Matthew Parker, President of the American Meteorological Society, Dies at Age 53

Jon Erdman
Published: March 18, 2017

Matthew Parker, current president of the American Meteorological Society, passed away in his sleep Wednesday night, according to a statement from the AMS released Friday.

Parker was 53 years old.

A senior fellow meteorologist at the Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina, Parker was just sworn in as president of the AMS in January.

"He was not just a colleague but a close friend that has stayed in my family's home," said Dr. Marshall Shepherd, past-president of the AMS and host of The Weather Channel's WxGeeks.

"He was as committed as anyone I know to the weather enterprise and bringing academia, government, and private sector together."

Born on November 19, 1963 in East Cleveland, Ohio, Parker completed both his bachelor's and master's degrees at North Carolina State University before beginning his position as meteorologist at the Savannah River National Laboratory in 1989, where he served for almost 28 years.

Parker authored or co-authored numerous papers in his career, including studies of Hurricane Hugo, an October 1989 tornado and May 2002 hailstorm at the Savannah River Site.

He was named a fellow to the AMS in 2006 and volunteered for several committee leadership roles within the AMS sine the 1990s.

Shepherd said Parker was very excited about the next AMS annual meeting, his first as president, in January 2018. 

"As President, I will represent our Society domestically and abroad. I will encourage productive and unifying discourse amongst the government, academic, and commercial sectors," wrote Parker on his AMS bio webpage.

"I will encourage young colleagues to take on roles of increasing responsibility and encourage our senior professionals to continue their critical efforts supporting the foundation of our science."

Shepherd said it is up to all of us in the AMS to see his vision through.

Dr. Roger Wakimoto, assistant director for the National Science Foundation's Directorate of Geosciences, will assume the duties of AMS president.

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