Joint Unidata Policy Committee and Users Committee
15 October 2009
|Policy Committee Members
||Users Committee Members
||Staff Attending (all or part of meeting)
|Steven Businger - Chair
||Tom Whittaker - Chair
||Mohan Ramamurthy, UCP/Unidata
||Tim Spangler, UCP/COMET
||Anne Case Hanks
||Not in Attendance, User Com
||Not in Attendance, Polcom
|Agency Reps (Pol Com)
||Leroy Spayd, NOAA/NWS
|Bernard Grant, (NSF)
||Agency Reps (User Com)
||Roger Wakimoto, NCAR/EOL
| Peter Griffith (NASA)
||Brent Gordon (NOAA/NCEP)
||Steve Worley, NCAR/CISL
||Rich Signell (USGS/WHOI)
Administrative Matters (Businger)
- The Draft Agenda was approved
- The Pol Com spring 2009 meeting notes were approved.
- The Users Committee spring 2009 meeting notes were approved.
- New Users Com members:
- Tom Whittaker, Chair, University of Wisconsin/SSEC
- Patrick Market, University of Missouri-Columbia
- Kevin Tyle, University of Albany
- Anne Case Hanks, University of Louisiana-Monroe
- Steve Lazarus, Florida Institute of Technology
- Rich Signell, USGS representative
- Brent Gordon, NCEP representative
- Rotating off: –Rich Clark and Rudy Husar, Policy Committee. –Gary Lackmann, Eugene Cordero, and Scott Rochette, Users Committee
- New on the Policy Committee
- Jim Steenburgh, University of Utah
- Gary Lackmann, North Carolina State University
- David Tarboton (renewal appointment)
- Next Meeting Dates:
- Users Committee: 11-12 March 2010
- Policy Committee: 15-16 April 2010 (Arlington)
- Review of Action Items and Resolutions from the Spring 2009 meetings:
New Item: Users Committee:
- Carried over to the next meeting in Boulder. Linda will invite
UNAVCO staff member Shelly Olds to present a seminar on ground-based GPS.
- An NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) staff member
should be contacted and asked to speak at a future meeting. Linda has the
contact, but the item must be deferred for one year until the meeting is
- The UPC should explore setting future meeting sites at federal
labs, both in Boulder and off-site.
- The UPC should consider collaborations with any of the following
UCAR's Visiting Scientists Program (VSP), the Advanced Studies Program
(ASP), Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Science and Research
(SOARS), and the University of Colorado to optimize its resources while
increasing its outreach.
Gary (polcom) and Anne (usercom) will collaborate to determine how to create a
meaningful connection between the air quality and meteorology communities.
- Brent (or someone he refers the UPC to) will work with Unidata
staff regarding NDFD 1-3 day forecast grids and the CONDUIT data stream.
- The committee will design and conduct a community survey in 2010.
Joint Resolution: The Unidata Users and Policy committees and the Unidata staff offer our sincere thanks to Cliff Jacobs for all of his hard work, support and guidance over the past 18 years. His support of the Unidata program has fostered its outstanding success to the benefit of educational institutions. We wish him the best in his future endeavors. We will miss him and his wise counsel.
Among others, Mohan's presentation made the following points:
- The summer Users Workshop attracted 81 participants from 32 universities and 3 U. S. government labs.
- Level II has surpassed CONDUIT in data volume
- GOES coverage over South America (almost free, and lots of data being used) see info on slide
- Metrics Update: The Geospatial Depiction map is a work in progress and is being refined, adding to and improving it.
- Since the UPC assumed management of the Unidata Equipment Award process from NSF in 2003, Unidata has made 45 awards
- The 2009 Training Workshop attracted a total of 91 participants attended, representing Canada, Colombia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S.
- Budget impact of less funding due to LEAD and THREDDS Periods of Performance ending. UPC needs to be looking for external funding (NOTE: See Budget Report below)
- Staffing remains a cautionary area for the UPC.
- The committees suggested that Unidata might consider a "virtual training workshop" for AWIPS-II when it becomes available. In this regard, Tim Spangler agreed to meet with Unidata staff about developing such a workshop if the UPC would like.
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
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
- Holding meetings at the national labs located in Boulder is a possibility
- Workshops at operational centers could provide cross pollination with the centers and the UPC
- A Users Committee meeting could be held in conjunction with a regional workshop.
- The goals for such meeting should be clearly articulated
- It is possible that a meeting at a college serving under-represented minorities could be an effective vehicle for raising awareness of the proposal's goal of enlarging that segment of the community while at the same time enhancing the UPC's service to it
- Not-unexpectedly, funding is problematic, but the possibility of an unsolicited proposal to NSF to augment funding was mentioned.
- The Users Committee will address the topic at its spring meeting
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)
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.
- The suggestion that one on one conversations with users would suffice as a substitute was discussed, but the Users Committee already contacts sites (three each per committee member per member) to get a heads up on sites's status and interests in Unidata's products.
Integrated end-to-end (E2E) data services: Community Needs (Rew, Ramamurthy)
A vision for end-to-end (E2E) data services white paper
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?
- The areas mentioned as those that the UPC does not do, may, perhaps be done by collaborators and community members; another member thought that it could be an advantage for the UPC if the latter were not true, i.e., only the UPC could.
- Primarily, however, users should not have to worry about where the E2E service originates.
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