Amanda Lynch has been appointed to chair the board of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This United Nations agency has four main focuses: weather, climate, water, and environment. They research many aspects of the Earth’s behavior to provide vital information to the organization’s 193 members worldwide.
Lynch, a professor and inaugural director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, will take a leading role in deciding future research agendas and coordinating international projects. The WMO board consists of around 30 scientists from around the globe, who importantly supervise the sharing of data between thousands of aircraft, weather stations, and more.
“It’s tremendously exciting to be asked to serve in this way, because the core of what I do as a researcher focuses on how natural and human systems interact and how they can do so in ways that benefit both,” she said in a statement to the university. “It’s also a daunting task because challenges like climate change, population growth and urbanization make it even more important to be prepared for the weather- or climate-related stresses.”
She has advocated for the importance of a combined approach to environmental research. Considering wisdom from anthropology, economics, sociology, political science, and more to get a fully rounded view of a problem and possible solutions.
“Issues surrounding weather, climate, and water touch everything humans do,” Lynch said. “So the social sciences not only should inform the hard science we do, but how that science flows into making better decisions to save lives and support the human endeavor. I think in some ways, the honor of being named to this post is an endorsement of this way of looking at our field.”