|Steven Businger - Chair||Ben Domenico|
|Brian Colle||Jo Hansen|
|Vanda Grubišić||Linda Miller|
|Anton Kruger||Terry Mitchell|
|David Tarboton||Russ Rew|
|Agency Representatives||UOP/NCAR Representatives|
|Bernard Grant, (NSF/ATM)||Mohan Ramamurthy, UOP/Unidata|
|Peter Griffith (NASA)|
|Not in Attendance|
|Committee Representative||Jack Fellows, UOP|
|Tom Whittaker (Users Committee Chair)||Gary Lackman|
|Tim Spangler, COMET|
|Steve Worley, NCAR/CISL|
Mohan kicked off his presentation with an announcement about Users Committee membership changes. Sean Arms' term as student rep has concluded, and his replacement is Stefan Cecelski both of whom attended the meeting. Two new NOAA representatives, Rebecca Cosgrove, NCEP, and Michelle Mainelli, NCEP joined the committee. Rebecca will represent CONDUIT and its status while Michelle will represent the AWIPS II progress/position. In addition to Sean, the UserCom bid farewell to Brent Gordon, NCEP representative.
With a modest decrease in our indirect benefit rate from FY09, we saw only a 1% increase in expenses for FY10. We anticipate a $184k increase
in our FY10 core funding, which will bring us close to a balanced budget in the core. We also anticipate a $129k increase in non core funding
which will reverse our five-year downward trend in that funding category. At the current budget level, we're fully extended in the core at 22.60 FTEs as labor costs continue to account for about 84% of all expenses. At the half-way point of the fiscal year, we've already submitted six proposals and have at least a couple more in the works in an effort to increase our non core funding. The timing of our new core award continues to be an issue as we will have to tap into the reserves again to cover expenses for the two-month period from October - December 2010. We're hopeful, however, that NSF will be able to supplement our funding to sync up the funding cycle. That being said, we've once again made it a priority to aggressively pursue and solicit additional core
and non core support as appropriate to help meet the goals and priorities set for the new proposal.
Gilbert Sebenste, Northern Illinois University received the Russell L. DeSouza Award for his contributions to the community during the meeting. In accepting the award Gilbert made a presentation detailing his interactions, community efforts, and connections over a 17-year period. His webcast presentation.
As in the present meeting, AWIPS-II occupied a significant portion of the discussion. See: Michelle's presentation
User Com members make site contacts, i.e., contacts with specific individuals at specific sites prior to each meeting. Jen Oxelson has created a detailed, updated site contact list that should facilitate this activity for user com members. For the next series of contacts, committee members are asked to initiate the conversations earlier in the cycle, i.e., in the next month or two and then reconnect with individual one or two more times prior to the next meeting.
The committee will be undertaking to conduct a users survey in the coming months. Committee members contributing to constructing that survey are: Anne Case Hanks, Stefan Cecelski, Bill Gallus, Steve Lazarus who will be working with staff members Linda Miller and Jen Oxelson. Survey discussion
Finally, the committee held a "blue sky session" to give themselves the opportunity to propose and consider new or unique
The president's budget request for FY 11 includes a 7.4% increase for GEO. In addition, the ARRA contains a 10% increase over FY 09. Thus far GEO has spent only 8% of its ARRA funds, and the remainder must be spent by September.
Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES), a cross-agency budget is up 35M to 230M. A 2010 Climate research investment includes funds for five cross-directorate solicitations: water: sustainability and climate, ocean acidification, biodiversity, climate change education partnership, and decadal and regional climate prediction using Earth System models.
The 2011 budget request gives GEO the opportunity to make advances in research, infrastructure, and education.
Infrastructure investments by GEO will include, among others, the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputer Center which will receive continued support.
There are several staffing changes in AGS (Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences). Noteworthy for Unidata is the appointment of Michael Morgan as Division Director for AGS. [Michael has long been active in Unidata as a user, a Users Committee member, and as a presenter at the 2006 Users Workshop.]
NASA's position on Earth science is that it is science in service to society and that NASA's Earth observations are designed to answer questions at the frontiers of science and societal concern. The Earth Science Division which will see a budget increase in FY 11 is organized around six focus areas:
1. Climate variability and change
2. Atmospheric composition
3. Carbon cycle and ecosystem
4. Water and energy cycle
6. Earth surface and interior
Several initiatives and missions were described for the committee;
SAGE, the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE II) instrument measures the amount of ozone and other trace gases that are in the atmosphere by measuring the amount of sunlight that comes through the atmosphere at different altitudes.
GRACE, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, through a partnership with NASA and the German Aerospace Center, tracks the monthly changes in the earth's gravity field caused by the movement of water.
OCO, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory can be used to evaluate emissions over periods of several years with 1 PPM accuracy. OCO-2 will be launched by February 2013. This is a carbon monitoring pilot program.
GLORY NPP, The Glory satellite consists of a spacecraft bus and three instruments Glory is a remote sensing spaceflight mission designed to 1) collect data on the optical, microphysical, and chemical properties,and spatial and temporal distributions of aerosols and clouds; and
2) continue collection of total solar irradiance data for the longterm climate record. Glory will Increase Our Understanding of the Earth's Energy Balance
LDCM, the LandSat Data Continuity Mission, is the future of Landsat satellites, and it will continue to obtain valuable data and imagery to be used in agriculture, education, business, science, and government.
