[gembud] Sad news about Michael James

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 River.

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 support-awips@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:support-awips@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 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,


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