Unidata Seminar Series

Unidata Seminar Series

Seminar
                Series The Unidata Seminar Series is a venue for Unidata Program Center staff and other invited speakers to highlight important activities of relevance taking place within the Unidata Community. Webcasts for most seminars are available. See the Calendar of Events to find the next scheduled Unidata seminar.

2020 Seminars

2020 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Russell Manser
July 28, 2020
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Russell Manser's Poster

The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Russell Manser presented the results of his summer projects to the UPC staff on July 28, 2020.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read Building Support for Efficient MetPy Calculations Across Large Datasets with Dask for a summary of Russell's projects.

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2020 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Caitlyn McAllister
July 28, 2020
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Caitlyn McAllister's Poster

The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Caitlyn McAllister presented the results of her summer projects to the UPC staff on July 28, 2020.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read Investigating a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Calculation for MetPy for a summary of Caitlyn's projects.

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2020 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Lauren Prox
July 28, 2020
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Lauren Prox's Poster

The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Lauren Prox presented the results of his summer projects to the UPC staff on July 28, 2020.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read Highlights From My Summer Internship With Unidata for a summary of Lauren's projects.

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2019 Seminars

2019 Russell L. DeSouza Award Presentation and Seminar
Pete Pokrandt
October 2, 2019
Foothills Lab 2, Room 1001

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)

Pete Pokrandt of the University of Wisconsin, Madison is the recipient of Unidata's 2019 Russell L. DeSouza Award. In this video from 2 October 2019, he is presented with the award and gives a talk looking at changes in the dissemination of atmospheric science data over the years he has been involved with the Unidata program.

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2109 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Jessica Blunt
July 31, 2019
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Jessica Blunt's presentation slides

The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Jessica Blunt presented the results of her summer projects to the UPC staff on July 31, 2019.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Jessica's projects.

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2109 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Max Grover
July 31, 2019
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Max Grover's presentation slides

The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Max Grover presented the results of his summer projects to the UPC staff on July 31, 2019.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Max's projects.

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2109 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Aodhan Sweeney
July 31, 2019
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Aodhan Sweeney's presentation slides

The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Aodhan Sweeney presented the results of his summer projects to the UPC staff on July 31, 2019.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Aodhan's projects.

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2018 Seminars

2018 Russell L. DeSouza Award Presentation and Seminar
Steven Lazarus
September 10, 2018
Foothills Lab 2, Room 1001

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Steven's presentation slides

Steven Lazarus of the Florida Institute of Technology is the recipient of Unidata's 2018 Russell L. DeSouza Award. In this video from 10 September 2018, he is presented with the award and gives a talk looking at ways of reporting scientific findings that are more interactive, transparent, and reproducible than traditional journal publications.

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2108 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Hailey Johnson
August 3, 2018
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Hailey Johnson's presentation slides

The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Hailey Johnson presented the results of her summer projects to the UPC staff on August 3, 2018.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Hailey's projects.

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2108 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Jon Thielen
August 3, 2018
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Jon Thielen's presentation slides (GitHub) (PDF)

The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Jon Thielen presented the results of his summer projects to the UPC staff on August 3, 2018.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Jon's projects.

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2017 Seminars

2017 Russell L. DeSouza Award Presentation and Seminar
Kevin Tyle
October 17, 2017
Foothills Lab 2, Room 1001

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Kevin's presentation slides

Kevin Tyle of the University at Albany, State University of New York is the recipient of Unidata's 2017 Russell L. DeSouza Award. In this video from 17 October 2017, he is presented with the award and gives a talk describing his impressions of the history and future of geoscience visualization tools.

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2107 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Tyler Wixtrom
August 1, 2017
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Tyler Wixtrom's presentation slides


The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Tyler Wixtrom presented the results of his summer projects to the UPC staff on August 1, 2017.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Tyler's projects.

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2107 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Matt Wilson
August 1, 2017
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Matt Wilson's presentation slides


The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Matt Wilson presented the results of his summer projects to the UPC staff on August 1, 2017.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Tyler's projects.

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2016 Seminars

2016 Russell L. DeSouza Award Presentation and Seminar
Daryl Herzmann
September 29, 2016
Foothills Lab 2, Room 1001

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)

Daryl Herzmann of Iowa State University is the recipient of Unidata's 2016 Russell L. DeSouza Award. In this video from 26 September 2016, he is presented with the award and presents a talk describing his association with the Unidata program over the years.