Dr. Duh. Chief, Program & Plans Division, Office of Science & Technology, NWS discussed the scheduling for the AWIPS-II project. His talk included four main areas: AWIPS II Status, Software Distribution, Extended, and there was additional time for a Q&A session. Operational testing and evaluation (OT&E) is scheduled to begin May 11 and will continue until the product quality is acceptable. At this time functionality and stability are improved. Also at this time there is no impact on the transition from NAIPS to AWIPS-II. The latter will be released to the community when it is 100% field ready.
A preliminary release of AWIPS-II is set for September 2010 and an intermediate version is set for January 2011. Upon request, earlier versions can be made available. The open source has made it possible to remove proprietary data and the contractor has removed copyright markings.
The WES (Weather Event Simulator) is being designed to support NWS training requirements and its development is in progress at this time with a scheduled release of August 2010. An AWIPS-II thin client that will allow remote users to have access to the latest set of AWIPS capabilities. An operational robust infrastructure will support "intelligent" access to non-local datasets.
AWIPS-II will be ready for collaboration and will "support Unidata's mission."
GEMPAK/NAWIPS Migration to AWIPS-II (Michelle Mainelli, NCEP)
As she did at the Users Committee in Boulder a couple of weeks ago, Michelle discussed the status of NAWIPS to AWIPS-II and provided an update on GEMPAK's status.
The migration of NAWIPS to AWIPS-II continues. The project's goal is to have the NCEP Centers fully integrated with the same system used throughout NWS. At NCEP, there are 18.5 engineers with 250 years total of software design and development experience working toward the migration of GEMPAK/NAWIPS to AWIPS-II. The migration will include everything that has been available in NMAP, NSHARP, NWX and NTRANS, along with the GEMPAK legacy command line interface and data decoders.
GEMPAK. V. 6.0 is scheduled for release in the April/May timeframe.Worth noting is that GEMPAK will continue to be supported until a full replacement for it is available.
NOAA Climate Services Overview (Chester J. Koblinsky, NOAA)
Dr. Koblinsky provided insight into the development of NOAA's Climate Services program. He documented NOAA's involvement in climate affairs that has included, contributions to IPCC and the development of the USGCRP Global Climate Change Impacts Report, released in 2009. Recognizing that widespread climate-related impacts are occurring now and are expected to increase is a further motivation for developing the Climate Services group.
NOAA's present climate framework was established before climate services were recognized as essential and is not optimized for climate service delivery. To meet the changing and increased demands NOAA will create a framework that will connect users to existing climate products and services while continuing to develop new services. In addition the new frame work will transform current science and data into accessible information, and will actively engage users in service development
To provide leadership in integrating the climate service portfolio, NOAA established six new positions for Regional Climate Services Directors.These directors will draw on NOAA’s agency-wide capabilities to manage and execute the Regional Climate Services Strategic Plan being developed. The six positions will be co-located in NWS regions.
NOAA has created a one-stop access for its climate information at www.climate.gov
NOAA's next steps include stepped up stakeholder engagement, a National Academy of Public Administration study, and reprogramming submission.
Since the early 1990's, Unidata has made important contributions to infrastructure for climate research. Most notable are the development and enhancement of netCDF, now widely used for output from climate models and in climate model intercomparison projects. Contributions to the Climate and Forecast (CF) Conventions have included software that generates and interprets CF-compliant metadata, a draft standard for CF, and draft CF conventions for observational data. Recently Unidata has been pulled into several additional climate infrastructure projects to continue developments in this area.
Ben's presentation focused on the use of climate data by communities other than the climate science community and by individuals other than climate researchers. The latter includes but is not limited to decision makers, educators, and the general public as well. Noting that other communities, most specifically, the GIS community view data in different ways, he explained that GIS educators and researchers view data in a two-dimensional or flat perspective and as a set of features, roads, lakes and the like while the fluid communities (and this would include climatologists) view data as parameters in space and time. Ben noted that each community is making progress in understanding the other.
Present for this discussion were several NSF/OGS managers: Eric T. DeWeaver, Liming Zhou, Brad Smull, Anjuli S. Bamzai, Peter Milne
We need to start a dialog with the committee and NSF/AGS on this topic. We expect that NOAA and other agencies, and universities will partner with us in this effort.
Noting that the climate community consistently has been a beneficiary of Unidata's support of the meteorology community, now seems to be the time to single it out. The reasons for this are many, but its emergence as a societal issue is an outstanding driver, and NSF's climate initiatives as detailed in Dear Colleague Letter: Climate, Energy, and Sustainability. Five program solicitations are detailed in the letter: Water Sustainability and Climate, Ocean Acidification, Climate Change Education Partnership, Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction Using Earth System Models, and Dimensions of Biodiversity. Unidata's cyberinfrastructure and data services might support each (or any one) of these. To facilitate the development of climate study NSF has initiated the SEES (Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability) portfolio. In addition to this, NASA and NOAA both are engaging in increased climate study development.
A convincing case for Unidata's working with these groups on climate study development can be made, and that case includes Unidata's brand name, customers, technology, and objectives in common.
This summary of this item is being postponed
A community survey will be conducted by the Users Committee. Its goals are characterizing our community, determining Unidata's impact, reviewing outcomes from Unidata activity, and determining trends so that accurate decisions on future efforts undertaken by the program.
Six members for a survey sub-committee were named during the Users Com meeting. Additionally, both the Users and Policy Committees have asked to review the survey before it is circulated to the community via the "all-community" e-mail list. The survey will be ready for User Com review by the time of its October meeting. Policy Committee suggestions included:
In concluding the meeting the committee reviewed and refined the action items:
The meeting adjourned at 11:30.
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