Unidata Users Committee

Meeting Summary

17 September 2012

Committee Members
Actions Items
Acronym List

Meeting Participants

Usercom Members UPC Staff
Tom Whittaker (Outgoing Chair), Univ of Wisconsin
Kevin Tyle (Incoming Chair), Univ at Albany
Michael Baldwin, Purdue Univ
Martin Baxter, Central Michigan Univ
Anne Case-Hanks, Univ of Louisiana Monroe
Jennifer Collins, Univ of South Florida
Bart Geerts, Univ of Wyoming
Steven Lazarus, Florida Inst of Technology
Patrick Market, (Outgoing Member)Univ of Missouri-Columbia
Sam Ng, Metropolitan State Univ of Denver
Russ Schumacher, Colorado State Univ

Usercom Student Representative
Stefan Cecelski, Univ of Maryland

Policy Comittee Guest Participants
Lynn McMurdie, Univ of Washington
Michael Piasecki, City College of New York
Sean Arms
Tina Campbell
John Caron
Julien Chastang
Ethan Davis
Doug Dirks
Ben Domenico
Ginger Emery
Steve Emmerson
Ward Fisher
Dennis Heimbigner
Linda Miller
Terry Mitchell
Jennifer Oxelson
Russ Rew
Jeff Weber
Tom Yoksas
Agency Representatives UCAR Representatives
Peter Griffith, NASA
Scott Jacobs, NCEP
(For Rebecca Cosgrove and Michelle Mainelli)
Rich Signell, USGS

Agency Representatives Not Attending
Rebecca Cosgrove, NCEP
Bernard Grant, NSF
Michelle Mainelli, NCEP
Leroy Spayd, NOAA
Vanda Grubisic, NCAR/EOL
Mohan Ramamurthy, UCP/Unidata
Tim Spangler, UCP/COMET
Steve Worley, NCAR/CISL

Administrative Items

New committee members introduced themselves briefly, and commented on the morning new member orientation session. Comments on the orientation were favorable.

Status Reports

Brief discussion of the staff status reports:

There is coordination between ACADIS and DataOne Data Management Plan to NSF for NSF proposals.
NSF is mentioning ACADIS data management plan as an example of how to construct a plan. Rosetta is part of this, and a demo is scheduled later during the meetings..

It was suggested that UPC make product-specific pages using Twitter and other media. There should be a tweet for every bug fix.

Action 1: Linda will work with Ginger and Tina to make a reservation for Center Green for the next summer UserComm workshop. The dates mentioned would be mid-July to late-July of 2015. Plan on 100 people again.

There was a question of how current enrollment numbers compare to previous years, and what the brekdown of registrants from universities/industry/government, etc.

Tom Whittaker attended a meeting where CF as an international standard especially focusing on standard names was discussed. It is important to continue getting the word out at meetings.




Steve Lazarus is planning on setting up a regional workshop at Florida Institute of Technology. He would like to see UPC create a YouTube video of how to set up the IDD.




Support: Question



Scott Jacobs made a presentation for Becky Cosgrove (slides).

Users Workshop Report

Steven Lazarus provided a brief update on progress on BAMS article, to be submitted November 2012 if possible.

Future: When collecting registration information, ask how they heard about the workshop

Action 7 : UPC to create followup survey approx 6 months after workshop:

DeSouza Award

Nomination solicitation for 2013 award to go out "soon"

Please use the nomination form

Blue Sky Session

Tom Whittaker described this session and why it is needed. The Usercomm should discuss items/issues of importance to them as they plan for the future for their classes/labs. Unidata has global footprint. UPC should look seriously at "cloud" type computing, allowing use of minimally powerful devices.

Jennifer Collins said that there are not many Unidata users at her institution. Regional workshops would be good for getting other disciplines involved.

Mike Baldwin made the point that students are running Mac's not RedHat. They use their own PC's from home.

Marty Baxter is in favor of tablet-style computing, need new interfaces for IDV that use touch gestures
(Jeff/Sean and Mike Schmidt are working on a Kiosk mode coming soon) Marty said he would be willing to serve on the IDV steering committee!

Steve Lazarus said there's an issue with using IDV in the classroom -- could be less clunky, a simplified version of the UI

Stefan Cecelski - would like to have an option just to look at the data -- quick action when you don't need to modify the data

Anne Case Hanks- Likes the idea of a lite version of IDV on mobile device. Could be images, but want to be able to composite data sets, display on globe, etc.

Sam Ng would like a Mobile way to get data to students. Switching to IDV as a start.

Rich Signell said it would be nice to have IDV functionality broken out as components that could be reassembled into different workflows. Python might be a good glue for the logic represented by IDV workflows. (Mike Baldwin added, when you work in a web services environment, the choice of a development environment becomes less important)

Kevin Tyle - Emphasis on collaboration in IDV --

Russ Schumacher - Provide "Nate Silver style" probabilistic predictions built from ensemble weather predictions

Tom Whittaker - How do we get more value from our data via novel visualizaitions

Marty Baxter - enhance Unidata outreach efforts to communicate what is already available within atmos community and beyond. TED talk style demonstrations of what you can do and how to do it. Unidata can help with curriculum development, merging computer science concepts with the meteorological work. Tools to make it easier to evaluate forecasts?

Bart Geerts said IDV good for querying 4-D structure, I like to use it for vertical structure. These transects are not easy to combine, overlay. SkewTs don't provide enough detail, would like to see that improved. Would also like to see notes within the interface itself. (GeoPod?)

Miscellaneous Topics

Site contacts:


Linda Miller and Doug Dirks
Community Services - Unidata
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307-3000
303 497-8646 fax: 303 497-8690