History of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
For over 75 years, Canadian meteorologists and oceanographers have assembled to share their research and to communicate with their peers under the umbrellas of several professional societies. In 1967, the Canadian Meteorological Society (
The Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society has a dual history. The meteorological side of the Society traces its roots back to 1939 when a charter was obtained from the Royal Meteorological Society (RMS) to establish a Canadian Branch. The oceanographic component of the Society, on the other hand, had no previous organizational background.
At a meeting of some 33 Canadian members of the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) in February 1940, a petition was drawn up requesting the RMetS to recognize a Canadian Branch of the Society. The formal announcement of the foundation of the Canadian Branch was made at a joint meeting of the RMetS and the American Meteorological Society (
In 1953, the Toronto Meteorological Conference was organized by the Branch and this Conference is now considered as the turning point for the organization. It was well-attended and brought together outstanding personalities from the RMetS and the
The Montreal Centre also launched the forerunner of the journal Atmosphere . Initially it was called the Bulletin of Canadian Meteorology with the expectation of carrying popular scientific papers and other subjects. As interest grew in the meteorological sciences, Branch centres were soon established by 1961 in
The idea of separating from the RMetS and establishing an independent Society had been talked about during the 1950s. Both sides complained about the other and finally the question was discussed at the 1964 and 1965 Branch congresses. The formal decision was taken at the seventh and last congress of the Canadian Branch in 1966 at the
Photo of First
Photo of Second
First Prizes and Awards in Meteorology
The President's Prize is awarded to a Society member (or members) for a recent paper or book of special merit in the fields of meteorology and has been presented since 1967. The Andrew Thomson Prize in Applied Meteorology is awarded to a Society member (or members) for an outstanding contribution to the application of meteorology in
Oceanographers had no formal affiliation with a society in
Subsequently, the President of
Any profits earned by the organization are used to promote the advancement of meteorology and oceanography. Amendments were made to the Constitution to reflect the combined interests of meteorologists and oceanographers which paved the way for the Society to become incorporated as a non-profit organization under the Canada Business Corporation Act on
Governance and Structure
From the very beginning, members of the Society shared the responsibilities of serving in various executive capacities including the organization of congresses and editorship of its publications. The Society is served by a Council, an Executive, a Scientific Committee, an Accreditation Committee, a Broadcaster Endorsement Committee, a Nominating Committee, a Prizes and Awards Committee, and an Education Committee for Meteorology. Membership in 2016 is about 800 spread across
In 1983, the Society appointed Uri Schwarz as its first Executive Director, a position which is still retained by the Society. Uri contributed significantly to improving the administration of
Before 1982, the
In the 2000s, the names of two Society committees changed. The Education Committee for Meteorology became the School and Public Education Committee, and the Broadcaster Endorsement Committee became the Weathercaster Endorsement Committee. The following new permanent committees were formed: Advisory Committee for Atmosphere-Ocean ; Audit Committee; Centre Executive Committee; External Relations Committee; Fellows Committee; Finance and Investment Committee; Membership Committee; Private Sector Committee; and Publications Committee.
From 1982 to 1986, a short-lived Schwarzwald Chapter existed in Lahr
When oceanography was added in the Society, Atmosphere-Ocean and the Newsletter (now the
Paul-André Bolduc, editor of the
The present logo, adopted in 1986, symbolizes its meteorological background with diagonal lines depicting rain, and blue waves representing the ocean interests of the Society.
As the millennium approached,
In 2003, the first ( Amsoft /Minasu) database and our own servers were acquired and overseen by Ian Rutherford after he had replaced Neil Campbell as Executive Director. During the next ten years, Ian was ably assisted by Richard Asselin who modernized our publications. Ian and Richard brought valuable management expertise to
Today everything is digital, but Atmosphere-Ocean and the Bulletin are still printed in hard copy . All papers published in A-O , Atmosphere , Climatological Bulletin, Canadian Branch of the Royal Meteorological Society and Chinook were digitized and made available to members and others. In 2014, a next generation database ( in1touch / OlaTech Corp.) was implemented, integrating congress arrangements, membership renewals and a modernized web site which allows interactive postings by Centres and members.
Additional Prizes and Awards
More prizes and awards were added. In 1999, the Tertia M.C. Hughes Memorial Graduate Student Prizes in Meteorology and Oceanography were inaugurated thanks to fund-raising efforts by Andrew Weaver. The prizes were in memory of Tertia Hughes, a previous
Like other established societies such as RMetS and
Following the first congress in 1967, annual congresses were held in all parts of
In 1969, the Society began a lecture tour (later called the Tour Speaker program) under which chosen speakers would visit most Centres and Chapters, giving a talk in their areas of expertise. As this program continued, travel support was obtained from the federal departments supporting CM(O)S. The Tour Speaker program has continued with few interruptions and has been a valuable contribution to the meetings scheduled across the country.
CFCAS and Climate Change
Late in 1999,
The Scientific Committee issued consistent statements on climate change in 2002, 2003, 2007, 2013 (including a supplement on the oceans) and 2014. These statements were independent of the CFCAS effort but underscored the urgency of supporting climate change research.
Unfortunately, the members of
Support to Teachers and Students
During the first decade of the new millennium,
Student outreach has become an important part of
Services by Private (non-governmental) Industry
Following a request from
Recent history records many partnership arrangements with
In 2013, following new legislation for non-profit organizations, the Constitution underwent a major rewrite. The new rules were simplified and renamed the By-Laws and Appendices. The major change was to remove Centre Chairpersons from the governing Council. Their removal was necessary because all Councillors are required to be elected by the members and their total number is limited. The new By-Laws were approved at the 2014
The History of
This document, updating events after 1997, was created by the
Neil J. Campbell
Modified with more information by:
Robert L. Jones
Prior to 1997, the Society had a Life Membership category. Though discontinued as a category that year, members who were Life Members at that time retained the title.