International extension of Unidata packages and services began in earnest with the UOP Director-funded, joint Unidata/COMET MeteoForum pilot project. Unidata products (especially the netCDF) and services were used internationally before MeteoForum, but there was no concerted effort expended to advertise/promote our offerings.
The MeteoForum vision was originally articulated in the 2001 Fulker/Spangler proposal submitted in application for UCAR Director's Opportunity Funding (Jack Fellows):
|MeteoForum - An International Network of Meteorological Training Centers for the 21st Century|
|"The MeteoForum pilot project will include a small group of educational institutions (some universities and some WMO RMTCs) that are motivated to enhance the contributions of modern meteorology in their regions. Participants will be expected to have relatively fast Internet access, appropriate computers, and suitable personnel. Some of these personnel will be trained to run MeteoForum software on their computers so as to to access real-time data, training materials, and other resources. Where practical, participants in the MeteoForum pilot also will contribute real-time data and educational resources to the effort. By integrating these elements, the pilot project will serve as a model on which to build a full-scale international MeteoForum. Initially, the MeteoForum pilot project will build upon capabilities now offered in the U.S. by the government-sponsored COMET and Unidata programs"|
|NOTE: MeteoForum funding has been exhausted.|
The continuing international activities at the UPC are best characterized as a natural extension of our outreach activities for the higher education research and education communities.
Earth and space science Cyberinfrastructures: Data, Tools, Distribution and Forecast Systems for International Collaboration
The underlying goal of the session (IN05) is to help build a stronger and broader space and Earth science cyberinfrastructure community through international collaboration. We encouraged submission of papers on biogeophysical, meteorological, ecological, remote sensing, and related intelligent and adaptive systems for data collection, processing, and knowledge discovery and classroom dissemination. Special attention was given to presentations on data, tools, and forecast systems that foster collaborations among the research and education communities in the Western Hemisphere.
In order to stimulate JA06 participation by Latin American scientific and higher education organizations, a proposal for travel assistance monies was to the NSF's Division of Atmospheric Sciences (ATM) and Office of International Science & Engineering (OISE). The primary intent of the assistance as to encourage participation that has the potential of leading to collaborations between US and Latin American educators and researchers. This proposal was funded by ATM/OISE for the full amount requested.
Enthusiastic interest in session IN05 resulted in the submission of 22 abstracts that include 4 invited talks, 11 contributed talks, and 7 posters. Session IN05 was the second most popular section of the Earth and Space Science Informatics (IN) program of JA06. The international flavor of the session was demonstrated by abstract submissions by researchers in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Germany (EUMETSAT), Jamaica, Mexico, and Venezuela.
Current Brazilian participants:
Many of these institutions began participating as a result of the Unidata/CPTEC/UFRJ presence at the XIII Congresso Brasileiro de Meteorologia (CBMET, the 13th Brazilian Meteorological Congress) in September 2004.
UFRJ and CPTEC personnel have been actively conducting outreach to Brazilian institutions to inform them of the availability of real-time data and to see if they have unique data holdings that they would be willing to share. There is a good chance that some Brazilian radar data will be made available for distribution through the IDD-Brazil in the six months.
Sites that are expected to join the IDD-Brazil in the coming months include:
In addition to the sites above, an operational organization named FURNAS has also expressed interest in participating in IDD-Brazil data exchange. Their participation will require a quid pro quo arrangement with other IDD-Brazil participants.
RUPSUR institution(s) scheduled to begin participating in the IDD:
The next El Niño conference of RUPSUR is scheduled for late November in Cali, Colombia. Notably, Ricardo Mantillo, a Unidata 2005 training workshop attendee from the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been working with contacts at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Medellin (University of Colombia at Medellin) to inform them of Unidata offerings. Very recently, the UPC was contacted by two different organizations in Colombia who were interested in using McIDAS.
Further information on Unidata international activities can be found in the separate International Activities White Paper.
Background material on MeteoForum can be found in previous User and Policy Committee Meeting reports:
October 2005 User Committee Meeting MeteoForum - Yoksas.
by Tom Yoksas