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2106 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Alex Haberlie and Kristen Pozsonyi
July 29, 2016
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)
Kristen Pozsonyi's presentation slides
Alex Haberlie's presentation slides

The Unidata Program Center's summer student interns Alex Haberlie and Kristen Pozsonyi presented the results of their summer projects to the UPC staff on July 29, 2016.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Kristen and Alex's projects.

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2015 Seminars

2015 Russell L. DeSouza Award Presentation and Seminar
Scott Jacobs
October 1, 2015
UCAR Center Green building 1, Main Auditorium

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)

Scott Jacobs of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction was awarded the 2015 Russell L. DeSouza Award by the Unidata Users committee. He attended the October 2015 joint Users and Strategic Advisory Committee meeting, during which he received the award certficate and gave a presentation titled "A Brief History of GEMPAK..."

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2105 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Josh Clark
July 31, 2015
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)

The Unidata Program Center's summer student intern Josh Clark presented the results of his summer projects to the UPC staff on July 31, 2015.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Florita and Shawn's projects.

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2014 Seminars

2014 Russell L. DeSouza Award Presentation and Seminar
Rich Signell, U.S. Geological Survey
September 15, 2014
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 2, Room #1001

Seminar Presentation: PDF
Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)

Dr. Richad P. Signell of the U.S. Geological Survey was awarded the 2014 Russell L. DeSouza Award by the Unidata Users committee. He attended the September 2014 Users Committee meeting, during which he received the award certficate and gave a presentation titled "Ocean, Atmosphere & Climate Model Assessment for Everyone."

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2104 Unidata Summer Internship End-of-Summer Seminar
Shawn Cheeks, Florita Rodriguez
July 29, 2014
Unidata Program Center

Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)

The Unidata Program Center's two summer student interns — Florita Rodriguez from Texas A&M Univeristy in College Station, TX, and Shawn Cheeks from Marshall University in Huntington, WV — have come to the end of their summer appointments. After a summer's dilligent work, they presented the results of their projects to the UPC staff on July 29, 2014.

The Unidata Summer Internships offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with Unidata software engineers and scientists on projects drawn from a wide variety of areas in the atmospheric and computational sciences.

Read this blog post for a summary of Florita and Shawn's projects.

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GEOSS Common Infrastructure and the Brokering Framework
Stefano Nativi, National Research Council of Italy
July 10, 2014
Foothills Lab 2, Room 1001

Seminar Presentation: (Not yet available)
Seminar Video: (Not yet available)

Global sustainability research requires an integrated multidisciplinary effort underpinned by a collaborative environment discovering and accessing heterogeneous data across disciplines. Traditionally, interoperability has been achieved by implementing federation of systems. The federating approach entails the adoption of a set of common technologies and standards. This presentation argues that for complex (and uncontrolled) environments (such as global, multidisciplinary, and voluntary-based infrastructures) federated solutions must be completed and enhanced by a brokering approach — making available a set of brokering services. In fact, brokerage services allows a cyber-infrastructure to lower entry barriers (for both data producers and users) and to better address the different domain specificities.

The brokering interoperability approach was successfully applied and enhanced by the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) Initiative. The GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) adopts a powerful brokering framework called GEO DAB (Discovery and Access Broker). GEO DAB provides a services platform to discover, evaluate, access, transform, and portrayal geospatial datasets. GCI and the GEO DAB address most of the Bi Data challenges affecting GEOSS. The seminar introduces the GCI with particular attention to the DAB role and the next coming research and development topics.

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Visualization of the weather-climate connection
Brian Mapes, University of Miami
May 5, 2014
Seminar presented by the NCAR Advanced Study Program
Mesa Laboratory Main Seminar Room

Seminar Presentation: PDF
Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)

Data visualization is an appealing and fun craft. If done well, it can support realism in scientific reasoning, for example by layering the texture of weather and useful indicators of uncertainty (such as an ensemble of different data products) onto the smooth abstractions of climate statistics. These days, large time-aggregated archives of many reanalysis and satellite-observational datasets are available via OpenDAP. UCAR/Unidata's free Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) and related softwares are in good shape to take advantage of these, obviating the need for downloading and organizing dataset collections. There is just the small matter of software complexity to contend with. I will show a few pretty (and scientific) results, and describe my efforts to salvage lasting value from much obsessive toil behind the scenes by assembling a newbie-friendly self-updating IDV Plug in, pointing to an ever-improving Web-hosted collection of templates and other user resources. I am trying to make it easier to gain the IDV's great strength — rich, multi-source data integrations — for myself and my students, and for others.

