Joint Unidata Policy Committee and Users Committee

Meeting Summary:

15 October 2009


Policy Committee Members Users Committee Members Staff Attending (all or part of meeting) UOP/NCAR Representatives
Steven Businger - Chair Tom Whittaker - Chair Tina Campbell Mohan Ramamurthy, UCP/Unidata
Rich Clark Sean Arms John Caron Tim Spangler, UCP/COMET
Brian Colle Anne Case Hanks Ethan Davis  
Rudy Husar Brian Etherton Ben Domenico Not in Attendance, User Com
Anton Kruger Brendon Hoch Ginger Emery Larry Oolman
Gary Lackmann Steven Lazarus Steve Emmerson  
Jim Steenburgh Patrick Market Michael James Not in Attendance, Polcom
David Tarboton Scott Rochette Yuan Ho Vanda Grubisic
  Kevin Tyle Robb Kambic Paul Ruscher
Agency Reps (Pol Com)   Jeff McWhirter Leroy Spayd, NOAA/NWS
Bernard Grant, (NSF) Agency Reps (User Com) Don Murray Roger Wakimoto, NCAR/EOL
Peter Griffith (NASA) Brent Gordon (NOAA/NCEP) Jennifer Oxelson Steve Worley, NCAR/CISL
  Rich Signell (USGS/WHOI) Russ Rew  
    Jeff Weber  
    Tom Yoksas  

See: Unidata Acronym/Glossary List

Administrative Matters (Businger)

Director's Report (Ramamurthy)

Among others, Mohan's presentation made the following points:


Budget Report (Mitchell)

A decrease in expenses from attrition, along with a $216k increase in our core funding helped erase our deficit spending in the core for FY09. Our total expenses are still higher than our new funding, however, as non core funding continues to decline. Despite another active year of proposals, we project that this funding will be at it's lowest level in seven years for FY10. The annual merit salary increase was changed to coincide with the start of the fiscal year which makes budgeting and reporting easier but now we have a timing issue with a lag in the start of the new core award. We will have to tap into the reserves to cover expenses for the two-month period from October - December 2009. Hopefully NSF will be able to supplement our funding to sync up the funding cycle.At the current budget level, we're fully extended in the core at 22.60 FTEs as labor costs continue to account for more than 80% of all expenses. With the LEAD project ending, we've had to absorb one full FTE into the core which puts additional pressure on an already tight budget.We have not received any stimulus funds so 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.

NAWIPS - AWIPS II Transition (Ramamurthy, Gordon)

A Draft White Paper on GEMPAK to AWIPS II Migration (Ramamurthy)

NAWIPS-AWIPS II Transition Update

Although NCEP has ceased all NAWIPS (GEMPAK) development other than emergency operational testing and evaluation, GEMPAK will be around for a long time to come, so we can expect to continue the discussion at the Users Committee meetings in 2010.

The NAWIPS to AWIPS-II migration will be completed at NCEP by October 1, 2010. Test users should be lined up by then.

The Program Center should try to get hardware requirements for AWIPS-II out to the community, and it is anticipated that the 64 bit to 32 bit issue should be answered by June 2010 by Raytheon. This is a wrinkle that must be addressed by Raytheon and one that has ramifications for the university community. Raytheon, the contractor, will complete core development within two months.

NCEP will provide what it has, with regard to training materials, but at this time those materials are sparse. Mike Szkil of NOAA's Training Division is the focal point for AWIPS training questions. We have staff at all 3 of our Training Branches working on AWIPS Training. He can be reached at 301-713-0280x111

The UPC is maintaining a comprehensive information site about the transition process and AWIPS-II.

What remains very clear is that this transition is an issue that will be with us for a while.

Off-site Meetings (Businger)

The Policy Committee meets (usually) once a year in a site other than Boulder. Most often, that site is NSF headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. This allows a greater degree of government lab participation and input into the Policy committee's deliberations. In addition, the Policy Committee has met four times at University sites in the last ten years or so.


Agency Reports

National Science Foundation (Grant)

NSF received an 8.5% budget increment from the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). There's a 8.5% increase in new funding for NSF for FY10 compared to FY09. This amounted to $3B. Reporting requirements for ARRA funds expenditures emphasize transparency. There will be a higher degree of scrutiny from nearly every segment of society it seems .A special emphasis in the federal budget for 2010 will be Climate Change Science. NSF's budget request for climate change will be $7.045B an increase of 8.5 percent over FY09. NSF's activity will focus on a new climate change education program, an increase for NSF's contribution to climate change research, and a new NSF-wide focus on climate change. The AGS division director search continues. Cliff Jacobs is detailed to OPP. Steve Nelson is acting section head for ULAFOS. The search for Jay Fein's replacement continues, and Brad Smull is the new PDMP Manager.

National Weather Service (Spayd) (was unable to attend this meeting but provided the two referenced slides)
NASA (Griffith)

Metrics Discussion (Continued from Spring Policy Committee Meeting) (Ramamurthy)

The UPC needs to know what metrics the governing committees would find useful as well as meeting its own needs for metrics to be used in proposals. Right now the UPC derives metrics from the numbers of downloads of its software packages and from numbers of registered users. It's been a while since the Users Committee has conducted a survey. The last was in 1999, and the committee will design and conduct a survey in 2010. Points to be considered in the process are: broadening participation, climate science, and opening collaboration possibilities, i.e., the idea of users as contributors. Committee members agreed that the survey should be short and focused.


Integrated end-to-end (E2E) data services: Community Needs (Rew, Ramamurthy)

A vision for end-to-end (E2E) data services white paper
E2E presentation
Wiki/Use Case

Unidata needs committees's consensus on what is meant by the above. When we know what we need to build we can begin to build it. We need to consider whether with RAMADDA, THREDDS, netCDF, and LDM that we may have many of the pieces already in place, and we have to consider what needs to be added back to the system and how to improve it. The system has to be scalable for future use. What are the next steps?



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