|Steven Businger, Chair, Univ of Hawaii
Brian Colle, Stony Brook Univ
Dave Dempsey, San Francisco State Univ
Bill Gallus, Iowa State Univ
Anton Kruger, Univ of Iowa
Gary Lackmann, North Carolina State Univ
David Tarboton, Utah State Univ
Jack Fellows, UCP
Mohan Ramamurthy, UCP/Unidata
|Users Committee Representative|
|Tom Whittaker (Users Committee Chair)|
Administrative Items: Steven Businger
The summary from the previous meeting was adopted.
The next Policy Committee meeting will be 14-15 May 2012.
Unidata Budget Summary-Terry Mitchell (Bernard Grant, NSF, sat in remotely)
Attrition has been the key component of the budget picture for the past two years and continued to be at the forefront in FY11. With labor costs and the associated overhead accounting for over 85% of the total budget, the long stretch of vacant positions, although a strain on the program, reflected favorably on the financial picture for FY11. The decrease in both the benefit and indirect rates from FY10 was also beneficial for the budget. That, combined with a one-time increase of $400k from NSF in the core for FY11, erased our deficit spending there and has created a substantial surplus as we ended the fiscal year and has positioned us quite well to take on the projected level funding of FY12. Because of the surplus, we anticipate hiring two new Software Engineers for FY12 in addition to the two replacement positions that should be filled relatively soon. Despite the surplus of funds we are continuing our efforts to increase non core funding with more proposal submissions and white papers to various funding opportunities. Those efforts are paying off as evidenced by an increase of 79% in non core funding for FY11 over it's lowest point in FY09.
We will continue to leverage our resources with new projects and staff as appropriate to weather these challenging economic times. The financial outlook for FY13 is uncertain, but with the decrease in both the benefit and overhead rates again for FY12, along with our carryover, we're in a good financial position to meet the goals set forth in the 2013 proposal as well as start looking toward the new 2018 proposal.
Bernard posed the question of what would a 5% decrease do to the program? He said that 2012 will be level funding, and 2013 looks like a possible decrease.
HYDRO NEXRAD Collaborative Project - Anton Kruger
It was Anton's last meeting as a member of Unidata's Policy Committee. He presented the collaborative project that the University of Iowa, Princeton University, Unidata, and the National Climatic Data Center participated in, along with student involvement. The project's goal is to make archival and real time NEXRAD data available. The focus was on using radar rainfall data in hydrometeorology, hydrology, and water resources. The project was funded by NSF. See the slides for additional details.
Strategic Planning Discussion - all
Gary Lackmann summarized his thoughts regarding strategic planning. After discussing his ideas in an email, he suggested "Unidata: Towards data discovery, access, analysis, and visualization at the speed of thought" as a vision statement. In his email, dated 10/28/11 to the committees, he made other suggestions for consideration.
Gary's opinion that data analysis and visualization should be featured more prominently was discussed. Under the heading "Develop and provide open-source tools for effective use of geoscience data." There was much discussion about Gary's suggestion, but no consensus was achieved by the committee.
Some other suggested phrasings were:
There was also a suggestion for Unidata's mission statement:
The title of "Navigating Earth System Science Data" resonated with the Users and Policy Committees.
One Policy Committee representative will be added to the planning sub-committee for the workshop.
ACTION 1: Make a mailing list for the workshop subcommittee
Proposal development needs to be considered immediately, because the proposal will have to be sent to Bernard Grant, NSF, for approval. The proposal is non-core for ~ 75-100K Bernard suggested sending him the proposal at the beginning of the year.
Student participation is valuable to include in workshop planning. Students can provide posters for a poster session.
Unidata WRF-Mohan led discussion
How do we build a better bridge to the WRF community?
ACTION 2 : Create a WRF subcommittee (Gary Lackmann, Bill Gallus, Brian Colle) to articulate problems that Unidata could potentially help solve.
ACTION 3: Consider the opportunity for voluntary afternoon meetings with individual UPC staff, with advance scheduling
ACTION 4: Consider future combined meeting with half-day overlap
A suggestion from the committees to provide additional time for Usercomm and PolComm members to interact with staff for an additional day. Is that workable?
ACTION 5: UPC should discuss this to see if it is feasible and report back to the committees. The UPC should consider what the overlap meeting pros and cons are.
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