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2013 Seminars

2013 Russell L. DeSouza Award Presentation and Seminar
Larry Oolman, University of Wyoming
October 3, 2013
UCAR Foothills Lab, Building 4, Room #1201

Seminar Presentation: PDF
Seminar Video: YouTube (and below)

Dr. Larry Oolman of the University of Wyoming's Department of Atmospheric Science was awarded the 2013 Russell L. DeSouza Award by the Unidata Users committee. He attended the October 2013 Users Committee meeting, during which he received the award certficate and gave a presentation titled "Thinking Outside the Unidata Box."

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2012 Seminars

2012 Russell L. DeSouza Award Presentation and Seminar
David Knight, University at Albany, SUNY
April 2, 2012, 12:00pm
UCAR Foothills Lab, Anthes Building, Room #2205

Seminar Presentation: PDF
Seminar Webcast: HTML

Dr. David Knight of the University at Albany – SUNY's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences was awarded the 2012 Russell L. DeSouza Award by the Unidata Users committee. He attended the April 2012 Users Committee meeting, during which he received the award certficate and gave a presentation titled "Collaboration and Cooperation, or, The Importance of Community Service to Unidata."

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2011 Seminars

NCAR's Data-Centric Supercomputing Environment: Yellowstone
David Hart, NCAR Computational and Information Systems Laboratory
November 29, 2011, 2:00pm
UCAR Foothills Lab 2, auditorium

Seminar Presentation: PDFs
Seminar Webcast: MP4

Yellowstone will be the inaugural computing resource at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Yellowstone will be a 1.6-petaflops IBM iDataPlex cluster with 74,592 processor cores and 149.2 TB of memory. Yellowstone will be integrated with a centralized file system and data storage system that will provide 11 PB of usable disk capacity. Two data analysis and visualization systems (Geyser and Caldera) will support large-scale data analysis and visualization activities. Equipment delivery will commence in early 2012, with production computing operations expected in summer 2012. The Yellowstone environment at NWSC will greatly expand the opportunities for researchers in the atmospheric and related sciences, with more than 600 million core-hours available each year. David Hart from CISL's User Services Section will describe the Yellowstone environment and the allocations options for the user community.

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GEOPOD: An interactive module for navigating and probing geophysical data
Michael R. Root, Ky P. Waegel, Lindsey. M. Crouse, Gary M. Zoppetti, Sepideh Yalda, Richard D. Clark, Millersville University
April 11, 2011
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: HTM

GEOPOD is an intuitive, interactive Java module that allows users to navigate and probe an immersive 3-D world featuring authentic geophysical data. The interface allows undergraduate students to actuate virtual devices while being guided by pre-planned missions. Since the data volume is constructed using output from numerical weather prediction models based on actual physics, the exploration environment naturally exhibits technical accuracy, scientific soundness, physical consistency, and authenticity. These attributes would be enormously challenging and costly to generate with synthetic simulations. GEOPOD leverages the Unidata Program Center's open source Java-based visualization software, the Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), to import and render model output. The use of IDV as a core application allows the development team to focus solely on the design and implementation of an intuitive interface for navigating the volume. The GEOPOD mission subsystem guides students through a sound instructional design plan that includes learning objectives, learner characteristics, learning theory, instructional strategy, and practical context.

The presentation will demonstrate the key features of the GEOPOD including, but not limited to the following: 1) the GEOPOD interface; 2) customizable display panels with drag-and-drop capability for up to 20 user-selected meteorological variables; 3) intuitive keyboard and mouse navigation (with optional Wii controller capability); 4) high fidelity isosurface traversal; 5) an autopilot system for smoothly flying to a destination; 6) integration of Google map technology for both forward and reverse geocoding – users can look up a destination for the autopilot using an address or ground-truth their current location; 7) particle imaging (snow crystals, liquid droplets) and vertical profiling (dropsonde) virtual devices; 8) flight event recording and replay; 9) Web-based mission builder for user or instructor defined missions and assessments; and 10) point-of-interest annotation.

This project is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF-IIS 0835411).

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2010 Seminars

Webcast recordings will play in QuickTime, Real Player or VLC Media Player.

Multi-Disciplinary Interoperability Challenges
Stefano Nativi, Italian National Research Council and the University of Florence
December 10, 2010, 10:00 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF
Seminar Webcast: RM

Multi-disciplinary interoperability is essential to underpin the Earth System Science and contribute to address the challenges raised by the global changes. In fact, the scope and complexity of the Earth system investigations demand the formation of distributed, multidisciplinary collaborative teams. Earth system analysis is a challenge for scientists as much as it is for information technology experts.

