MARCH 16, 2005

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Oklahoma Mesonet honored by American Meteorological Society

The Oklahoma Mesonet, a state-of-the-art network of environmental monitoring stations, has won a special award from the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the nation's leading professional society for those in the atmospheric and related sciences.

The Mesonet system was recognized "for serving Oklahoma and the meteorological community by providing high-quality data and information products used to protect lives, reduce costs, facilitate cutting-edge research, and educate the next generation.” The award was presented recently at the AMS 85th Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Dr. Ron Elliott, Head of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Renee McPherson, Acting Director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, and Dr. Ken Crawford, former OCS Director and now Director of the National Weather Service Integrated Surface Observing Systems, accepted the award on behalf of the Oklahoma Mesonet Steering Committee and employees.

The Oklahoma Mesonet is a partnership effort of the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. Dr. Paul Risser, Chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, nominated the Mesonet for this award and indicated that it "serves as a useful model for joint programs between our comprehensive research universities."

“This award is a good indication of the kinds of national achievements which are possible when OU and OSU get together and pool their resources and areas of expertise,” said OU President David L. Boren.

OSU President and System CEO David Schmidly said, "The Oklahoma Mesonet is an important partnership that provides life-saving services. It is an outstanding example of the active engagement of our institutions with the citizens of the state and nation."

The Oklahoma Mesonet consists of more than 110 automated measurement stations covering all 77 counties of Oklahoma. Each station measures air temperature, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure and rainfall every five minutes. Soil temperature and soil moisture are measured every 15 to 30 minutes.

The data are collected by the Oklahoma Climatological Survey and then distributed within minutes to users around the state and country for weather forecasting, drought and agricultural management, public safety, education and energy forecasts. Current weather information from the Mesonet is available at http://www.mesonet.org.

The AMS, founded in 1919, is a scientific and professional organization that promotes the development and dissemination of information on atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic sciences. The Society publishes nine well-respected scientific journals, sponsors scientific conferences and supports public education and outreach programs across the country. Additional information on the AMS, the Annual Meeting, and other award winners is available on the Internet at http://www.ametsoc.org.

Contact: Stephanie Kenitzer, kenitzer@dc.ametsoc.org or 1-425-432-2192