With the arrival of what future historians may call the Age of the Environment, the field of atmospheric sciences is faced with the largest opportunity and challenge ever encountered in its young life. For the simple reasons that the atmosphere is the most pervasive, the most rapidly changeable, the most benign and the most destructive of the environmental elements, it must emerge front and center in our concerns for environmental quality and productivity. As a result, the professional practice of meteorology has really only begun. From the most fundamental of research to the most practical engineering and decision information, human welfare will demand more than we have dreamed of, or perhaps now consider possible. Foremost among these requirements will be the need for both information and understanding of atmospheric behavior much more carefully tailored to the problems of safety, productivity, and environmental quality. These are complicated problems whose solutions depend critically, but not solely, on better atmospheric information.

These requirements, some of which are already upon us, point to the need for a strong professional association. The AMS cannot provide or replace our personal commitment to the professional challenges before us. But it can and must provide the cohesiveness and concerted focus of effort, professional integrity, and disciplinary alliances without which our individual efforts can only fail.

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Footnotes

1 Address before the Utah Chapter of the AMS, Salt Lake City, 21 May 1970.

2 Present affiliation: Aeronautical Research Associates of Princeton, Inc., Princeton, N. J.