Research and developments dealing with multi-disciplinary interoperability will be presented and discussed. This has been carried out in the framework of some EU-funded projects and GEO/GEOSS activities.

The addressed topics include:

  • From the SOA archetype to the extended Brokered SOA approach: multi-disciplinary discovery, and access functionalities including semantic search;
  • Mapping the netCDF-CF model to ISO coverage model:
    • From ncML to ncML-G+;
    • WCS 2.0 extension(s);
    • Observation and Measurement field view products;
    • Uncertainty-enabled data and services discovery and chaining.
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ISO Metadata Standards and Interoperable Understanding
Ted Habermann, NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC
June 22, 2010, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 2, Room #1001

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: MP4 | MOV

Documentation provides the context that adds understanding and knowledge to data. The ISO Standards for documenting data (19115, 19115-2), and services (19119) extend the range of standard documentation considerably beyond previously available approaches. They include increased utilization of technologies like UML, XML and linking and content areas like data quality and processing history. These extensions can build an emerging foundation of data interoperability into an infrastructure for interoperable understanding. This process will involve active collaboration between many environmental data providers and archives all over the world that are currently in the process of adopting and understanding how to effectively use the ISO Standards.

This seminar will describe ISO capabilities in the context of parallels between metadata tools and data interoperability approaches developed and used by UCAR and others. I will demonstrate how directories shared over the web, transport standards, and community conventions build the foundation for documentation access and data understanding. I will also demonstrate crosswalks and connections between ISO, THREDDS, and NetCDF documentation and some ideas and approaches to improving documentation across the entire spectrum of environmental.

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DeSouza Award Presentation: 16 Years Serving Students, and the UNIDATA Community
Gilbert Sebenste, Northern Illinois University
March 11 2010, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Webcast: RM
RAMADDA: Content Management for the Earth Sciences
Jeff McWhirter, Unidata Program Center
January 14, 2010, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 2, Room #1022

Seminar Presentation: PDF
Seminar Webcast: MP4 | MOV

RAMADDA (Repository for Archiving, Managing and Accessing Diverse DAta) is a web-based application framework developed at the Unidata Program Center that provides a broad suite of services for content and data management, publishing and collaboration. RAMADDA brings together a number of concepts and technlogies to provide an easy to use but powerful system for publishing, organizing, discovering. and accessing data and other holdings.

Development of RAMADDA has occurred over the past two years, but its first release date was fall 2009. The software is currently installed at a number of sites. In this talk we will describe the underlying architecture and data model of RAMADDA and demonstrate how it can be used to support a wide variety of needs within the Earth science community.

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2009 Seminars

Webcast recordings will play in QuickTime, Real Player or VLC Media Player.

The Unidata Outreach Activities with a Focus on International Standards Related to Atmospheric Data Access
Ben Domenico, Unidata Program Center
September 22, 2009, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

From the earliest stages, there has been strong interest in Unidata tools and data services from outside the core community of US academic departments in the atmospheric sciences. In particular, the disciplines "at the margins" of the core community: oceanography, hydrology, environmental science, ecology, etc. have participated in the program at various levels over the years. Recent developments in the area of web services hold out the hope of making the data systems of these disciplines interoperable without each group having to adopt the internal systems of the others in order to make use of their data.

Several international standards groups are working on conventions, protocols and interfaces that foster such interoperability and hence have a bearing on our ability to make atmospheric data available to other communities. This is especially true for the groups who have traditionally used GIS tools, e.g, hydrology, biogeosciences, societal impacts and hazard response. These standards organizations include ISO, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) as well as the members of our own community involved in OPeNDAP, the Climate and Forecast Conventions, and the evolution of the netCDF. This talk provides an overview of the efforts underway and a recap of recent progress.

A special effort will be made to indicate how these efforts tie in with those of the other groups within Unidata.

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The Challenges of the ECMWF Graphics Packages
Sylvie Lamy-Thepaut, ECMWF
August 5, 2009, 1:00 PM
UCAR Center Green Building 1, Room #2126

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: MP4

The mission of the ECMWF Graphics Section is to develop and support graphical software to help researchers in the manipulation and visualisation of meteorological data. Nowadays these desktop based tools are challenged every day by the need for lighter web applications, the introduction of new input data and output formats, and an increasing amount of data to be manipulated and visualised.

This talk will present the evolution of our 2 software packages (Metview 4/Magics++) to cope with these new requirements: 1) more interactive data examination tools and the integration of products produced by any external OGC web map service (WMS) into our Metview 4 package; and 2) more flexibility to use new input data formats and produce new output formats into our Magics++ package.

