16:13 PM

Members Team Up for Youth Program at National Meteorology Meeting

Civil Air Patrol answered the call and provided the expertise and experience for an aviation weather presentation to Boston youth during the 100th anniversary meeting of the nation’s largest meteorological group, the American Meteorological Society.

The Weatherfest outreach effort was the work of Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Tim Miner, Virginia Wing chaplain and a longtime member of the meteorological society. An airline captain and the former senior weather officer in the Air Force Reserve, Miner is also an outgoing member of the society’s Aviation, Range and Aerospace Committee.

Looking for ways to increase outreach, the program organizers asked him if it would be possible to create, only a few weeks before the show, a display highlighting the importance weather plays in aviation.

“Wearing my airline uniform was a natural way to attract young men and women interested in aviation and aviation weather,” Miner said, “but I knew it would take a team to tell the story.”

Capt. Gerry Creager, health services officer for the Oklahoma Wing, was already on the conference agenda and was the first to step up to assist. An active meteorologist, Creager had been in discussions with Miner about ways to provide operational weather support to CAP’s emergency service missions.

He previously provided such support during CAP’s National Emergency Services Academy in Indiana. He’s working to create a team that can provide weather guidance and information for operations anywhere CAP deploys.

While speaking with visiting youth during Weatherfest, Creager was providing weather information for CAP missions supporting Puerto Rico post-earthquake recovery efforts.

Once briefed on the opportunity, the Massachusetts Wing’s director of aerospace education, Lt. Col. Shelley Lipman, quickly jumped into action and recruited CAP aerospace education officers (AEOs) to assist at a CAP booth.

Capt. Vince Grano of the Hanscom Composite Squadron, a recent retiree from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was very familiar with the AMS program and worked to secure the STEM kits and material to highlight CAP to students and teachers in attendance.

“While there were some youth of cadet age who were interested, what I was very excited about was all the teachers we talked with,” Lipman said. “As I've found, very few teachers know about CAP's AEM (aerospace education member) program, and once we talked with them a few minutes and showed them the free material they can get as an AEM, such as the aerospace books and the STEM kit we had there, they were all set to join!”

“This was a great opportunity to showcase CAP. During the event I was able to find many other organizations offering resources that would be helpful to CAP AEOs and AEMs.” Lipman said. “Finally, Capts. Grano and Creager did yeoman’s work that day, and I’m so grateful they were there!”