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Dr. David Smith wins prestigious award

  POSTED ON: Monday, August 28, 2017 9:25 AM by Alexander R. Davies

Dr. David R. Smith, retired Associate Professor and former Chair of the U.S. Naval Academy Oceanography Department, will be awarded the prestigious Charles Franklin Brooks Award from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) at the AMS Annual Meeting to be held in Austin, TX in January, 2018. The Charles Franklin Brooks Award is one of several awards bestowed annually by the AMS to members who have exemplified the ideals of the Society. The 2018 Charles Franklin Brooks award will be awarded to Dr. Smith for longstanding service to the Society through initiation of, and passionate dedication to, its education programs and activities. The AMS is the premier meteorology scientific and professional organization in the United States with the mission of advancing the atmospheric and related sciences, technologies, applications, and services for the benefit of society. 

Dr. Smith received a Ph.D. in Meteorology from Texas A&M University in 1979. Before being hired by the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in 1987, Dr. Smith served on the faculty of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University. In 2007, Dr. Smith became the Chair of the USNA Oceanography Department, and served in that role until 2013. Dr. Smith’s research expertise is in the area of explosive marine cyclones, although he directed numerous student research projects (including six Trident Scholars) on topics in meteorology and climate.

Dr. Smith first became involved in scientific educational program while at Purdue University (PU).  At PU, Dr. Smith served as a co-Principle Investigator (PI) on the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Atmospheric Science Education Program that provided meteorological training for teachers throughout the State of Indiana.  He later received an appointment to the AMS Board on School and Popular Meteorological and Oceanographic Education in 1989, where he would serve as the Chair from 1991 to 1995. Dr. Smith also served on the working group which led to the formation of the AMS Education Program in 1991, which remains a vibrant program within the AMS to this day.  From 191 through 1993, Dr. Smith served on the instructional team for Project Atmosphere which is a K-12 teacher professional development workshop focused on meteorology and offered by the AMS Education Program.  

Dr. Smith deploying equipment during the Maury Project

In 1994, Dr. Smith was instrumental in developing and securing an NSF grant in support of the Maury Project.  The Maury Project is a K-12 teacher professional development program where teachers explore the physical foundations of oceanography.  Participating teachers are also provided with oceanographic resources to integrate into their lessons and to train other teachers about oceanographic topics. The Maury Project is an AMS Education Program and hosted in partnership with the USNA Oceanography Department every summer since 1994.  The Maury Project will enter its 25th year in 2018 with funding currently from the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR).  Dr. Smith is shown in the image above (right) demonstrating how to deploy oceanographic equipment as part of the Maury Project on YP 686 and the video below highlights the program.

In addition, Dr. Smith served on the AMS Board on University Education from 1995 to 2001.  Dr. Smith was on the original organizing committee and served as the Program Committee Co-Chair for the AMS Symposium on Education twenty years (1991-2012) and the Program Committee Co-Chair for the 5th and 6th International Conference for School and Popular Meteorological and Oceanographic Education (2003-2006).   These conferences provided a forum for scientists, educators and government agencies to describe their programs to promote the disciplines of atmospheric, oceanic and climate sciences for K-12 and popular educational audiences.  In 2012, Dr. Smith was appointed the AMS Commissioner for Education and Human Resources and served in that capacity until he retired in 2013. 

Dr. Smith’s involvement with the governance and development of AMS educational programs and their impact on teacher professional development in meteorology and physical oceanography are the reasons why he is being named for this prestigious award.

Dr. David Smith contributed to this article. Photo credit: Dave Curry.

Category: General Interest

Press Contact

Alexander R. Davies
Oceanography Department, USNA