We will also present our new web-based project using Magics++ as a graphical kernel. The project will provide the forecasters of the ECMWF Member States with a tool to display products and interact with them (ie panning, zooming) and distribute these same products via WMS.

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An Update on the NOAA Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS)
Patricia A. Miller and Michael F. Barth, NOAA ESRL/GSD
April 28, 2009, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

MADIS is a NOAA Research system, developed at the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), that serves the meteorological community by supporting observation collection integration, quality control, and distribution of thousands of NOAA and non-NOAA observations, including over 50,000 surface mesonet stations from local, state, and federal agencies, and private networks, as well as upper-air datasets including multi-agency wind profiler and automated, commercial aircraft observations. The mesonet database includes Road Weather Information System observations from state Departments of Transportation, as well as real-time observations from the Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) network, the Cooperative Mesonets in the Western U.S. (MesoWest) network, the WeatherBug and UrbaNet networks operated by AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc., the Citizen Weather Observing Program (CWOP) network, and others, many of which provide dense observations in urban areas. MADIS receives these observations in different formats, units, and time stamps, and provides them in a single uniform database. Additionally, MADIS supplies data providers with quality control and station monitoring information to assist in their maintenance activities and to enhance and promote the mutual benefits of public/private data sharing. Organizations receiving MADIS data feeds include National Weather Service (NWS) forecast offices, the NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and many major universities and commercial weather businesses.

In 2007, the NOAA Research Council and NOAA Transition Board rated MADIS as one of NOAA's highest priority research-to-operations transition projects. Overall plans for the transition include the implementation of MADIS real-time capabilities at the NWS and the transfer of existing MADIS saved datasets and future archive responsibilities to the NESDIS National Climatic Data Center. The NWS transition approach will consist of an integrated NWS Telecommunications (TOC) and National Centers for Environmental Prediction Central Operations (NCO) distributed system. ESRL will remain as the primary MADIS Research and Development organization, and will host a research-to-operations test environment facility within the ESRL/GSD Central Facility.

This seminar will provide a status update on the existing MADIS system, a general overview of MADIS transition plans, and will also cover plans for upgrades to MADIS datasets and services.

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2008 Seminars

Webcast recordings will play in QuickTime, Real Player or VLC Media Player.

A Prototype Earth-Gauging System Integrating Weather and Health Data to Manage Meningitis
Raj Pandya, UCAR
December 8, 2008, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

The overarching goal of this seminar is to describe efforts to save lives and enhance livelihoods in Ghana through integration of health and environmental data, and by using that data in service of health-related decision-making. Specifically, we aim to build and implement prototype decision-support system that integrates two- to 14-day weather forecasts and epidemiological data to provide actionable information that can be used to contain the spread of meningitis epidemics. By applying a preliminary economic evaluation of this decision support system, we will be able assess the potential benefit of using environmental data to improve public health outcomes, help prioritize continuing investment in meningitis management in Ghana and throughout the Meningitis Belt, and determine the appropriateness of extending the prototype to other diseases, nations, and continents.

This effort is a small piece of an overall Google.org effort to develop an /Earth-gauging System /that will integrate environmental, health and development data into products that stakeholders and researchers can use to monitor variables, analyze trends and identify relationships among different variables. The /Earth-gauging System /will support the prediction of emerging threats, and provide the basis for a robust early-warning system that will improve health, food security, and development and conservation outcomes.

Learn more about the Google Africa Initiative

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Impact of the 2008 Tropical Cyclone Season on the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico
Luis M Farfan, CICESE
October 31, 2008, 12:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF
Seminar Webcast: RM

The current season has almost ended, with 16 named systems, of which three made landfall over the southern half of the peninsula. The landfall cyclones included Tropical Storm Julio (August 24), Tropical Storm Lowell (September 10), and Hurricane Norbert (October 10). Beginning this summer, CICESE is receiving satellite imagery from Unidata, and this has been used to document the development of the above cases. In addition, GEMPAK is used to make graphical displays on a real-time basis.

The presentation includes meteorological aspects of the structure and movement, track predictions, and the impact of the storms on the population in the area, with emphasis on Hurricane Norbert. This season was remarkable in that it was the first time, since observations were based on satellite imagery that three tropical cyclones made landfall over the southern peninsula.

