Data Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Here at the Unidata Program Center, we know that geoscience data is important to you, and we want to do all we can to keep you informed as the efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus continue.

Although we are dedicated to maintaining community access to our data services, the National Science Foundation has not declared the Program Center to be critical infrastructure. Access to our physical location is currently highly restricted. As a result, Unidata will be providing

geoscience data for pickup1 and delivery2 only

at least until social distancing recommendations are eased.

To ensure the continued healthfulness of the data you receive, Unidata is making some changes to our data processing environment, including:

Data Hallway
Squeaky-clean Data Hallway
(click to enlarge)

  • Enforcing a strict minimum separation of six feet between data packets
  • Replacing the TCP handshake protocol with a polite nod
  • All network masks have been replaced with N95-level equipment
  • If a Unidata staff member must directly handle a community member's data, we use data gloves and similar protective gear
  • Deep-cleaning the Data Hallway

In addition, we have a (very) limited number of biohazard containment boxes available for manual data manipulation tasks. We have also ordered a number of long robotic arms, which we expect to be delivered on April Fool's Day, 2020.

But seriously, folks …

These are strange times. And while we couldn't quite bring ourselves to completely abandon the traditional April Fool's Day blog post — we all need a little levity — we're quite serious about wishing you all good health and safety.

Unidata staff (along with all UCAR employees) are working from home and following social distancing guidelines. We're here to help with your data and software needs via e-mail and other electronic means. And if you're teaching a class that could benefit from some additional cloud-based JupyterHub resources for remote learning, skip over and read this post.

Be careful out there, and let us know how we can help you keep your science going!


1 As always, our remote access data servers (thredds.ucar.edu and others) are running.
2 Ditto for the Internet Data Distribution (IDD) network.

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