Interview of the Month: Slovenian Meteorological Society
Interview with the President of the SMD: Jožef Roškar
EMS LC: If you were to describe your society in one sentence, what would you say?
Our Society consists of enthusiasts devoted to promoting high standards in meteorology, climatology and air quality, and who are active in meteorological outreach.
EMS LC: When was SMD founded?
SMD was founded in 1954 by a group of young meteorologists who obtained the first university degrees in meteorology in Slovenia, which were based on mathematics and physics.
EMS LC: What are the objectives of SMD?
Our main objective is to maintain a network of meteorologists in Slovenia to facilitate exchange of knowledge and information. Another of our main goals is to promote meteorology among the general public and other sectors. Since SMD was established it has promoted high professional standards and we engage in all public debates concerning meteorology. We also participate in the process when changes to legislation concerning meteorology are proposed.
EMS LC: Could you explain the structure of your membership?
Most of our members are professional meteorologists with at least a university degree in meteorology. There are some members of other professions who specialise in meteorology and some meteorology enthusiasts.
EMS LC: What are ‘s recent achievements?
We have published a special volume of our magazine “Vetrnica” dedicated to the definition and impacts of heat waves in Slovenia.
EMS LC: Where do you see the greatest challenges?
The main challenge is a lack of financial resources to fund our activities. Of course, we all contribute on a voluntary basis, but for example the printing of our magazine requires substantial financial resources. We do not get any support from the state and we rely on voluntary contributions and membership fees.
EMS LC: Which activities are you planning for the coming months?
As the end of the year is approaching the main event will be a members’ meeting with a lecture where the members will be briefed about the activities of the past year. We will also attend the programme of lectures in one of the main libraries in Ljubljana. These lectures are aimed at the general public. We are also in the final stages of preparing the next issue of our magazine.
EMS LC: Are you collaborating with other EMS Members?
Of course, since the beginning we have had a good relationship with other meteorological societies, especially with those in neighbouring countries. Our cooperation with other meteorological societies opened the possibility of studying and learning abroad for our founding members during the early years of the Society’s existence. We certainly consider cooperation with other meteorological societies to be an important part of our activities. In the not so distant past we organised a couple of joint excursions with the Croatian Meteorological Society and we also did joint lectures and presentations at conferences. We had similar cooperation with the Unione Meteorologica del Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy. We have also had a long tradition of cooperation with the Austrian Meteorological Society. With their help we organised an excursion for some members of SMD to the Science Park in ZAMG, Vienna. Cooperation with other EMS Members is high on our agenda.
EMS LC: What do you expect from the EMS? In what ways can it help you to develop your activities?
We appreciate the EMS Annual Meeting because it presents an excellent occasion to exchange experience and knowledge. Our society was one of the societies that signed the papers which established the EMS in Norrköping. Our members actively contribute to the EMS activities: SMD member and renowned weather broadcaster Tanja Cegnar is the chair of the Media and Communication Committee and Mojca Dolinar chairs the Awards Committee. Our members contribute to the organisation of the Annual Meeting as members of the Programme and Science Committee (PSC) and co-leader of the Engagement with Society (ES) programme stream.
EMS LC: What have been your most successful events in the last three years?
Our most successful event was a conference organised for the occasion of our 60th anniversary. We invited users of meteorological and climatological services to present the benefits such services bring to their operations. We also invited policy makers and politicians to attend the conference.
EMS LC: What changes do you believe your society needs to make?
We are glad that we are able to attract the membership of young meteorologists, but we will need to find sustainable financial resources to enhance our outreach activities, to continue to print our magazine and to increase the visibility of our society.