Unidata Update: October 2020

In case you missed it — here's a recap of news from the Unidata Program Center for the month of October, 2020.

UCAR continues to follow physical distancing guidelines, and Unidata Program Center staff are continuing to work from home at this time. We're all still available by e-mail and other electronic means to help with your data and software needs. Please don't hesitate to write to us if there is something we can do to help keep your science up and running.

Upcoming deadlines to be aware of:

6 November Student sign-up to tell the Unidata Users Committee what you need for better remote learning.

Highlights from last month:

COMET MetEd University Course Support Available


UCAR's COMET program is pleased to announce the availability of a new resource for instructors teaching university undergraduate meteorology courses. The University Course Support collection is intended to support university faculty and students in their increasingly virtual learning by mapping MetEd lesson content to U.S. university meteorology course curricula.

UCAR Mentorship and Remote Computing Resources Boost Remote Research for SOARS Student

Angelie Nieves-Jiménez

Angelie Nieves-Jiménez is a 2020 (SOARS) program protégé, working on an undergraduate research project studying sea breezes affecting her home island of Puerto Rico. Because this year's SOARS program took place remotely, she used the Unidata Science Gateway to access and analyze the large volumes of WRF model output needed for her project.

MetPy 1.0 Release Candidate 2


MetPy 1.0 Release Candidate 2 has been released. The biggest change is that now XArray DataArrays can be returned from most calculations when they are passed as inputs (this may break some code not expecting this behavior). This is the final planned release candidate before the full 1.0 release, so any testing and feedback is appreciated, especially in the DataArray support.

Unidata is looking for an Educational Designer


The Unidata Program Center is hiring! We are looking for an educational designer to help us help our community of scientists access the Earth system science data that fuels their research. You'll have a chance work with a great team at the Unidata Program Center and and enthusiastic open source community to develop interactive learning materials and training experiences on topics related to Unidata scientific software packages and programming.

NSF EarthCube funds Project Pythia


Unidata developer Ryan May is a co-PI on a recently-awarded grant by the National Science Foundation's EarthCube program. The grant, which brings together collaborators from Unidata, NCAR's Computational & Information Systems Laboratory (CISL), NCAR's Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory (CGD), and the University at Albany, SUNY, funds Project Pythia: A Community Learning Resource for Geoscientists.

Students: Tell Unidata What You Need for Remote Learning

Remote learning

Unidata is looking for graduate and undergraduate students in the geosciences to share their views on remote learning environments. The Unidata Users Committee and Unidata Program Center staff want to hear about your experiences, needs, and wishes for remote learning during a special online discussion session. Contact us by November 6th to participate.

Unidata is Looking for an AI/ML Software Engineer


Unidata is looking for an Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) developer to join our team, helping educators and students learn how to use Unidata software and data services to support their scientific research.

In this role, you'll interact with Unidata's community of researchers and educators to determine how they are harnessing AI/ML approaches to data analysis, and work toward a convention for storing data and metadata in an AI/ML ready way. In addition, you'll help evaluate existing tools such as the MetPy and Siphon python libraries and the netCDF libraries for fitness in the context of AI/ML applications. Your work will help identify and implement improvements that allow for smoother integration of Unidata software into a modern AI/ML pipeline.

On the Developer's Blog

Unidata Program Center developers write regularly on technical topics on the Unidata Developer's Blog. October brought an announcement about the Hactoberfest challenge, a description of changes to netCDF-4 filter support, and ongoing MetPy Mondays series, which discusses getting rid of chart junk, plotting Skew-T heights as text, gridding METAR observations, and testing the current MetPy 1.0 release candidate.

Governing Committee News

Unidata's Users Committee held a virtual meeting September 10-11, 2020, with a follow-on meeting scheduled for November 13, 2020.

Unidata's Strategic Advisory Committee met in virtual meetings August 6-7 and October 26-27, 2020.


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