Learn more about CICESE

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Continuous Temperature, Humidity and Liquid Water Profiling
Randolph Stick Ware, NCAR/MMM
September 25, 2008, 3:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 2, Room #1022

Seminar Presentation: PDF
An Update on the Scientific Data Type Layer of Unidata's Common Data Model
John Caron, Unidata Program Center
July 8, 2008, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

This talk will give an update on the Common Data Model's (CDM) abstractions for Scientific Data Types (now called "feature types", to emphasize similarities to the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) feature and coverage abstract models). Special attention will be given to the one-dimensional point feature types.

Learn more about the Common Data Model

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Securing the Legacy of the International Polar Year
Mark Parsons, National Snow and Ice Data Center
May 6, 2008, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Webcast: RM

We are in the midst of one of the most exciting international and interdisciplinary science projects that many of us will encounter in our professional careers - the International Polar Year. Scientists in the natural, social, and health sciences are collaborating on some 228 endorsed projects in both the Arctic and Antarctic during a two-year period (March 2007-March 2009) of intense field observations. These science projects address crucial issues at a critical time in the evolution of the Earth system. A common thread in all projects is how we manage the data for collaboration now, during this IPY, and in the future as new science topics and issues emerge.

The International Polar Year Data and Information Service (IPYDIS) is a global partnership of data centers, archives, and networks working to ensure proper stewardship of IPY and related data. The National Snow and Ice Data Center acts as a coordination office for the IPYDIS to ensure the long-term preservation of broad, interdisciplinary, and non-expert access to IPY data. The IPYDIS tracks the data flow for IPY and helps researchers and data users identify data access mechanisms, archives, and services. The IPYDIS also provides information and assistance to data managers on compliance with standards, development of a union catalog of IPY metadata, and other data management requirements for IPY. It provides a general communication forum for all matters related to accessing, managing, and preserving IPY and related data. The IPYDIS is guided by the IPY Data Policy and Management Subcommittee, which develops the overall IPY data strategy and policies. The IPYDIS also supports and participates in the Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY), which promotes a modern e-Science approach to issues of data stewardship: open access to data, data preservation, data discovery, data rescue, capacity building, and outreach.

This presentation reviews current activities and future challenges for the IPYDIS in creating a sustained polar data system. Ultimately, we seek to create a data preservation and access "utility" a core infrastructure of science that is simple, predictable, reliable, extensible, accessible, and durable. But just like with existing utilities, such as water, electricity, and communications, the basic simplicity on the surface belies deep complexity, structure, planning, and professionalism. Creating that level of infrastructure requires great collaboration around standards, maintenance, and professional development and certification. We must bridge cultural barriers between scientific disciplines, between data managers and researchers, between libraries and data centers.

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MicroWave Weather Cam
Mark Parsons, National Snow and Ice Data Center
April 24, 2008, 12:00 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | HTML (login: unidata   password: radiometer )
Seminar Webcast: RMVB

A hyperspectral microwave camera reveals otherwise invisible air temperature, humidity and liquid structure, during all weather conditions. Combined with Internet browser-based control and display software, this technology is a powerful new tool for research and education.

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DeSouza Award Presentation: Use of Unidata Software, Tools and Data
Mark Laufersweiler, University of Oklahoma
April 10, 2008, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF
Seminar Webcast: RM

2007 Seminars

Webcast recordings will play in QuickTime, Real Player or VLC Media Player.

Opportunities and Challenges for Meteorology in Africa With a Focus on West Africa: A Perspective From Current Ongoing UCAR Projects
Roelof Bruintjes, NCAR/RAL
October 15, 2007, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

UCAR and the universities have embarked on an Africa Initiative about a year ago. The primary purpose was to focus some of the work conducted at UCAR and NCAR in Africa in a coordinated manner and to involve the university community and others in the U.S., Europe and Africa in this effort. UCAR has currently several ongoing projects in Africa with most in West Africa. Several pilot projects were launched in the past year. The seminar will provide an overview of these projects and the plans to enhance these projects in the coming year. Several other U.S. institutions (US-AID, U.S. State Department and the National Academies of Sciences) have also recently or are on the process of developing new initiatives in Africa.

The seminar will also provide a brief introduction to these initiatives and our potential interaction and participation in these initiatives.

Learn more about the Google Africa Initiative

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Writing NetCDF Files: Best Practices
John Caron and Russ Rew, Unidata Program Center
June 28, 2007, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT (Rew) | PPT (Caron)
Seminar Webcast: RM

Data formats, data models, and data conventions play different roles in capturing the meaning in data and enhancing interoperability. The Unidata Common Data Model, the netCDF-4 format, and developments with the CF data conventions offer opportunities for better data representations, but compatibility with existing programs and services must be a consideration during a transition to use of the new capabilities.

