Unidata Policy Committee Meeting Summary

14-15 May 2013
NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction
College Park, Maryland


Members Attending

Steven Businger (Chair), Univ of Hawaii
Dave Dempsey, San Francisco State Univ
Kevin Kloesel, Univ of Oklahoma
Kersten Lehnert, Columbia Univ
Lynn McMurdie, Univ of Washington

Users Committee Representative

Kevin Tyle Users Committee Chair

Agency Representatives

Bernard Grant, NSF
Leroy Spayd, NOAA/NWS

Remote Participation

Bill Gallus, Iowa State
Rob Fovell, UCLA
Peter Griffith, NASA agency representative

UCAR Representatives

Greg Byrd, COMET


Ben Kyger, NCEP
Michelle Mainelli, NCEP
Matt Rosencrans, NOAA/NCEP
Dave Plummer, NCEP
Scott Jacobs, NCEP
Rich Jeffries, COMET
Jeff de La Beaujardiere, NOAA

Eva Zanzerkia, NSF

UPC Staff Attending

Ethan Davis
Ben Domenico
Ginger Emery
Michael James
Linda Miller
Terry Mitchell
Mohan Ramamurthy

14 May 2013

Administrative Items

Next meeting-10-11 October 2013

Discussion of action items

Ethan Davis discussed RAMADDA-like capabilities. He has been exploring this topic and will continue to see if there are other considerations or technologies Unidata should be following.

Long tail data — Mohan has been talking to various individual PIs within NCAR and UCAR.  The proposal mentions Unidata playing a greater role and enabling PIs publishing of data from research, i.e. field campaign, etc. We must keep in mind that UPC is not an archive center.

MAP list - OU students providing individual web sites which creates a problem — others cannot find the web site where student published the data. MAP list is housed at University of Albany.

Kevin Tyle (Univ. at Albany, SUNY) - Users Committee Report

The UPC has reserved the week of 21 June 2015 at Center Green for the next Triennial Users workshop. A separate funding request is needed to NSF for the workshop.

A short workshop survey pertaining to the 2012 summer workshop will be developed and circulated sometime during summer 2013. Kevin will work with Doug Dirks on this action.

Mohan indicated that due to some surplus money from the 2012 workshop award, coordination of a small group to discuss post-workshop items is being considered.

Discussion on AWIPS II: installations are ongoing with Texas A&M, Florida Institute of Technology, Univ of Albany, Iowa State, and Penn State. Beta sites have been chosen, based on equipment awards and time required to participate. UPC is trying to collect input from the beta testers to improve the procedures and make necessary changes as needed.

HRRR Data testing is taking place at UPC.

Marty Baxter gave a presentation at the Users Committee meeting on his experiences creating case studies using IDV and RAMADDA.

Mohan Ramamurthy (Unidata) - Director's Report
Peter Griffith (NASA) - NASA Report

Peter gave a remote presentation. NOAA climate people to have a mini-workshop on carbon cycle science-NASA update-Earth Science Line on President's budget-NASA-slightly up from 2012.  Less impact on NASA than other agencies.

AboVE project science definition team-write a concise experimental plan-how vulnerable and resilient are ecosystems and society to environmental change in Arctic and Boreal regions. Concern with data management-using RAMADDA, but so far it is working fine. Jeff McWhirter is working half-time for the NASA AboVE project.

Terry Mitchell (Unidata) - Budget presentation

Attrition played a big part of the budget for this current award period. With labor costs and the associated overhead accounting for 85% of the total budget, the long stretch of vacant positions in FY12 & FY13, although a strain on the program, has allowed us to build up a reserve, and has helped us with another year of level funding and an increase in both the benefit and indirect rates for FY13. Along with new funds for the second year of the OPULS project and the third year of funding on A-CADIS, we were able to leverage our surplus of funds to continue two term positions and fill another vacant position. Over the period of performance for the Unidata 2013 proposal, we've maintained a balanced budget in the core which has positioned us well to face a potentially challenging award period starting in FY14. Although we're in better financial shape than a lot of other UCP programs, we're still hoping for a modest CODB increase in the core for FY14 in anticipation of another increase in both the benefits and indirect rates for the new fiscal year. As always, we are continuing our efforts to increase non core funding with more proposal submissions and white papers to various funding opportunities. We will continue to leverage our resources with new projects and funding as appropriate to weather these challenging economic times. The financial outlook for FY14 and beyond is uncertain, but with the surplus created over the current award period, we're in a good financial position to meet the goals in the current 2013 proposal as we plan ahead for the new 2018 proposal.

Bernard Grant (NSF) - NSF report
Leroy Spayd (NOAA) - NOAA report
Ben Kyger, Director of Operations (NCEP) - NCEP Key Program Status

Many lessons learned-should have spent more time on requirements.

Michelle Mainelli (NCEP) - CONDUIT and AWIPS II
Michael James (Unidata) - AWIPS II
Eva Zanzerkia (NSF) - EarthCube

The EarthCube vision is to

EarthCube strategy includes building on existing resources. EarthCube is iterative with community input and assessment every year. Main emphasis is to engage all stakeholders in the process.

Proposal comments from committee


Committee-asked Mohan to get back to them with a draft list of priorities prior to submitting the proposal. 

64% of those responding to the survey do IT support
79% using LDM for data

NWS funding for AWIPS II as users and co-developers-to be used by universities – open source development

Security issues will need to be considered

15 May 2013

Tour of Center for Weather and Climate Prediction

The tour was great and the building is not your typical Federal building. Very nice, indeed! The committee appreciates the work and coordination done by Michelle Mainelli for this meeting. Excellent job!

Jeff de La Beaujardiere (NOAA) - Data Management


The meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.


Linda Miller - lmiller@unidata.ucar.edu
Community Services, Unidata
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307-3000
303-497-8646 fax: 303-497-8690