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INSAM homepage until december 2005

Last modified December 23, 2005 09:31

INSAM homepage until december 2005

The holidays are over for many of us and operational agrometeorology is again asking for our close attention. Thanks for your fidelity, because in August and now in September we are back to more than hundred daily visits of our web site, the level we had reached for the first time in May and April. We are very close to the 700 members, we have 97 countries involved, we may be satisfied as such. But not to the highest level. Get yourself, your colleagues, your students involved in INSAM by ordinary membership, free of charge, founding membership (see our Society Information page) and by producing short information on operational agrometeorology for our site. I have to keep telling you that INSAM can only survive the rat races of this information age and this information medium if we continue to bring news, issues and topics that are of interest to a great majority of agrometeorologists and other scientists with agromet components in their work.

Our proposal for translations of INSAM web site items and issues, on the preceding home page, has been very successful for the Spanish language, thanks to the tireless efforts of Gustavo Pittaluga (Argentine) and our Cuban correspondent Roger E. Rivero Vega. Good work well done. We have promises for translations in Farsi and Indonesian, but from Japan, Russia, China, Arab countries, to mention a few big language agglomerates, we have not heard yet. Have a look at what we have translated in Spanish now and assess what you think you could do or have done by others in your mother tongue.

Under News and Highlights we recently got submitted the news that a noted agrometeorologist, Dr. Jerry Hatfield, had been elected President of the American Society for Agronomy. We should be proud and it shows that agricultural meteorology meanders where it can not go straight. It is involved in so many disciplines as a supportive science but also borrows from so many disciplines in its own science that agricultural meteorology itself is sometimes appearing lost or at least “blurred”. This is a prize we pay for the multi-disciplinary approaches needed in science these days and for the interdisciplinary approaches needed in problem solving. News on agrometeorologists can help us distinguish every now and then our field of work and is therefore a welcome addition to the scientific news items.

The contest to find good examples of agrometeorological services delivered two submissions which will soon be evaluated. The examples were on "Supporting irrigation management strategies through the web" and on an "Agricultural drought early warning system". We are also working at an assessment of why the number of submissions has remained so low. I will use these two examples submitted to INSAM in my lectures in China and Iran in the coming months!
Later this year we will come with the results and early 2006 we will launch new ideas on collecting such examples on agrometeorological services in operational agrometeorology.

I was last month chairing a meeting in Geneva of my Expert Team on the writing of the Third Edition of WMO/CAgM’s Guide to Agricultural Meteorological Practices (GAMP). Dealing with all 18 planned Chapters, using also what WMO/CAgM has published over the years, we could not help remaining marveled by the enormous variation of applications that are possible in operational agrometeorology. But we also wondered how much is getting beyond the (applied) research stage. By emphasizing to our more than 100 volunteers to use practices that were either based on traditional knowledge and indigenous technology or that used contemporary science to become operational information and services, we will get a Guide that is much more operational than the former one, that gained its reputation from reviewing agrometeorology of the seventies and the eighties. However, we also have to admit that operational agrometeorology with clear economic and therefore social functions still needs to be much better exemplified everywhere, in industrial nations but also particularly in developing countries and countries in economic transition.

As long as only few good examples of agrometeorological services are submitted to our contests, insufficient numbers of contributions on operational agrometeorology are received for our web site, and as long as we have these great difficulties of collecting agrometeorological practices suitable for incorporation into our GAMP, I think that we also still have a long road to go to our planned electronic journal on operational agrometeorology. Please, prove me wrong!

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