We list potential benefits in using what the new data model offers and describe advantages of using the new model with the "classic" format. In addition, we provide some early recommendations for data providers and software developers and speculate on changes to best practices.

We will also look at some examples of existing conventions for observational data to understand their strengths and limitations.

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Data and Services provided by EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites
Volker Gaertner, EUMETSAT
June 5, 2007, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

The seminar talk will provide an overview of the tasks, duties and services of the European Organisation for Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, EUMETSAT. As an operational agency EUMETSAT is providing data for weather forecasting, climate monitoring and environmental applications. EUMETSAT maintains and develops space based satellite systems like Meteosat and Metop.

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Joint NCAR/EOL-Unidata Seminar
Steve Williams, Chris Webster, Dennis Flanigan, NCAR/EOL
May 29, 2007, 9:30 AM -11:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF (Williams) | PDF (Webster) | PDF (Flanigan)
Seminar Webcast: RM
The Comprehensive Large Array Stewardship System (CLASS): Living With a Multi-Petabyte Resource
Eric A. Kihn, NOAA
March 19, 2007, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

The CLASS project derives in part from an effort by NOAA to centralize its numerous data systems for environmental data access. The goal of this effort was to eliminate the various "stove-pipe" systems and produce a unified "enterprise" data access system for the major NOAA data holdings. The CLASS the system is:

  1. The IT component for archive of certain NOAA data.
  2. A secure storage system for other NOAA data.
  3. A portal for some NOAA and non-NOAA data.
  4. A component of the infrastructure necessary for science data stewardship activities.
  5. Interoperable with other systems relating to the NOAA mission.

A new node of the CLASS system will open this year in Boulder at the National Geophysical Data Center and eventually be populated by many petabytes of data including GOES, POES, NPOESS, NEXRAD and many others. This talk will present the impacts and opportunities such an archive allows the environmental data user. It will cover API development, metadata and high-volume data access as well a discussion of the future of CLASS within NOAA.

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2006 Seminars

Webcast recordings will play in QuickTime, Real Player or VLC Media Player.

AND Archives: Freeing Ourselves from the "Tyranny of the OR"
Ted Habermann, NOAA National Data Centers
November 29, 2006, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

Jim Collins described the Tyranny of the OR in his now classic book Built to Last: the rational view that can not easily accept paradox, that cannot live with two seemingly contradictory forces or ideas at the same time. This concept may have some relevance in the data management community. In many cases, data users have been divided into two groups: science users OR GIS users, and systems are built that serve one group OR the other. We might call these OR Archives. Collins suggests that highly visionary companies do not oppress themselves with the Tyranny of the OR. In the data management world, these might be termed AND Archives. They build systems that support science users AND GIS users. The Common Data Model and THREDDS Data Server work done recently at Unidata has demonstrated the possibility that AND can be integrated into the foundation of our data systems. I will explore this idea using some recent work at NGDC with Level 2 Sea Surface Temperature observations from NESDIS. It turns out that these data blur some traditional distinctions between GIS and satellite data. I will also discuss some recent work on rich inventories and diffusion of standards in mature organizations.

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Initial Results and Operational Plans for the six-satellite Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC)
Chris Rocken and Doug Hunt, UOP/COSMIC
August 29, 2006, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

Formosat-3 / COSMIC (F3/C) is a joint Taiwan - US radio occultation (RO) satellite mission for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, space weather monitoring, and geodetic research. NSF, NOAA, NASA, USAF and ONR jointly support the US component of the mission. The F3/C mission was successfully launched into a circular ~ 500 km low-Earth orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on 15 April 2006. Six identical micro satellites, each carrying an advanced GPS radio occultation receiver, a tiny ionospheric photometer (TIP) and a Coherent Electromagnetic Radio Tomography (CERTO) beacon for ionospheric tomography/scintillation, were deployed successfully. All satellites and payloads appear to be working well. Operational data processing and distribution of the data to users started in July, 2006. Presently (mid-August 2006) the mission is generating about 1000 profiles in the neutral atmosphere and up to 2500 profiles in the ionosphere. Ultimately the mission will generate over 2500 high-resolution daily profiles of atmospheric bending, refractivity, pressure, temperature and humidity with high vertical resolution and high long-term stability in all weather. The mission will also provide a large ionospheric data set including line-of sight satellite to satellite and satellite to ground TEC, ionospheric profiles, scintillation (S4 parameter) observations, and TIP radiometric observations. This presentation will provide a description of the F3/C mission and data products with emphasis on data distribution and a demonstration of tools for data analysis.

