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Vaisala Supports Chief Science Officer’s Run for American Meteorological Society President

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Dr. Kevin Petty brings over 20 years in atmospheric science experience to public, private and academic sectors.


Vaisala, a manufacturer of  products and solutions for environmental and industrial weather measurement, supports Chief Science Officer Dr. Kevin Petty in his nomination for president-elect of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) this year.

Petty has been a member of AMS for more than two decades and has a passion for science and collaboration of both new and veteran AMS members. He has demonstrated this in many ways, but perhaps most of all through his interest in and support of partnerships between the public, private and academic sectors.

“Each sector – public, private and academic – complement each other with resources and capabilities to accomplish what the other sectors cannot,” Petty said. “Collaboration brings each sector’s strengths and ideas together to formulate the best scientific solutions to benefit society.”

Supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs across the country is also a priority for Petty, who believes in immersing children as young as elementary age in STEM curricula to generate interest in this area of study. As a champion of diversity, developing a talent pool filled with different backgrounds and ideas is a key way, Petty believes, to grow the weather-, water- and climate-related disciplines as well as AMS.

Petty’s career trajectory has taken him to the forefront of meteorology research and development of technology during his tenure in the industry. Petty has been with Vaisala, at the company’s U.S. headquarters based in Louisville, Colorado, for 10 years. He brings expertise on high-impact weather, including hurricanes, thunderstorms, lightning and winter weather, to produce forecasting, measurement and decision-support technologies that help protect life and property. Petty also has previous experience with the academic and public sectors, which was acquired while working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), respectively. During his time in these organizations, he developed his initial expertise on weather’s impact on ground and aviation transportation. Early in his career, he was able to educate students interested in STEM during his time as a high school math teacher.

Demonstrating dedication to his craft, Petty currently donates his time to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a committee member on the Environmental Information Services Working Group. He has also served on the Executive Committee and as a council member for AMS, and was Vice Chairman on the board of advisors for the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Arizona. His willingness to give back to the atmospheric sciences and meteorology community is evident.

“We are proud to have Kevin on our team at Vaisala, his commitment to science and innovation is unsurpassed,” said Kjell Forsén, President and CEO of Vaisala. “He has demonstrated the ability to lead and partner with colleagues as well as mentor staff, students and interns with an interest in applied research and development, particularly as it relates to the atmospheric sciences. AMS is well respected in the meteorological community, and we are all honored to have Kevin as a candidate to lead the organization.”