Unidata Users Committee Meeting Summary

May 17-18, 2007
Boulder , Colorado


Members UPC Staff
Gary Lackmann, North Carolina State Univ, Chair Tom Baltzer
Sean Arms, Univ of Oklahoma Tina Campbell
Elen Cutrim, Western Michigan Univ Steve Chiswell
Chris Herbster, Embry Riddle Aeronautical Univ Ethan Davis
Leigh Orf, Central Michigan Univ Ben Domenico
Scott Rochette, Suny College at Brockport Steve Emmerson
Tom Whittaker, SSEC - Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison Jo Hansen
  Yuan Ho
  Linda Miller
  Terry Mitchell
  Jeff McWhirter
  Don Murray
  Jennifer Oxelson
  Mohan Ramamurthy
  Russ Rew
  Jeff Weber
  Anne Wilson
  Tom Yoksas

Please Note: Proposed Fall Meeting Date: 4-5 October 2007

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Action Items

Thursday, 17 May 2007


Policy Committee Summary-Gary Lackmann

Resolution: The Policy Committee recognizes the strategic long term value of the LEAD project for the Unidata community and encourages the UPC to take a key role in coordinating the development of proposal(s) for evolution of LEAD, to an extent that will not compromise the core activities and resources.

Director’s Report-Mohan Ramamurthy

Mohan reported on the switch between Melanie Wetzel and Steve Businger as chair of the Policy Committee. Steve will take chair at the next meeting in July 2007. Unidata has had administrative staffing changes. Ginger Emery and Tina Campbell are new members of the staff, replacing Sandra Petrie and Emily Doremire. We welcome Sean Arms-new student member of the Unidata Users Committee.

Other issues of importance included:


The Next Generation Case Studies-unlike WikiPedia, no one can destroy the case study because you own the case study. WikiPedia-can be tweaked by others, so this is not a good way to go.

There is a total change in the NSF/GEO management with Margaret Leinen’s departure, there is a new director being sought to replace Margaret Leinen and for various other positions at NSF. Office of CI-Dan Atkins is Director-(Atkin’s report, Executive Summary)

Status Reports

The status reports were shorter which facilitated reading the reports by the committee members. The following items constitute discussions between the Committee and staff:

Discussion: We should allocate one hour for status reports and discussion at future meetings. Telephone survey results should be scheduled with the status reports.

Strategic Plan—Mohan-The last strategic plan was developed in 2002. Mohan has been gathering input for the new strategic plan for one year, and the draft was presented to Policy Committee two months ago.  This plan will become the backdrop to the proposal. It covers:

Some items still need to be completed. Mohan would like the new strategic plan to have a shelf life of five years.

THREDDS-Ben Domenico

Question of ADDE servers and THREDDS servers combining – idea is to help community members make their data holdings available to others. We need ideas of how to get others to share their data via THREDDS. This raised the issue of what expertise is needed to set up a THREDDS server. The question of a steering committee came up.  There has been a technical task force (John and Ben).  The idea for a steering commitee would be to have community members, i.e., faculty, researchers, et al, glean input to make deployments easier. Another idea was a forum for THREDDS. The role of "Data Guru" was mentioned as an issue that has been discussed and noted as a need within the UPC.

How do we promote the use of THREDDS data servers? It is important to point to information on the Web site on how to create a THREDDS data server.

We need to explore options for training, such as workshops, and testimonials from users. Concrete examples from community members on how and why THREDDS is useful and needed. This type of information would go far toward facilitating use of THREDDS servers by the community. Community members will need the assistance from Unidata technical staff to get underway. Next year, consideration should be given toward the THREDDS focus for Equipment Awards. Sean Arms is going to set up a THREDDS server at OU and will provide feedback from his experience.

Workshop Follow up

The Users Committee has the first Grad student representative to serve on the committee. Some of the activities for Sean Arms to undertake include:

Active campaigning will be needed to make things happen. The Users Committee can be helpful by providing the information during their community phone contacts.

Jeff Rosenfeld, AMS, indicated that multiple articles about the workshop might be featured in BAMS.
The articles will appear in Nowcast. Rosenfeld liked the Mark Chandler presentation, and it was suggested that a "point-counter point" article be done by Leigh and John Snow, Stella model presentation.

Regional Workshop-Norman, Oklahoma

The Regional Workshop in Norman Oklahoma is schedule for September 10-12, 2007. The main emphasis of the workshop will be IDV, but it will include presentations on THREDDS, LEAD, and WDDS. There will be a Meet the Developers session.

Friday, 18 May 2007
Discussion on optimization of survey input collected by the Users Committee on various topics for the Unidata Program Center. It was agreed that starting telephone calls earlier would facilitate the process. There are times when people would rather communicate via email, so it might be wise to begin with an email introduction. Also, this could lead to having a discussion with the right person, if the inquiry is stated appropriately. The original intent was to ensure that the Uses Committee was in touch with the community, and to provide community awareness of the mission of the Users Committee. It was suggested that each member could make one call /month to avoid the activity as an onerous task.

The use of Google spreadsheet for updates was raised by Tom Whittaker. This would require asking everybody to sign up for a G-mail account, but it would pay off, due to the ease of reporting the calls for each of the Users Committee members.

DeSouza Award venue options were considered. A suggestion was made that the DeSouza Award presentation be made at the Spring Users Committee meeting. The early morning award prior to the AMS IIPS session does not have enough audience participation to warrant the presentation. By setting aside time during the Users Committee meeting, the award could be made into a Web cast seminar and the entire community could be invited to view the presentation. It was further suggested that during the tri-ennial workshop, the award could be made there. It was agreed that these steps would lead to a broader community reach. The award presentation will be advertised at the AMS annual meeting.

CONDUIT-Steve Chiswell-The server was replaced at the Web center at NOAA and the data are available from the NCEP server rather than NWSTG server. It's been very reliable.

TIGGE-Adding products required by TIGGE is in progress.

WMO is planning to transition its GTS data system to something new-WMO Information System team is considering options—Unidata technologies are being considered; LDM, THREDDS, etc.

COSMIC GPS data to Unidata community - Unidata is working with COSMIC to move the COSMIC data to the Unidata community using LDM technology. Currently registration is required through a Web interface. A short community survey will be developed to assess the community desire for the data. A COSMIC users workshop is being planned for October in Boulder.

An NWSTG outage was brought to our attention by Unidata user, Gilbert Sebenste. He questioned if Unidata could set up a separate feed at NWS to use as a back up to the GTS. Data was missing for over 17 hours.

UniWisc datastream: data from South America will be added to UniWisc. It will add 32-45 mb/hr of additional data. Sites would need to indicate whether or not they want the additional data. This would need to be clearly stated on any announcement to the community of the additional data.

Chris-USPLN-Time of Arrival
WSI is new distribution group for USPLN data. 
Peter Neilley
Mark Miller
Unidata would be providing the decoders
ADDE can limit access to data sets, so this should be covered regarding restrictions.

Chris will continue to monitor the situation.

The source code and data from the 2006 summer workshop were not archived. Gary and Chris have archived. Some of the data and will contact others about providing their data for use by the broader community.


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