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Interoperability Between Earth Sciences and GIS Models: A Holistic Approach
Stefano Nativi, Italian National Research Council and the University of Florence
July 27, 2006, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

As observational and model output datasets in the Earth Sciences (e.g. oceanography and atmospheric science) increase in resolution, there is an increasing demand for information systems that interoperate between the Land Management (mainly using GIS) and Earth Sciences realms. However, differences in the way the two communities think about their data and services can cause difficulties. In the present Web era, these different conceptual approaches produce diverse content models, generating disciplinary Markup Languages, and diverse service protocols and interfaces. As the technology of web services accessible by computer programs evolves, the challenge for those studying the Earth from an interdisciplinary perspective is to develop interoperable data models that can span the specific models employed in individual disciplines. Moreover, these interoperable models have to be integrated with the semi-structured framework of the Web itself.

International initiatives (e.g. ISO TC 211 and the Open Geospatial Consortium OpenGIS) have released geo-information standard models conceived to support general interoperability. These efforts led to the definition of "more general" models for Geospatial Information. This approach is gaining value in several international initiatives, such as: GEOSS, National Spatial Data Infrastructure initiatives (e.g. ESDI and FGDC/NSDI), NSDL, GMES (Global Monitoring of Environment and Security) initiative, etc. There exists the need to shift from a "traditional" cartographic to a more general informatics viewpoint.

An holistic approach to mediate and harmonize the different data and metadata models of the two communities (i.e. Land Management and Earth Sciences) is discussed. An implemented solution is presented; based on it, a valuable framework is introduced and some experimentations are reported.

Several important and open issues will be introduced, such as: discovery services harmonization, scientific ML harmonization/mediation, spatial data infrastructure implementing rules, security and trustability services.

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A Virtual Operations Center (VOC) for Field Experiments in the Atmospheric Sciences
Mike Daniels, NCAR/EOL
May 30, 2006, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

Field experiments in the atmospheric sciences have grown in complexity, in part due to enhanced capabilities of our observing platforms and models as well as more available access to a whole array of new operational networks (e.g. satellites, mesonets, WSR-88D radars, etc.). During a field campaign, these data are sent to an on-site Operations Center and used in the real-time direction of observing platforms and subsequent analysis to plan future missions. Advances in communications and Information Technology have given us an opportunity to significantly improve our ability to meet the science-driven requirements of these centers, now and in the future. The Virtual Operations Center (VOC) proposal, recently submitted to the NSF, seeks to formally address the challenges of building these centers in more cohesive way using technologies that are being developed across UCAR. The VOC will address new capabilities in the areas of visualization, forecast model assimilation, real-time data management and network-based collaborative tools which will lead to more efficient use of our observing platforms and improved field project datasets. It will also expand the field participation of interested researchers, staff, students and others at remote sites.

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The Earth System Modeling Framework and Earth System Curator: Software Components as Building Blocks of Models and Community
Cecelia DeLuca, NCAR/CISL
February 27, 2006, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

The Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF) is an established multi-agency effort to develop infrastructure for building and coupling Earth system models. The newly-funded Earth System Curator is a related database and toolkit that will store information about model configurations, prepare models for execution, and run them locally or in a distributed fashion. The key concept that underlies both projects is that of software components. These components may be representations of physics domains, such as atmospheres or oceans; processes within particular domains such as atmospheric radiation; or physics or computational functions, such as data assimilation or coupling. ESMF provides interfaces, an architecture, and tools for structuring components hierarchically to form complex, coupled modeling applications. The Earth System Curator will enable modelers to archive and manipulate components. Together these projects encourage a new paradigm for modeling: one in which the community can draw from a federation of many interoperable components in order to assemble and run applications. Groups that are using ESMF include WRF, CCSM, NOAA NCEP and GFDL, NASA climate programs, the Army, Air Force, and Navy, and universities including MIT and UCLA.

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GRID-BGC: A Grid-Enabled Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Modeling System
Matthew Woitaszek and Jason Cope, University of Colorado
January 23, 2006, 1:30 PM
UCAR Foothills Lab 4, Room #1318

Seminar Presentation: PDF | PPT
Seminar Webcast: RM

Grid-BGC is a Grid-enabled terrestrial biogeochemical cycle simulator collaboratively developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado (CU) with funding from NASA. The primary objective of the project is to utilize Globus Grid technology to integrate inexpensive commodity cluster computational resources at CU with the mass storage system at NCAR, while hiding the logistics