meteorology in a broad sense. Our society has about 225 members consisting of operational weather forecasters in the public and private sectors, fundamental and applied researchers, students, as well as pensioners from these fields. In addition, we have about 150 subscribers to our journal Meteorologica.

EMS LC: What are your organisation’s recent achievements?

In 2016 we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the society with a full day symposium on “The future weather factory: weather, climate and society”. The symposium started with talks by stakeholders of meteorological information and products in a wide range of fields such as wind energy, insurance, national defense and public health. They presented their needs from our discipline for the next decade. In order to examine how these needs can be fulfilled, experts in the meteorological field presented their views on the future of meteorological modelling, observations, communication with society via early-warning infrastructures, education as well as the role of operational forecasters. Finally the audience took part in an open floor debate. In addition, every 5 years we take the opportunity to recognise achievements by members working in operational meteorology and in research via the NVBM awards. Moreover, our journal Meteorologica, which has a strong position in NVBM, celebrated its 25th anniversary.

In general NVBM organises two symposia each year. In recent years we addressed topics such as Weather at Sea, Mobile Meteorology, Climate in the Arctic, Space Weather, and Wind Technology. Also, each spring we organise an excursion to meteorological (research) institutes or connected organisations such as water boards and instrument developers.

EMS LC: Where do you see the greatest challenges?

Apart from the needed financial and human resources, challenges occur in connecting members of different backgrounds, i.e. from operational forecasting, fundamental research and stakeholders. Meteorology as a whole is continuously developing and broadening e.g. through data science and crowd-sourcing, and at the same time the digital world has given a new perspective to our ways of communication. This offers possibilities as well as challenges.

EMS LC: Which activities are you planning in the coming months?

In autumn 2018 we will organise a symposium dedicated to “Weather and Water in Cities”. This will be a joint activity with the Dutch Hydrological Society in which the understanding and implications of urban hydrometeorology in the current and future climate will be discussed.

EMS LC: Are you collaborating with other EMS Members?

No active collaborations are ongoing, though we do have some exchange of symposia announcements and magazines with a few members.

EMS LC: What do you expect from the EMS? What do you expect from the EMS LC? In what ways can it help you to develop your activities?

The EMS LC is an excellent platform to inform EMS members about ongoing activities and themes in Europe. This helps to inspire and connect to European partners.

EMS LC: What have been your most successful events in the last 3 years?

See above.

EMS LC: What changes do you believe your society/organisation needs to make in the next 3 years?

  • Strengthen the connection and interaction with student generations.
  • Enhance collaboration with national and international partner societies to organise ambitious events that integrate different aspects of our discipline.

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