Dear Unidata AWIPS and GEMPAK community members,
It is with great sadness that we write to inform you that Michael James
of the Unidata Program Center died on Saturday, June 29th. Michael
suffered a fatal accident while paddle-boarding on Colorado’s Arkansas
As you in the AWIPS and GEMPAK community are well aware, Michael has
been the primary developer of both packages at the Unidata Program
Center for over a decade. His commitment to serving the atmospheric
science community through new development, ongoing maintenance, and
technical support for these technologies has made them widely useful far
beyond their intended audiences.
Of late, Michael has been the sole Unidata developer focusing primarily
on AWIPS and GEMPAK. While we have recently hired a software developer
whose responsibilities will overlap greatly with Michael’s, she will not
be joining the Program Center staff until later this summer. In any
event, her skills and expertise are not a one-for-one match with
Michael’s, and we anticipate a significant time lag before we will be
able to replicate the development and support capability we had with
Michael leading those projects. Unidata remains committed to supporting
our community’s use of AWIPS and GEMPAK, but we also hope for your
understanding as we weather the loss of our colleague and friend and
work through these months of transition.
Unidata staff will continue to answer questions sent to
to the best of our (significantly reduced) ability. We also hope that
members of the Unidata community with expertise in these packages will
contribute knowledge where they can via the
awips2-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:awips2-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> and
gembud@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:gembud@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> mailing lists.
We do not anticipate new development on Unidata’s versions of either
AWIPS or GEMPAK for several months.
Thank you for your understanding,