According to a UGA press release, Shepherd, a professor of geography at the University of Georgia's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and director of the university's Atmospheric Sciences Program, will begin the one year term on Jan. 22.
"The AMS is the oldest and most respected organization in the field of atmospheric science, and I'm honored to serve as its president-elect," Shepherd said in a statement. "The costly and deadly weather events of the past year and the current discussions regarding climate highlight the critical role that weather and climate play in our society, and the AMS continues to be a sound and credible resource on these issues."
Before joining the UGA faculty in 2006, Shepherd was a research meteorologist at the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.
Shepherd served as deputy project scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission, which will start next year and use a network of satellites to provide nearly worldwide weather monitoring to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and aid climate change models.
Shepherd graduated from Cherokee High School in 1987 where he was the high school's first African-American valedictorian.
Shepherd has a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in physical meteorology from Florida State University. He was also the first African-American to receive a doctorate from university's Department of Meteorology.
Shepherd is the son of Frankie Shepherd, a retired teacher and administrator who served as the principal of the former Ralph Bunche School in north Canton.