UOP Annual Report to the Board, Members, Academic Affiliates, and University Relations Committee
Jack D. Fellows
This has been both an exciting and somewhat confusing year for the UCAR community. Our nation has a new President and the beginnings of new research and policy activities related to the atmospherics sciences. It has certainly been our honor to serve the UCAR community through this transition and its efforts to better understand weather and climate and its impacts on society. All of us in UOP would like to thank all those who participated in the UCAR Community Survey (http://www.ucar.edu/may2000survey/PublicResults.html). This survey provided very useful feedback to the UOP programs and demonstrated the community’s strong support for the UOP services. Below is a brief summary of program highlights since the last UOP report in October 2000 (http://www.uop.ucar.edu/botoct00/). If you have additional questions regarding any of the UOP programs, please feel free to contact me (email@example.com or 303-497-8655), a program director, or you can also explore the UOP program web sites at: (http://www.uop.ucar.edu/uop/index.html).
Summary of Program Highlights. UOP continues to focus on developing and maintaining a broad range of education and training and data and research support tools and services on behalf of the UCAR community. These tools and services include (details are provided under the specific program highlights):
· Education and Training (E&T). UOP programs had quite a few E&T highlights during the year. As planned, Version 1.0 of the DLESE digital library was premiered at the DLESE Annual Meeting at University of Northern Arizona in August and includes a broad range of features for users. While on sabbatical, Dave Fulker led a collaborative team that was won an NSF grant for the core integration component of the National Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Technology Education Digital Library. COMET gained two new sponsors – NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite Data Information Services and the Meteorological Service of Canada and produced a broad range of new E&T modules, webcasts, teletraining, and residential classroom materials, including hazardous weather, numerical weather prediction, hurricane emergency management, and quantitative precipitation forecasting. COMET also made progress in developing a NSF-sponsored multimedia database that contains many of its graphics developed by COMET for distance learning. When completed, these materials will be accessible by the UCAR community. COMET continues to operate a national meteorology E&T web site (MetEd) for NOAA that averages over a million “hits” and 62,000 user sessions each month. VSP continued to offer a broad range of visitor and post-doc opportunities at both NOAA and other federal labs.
· Data and Research Support. During this period, JOSS provided operations, logistics, and data management support to the EPIC and ACE-ASIA field campaigns and several programs associated with NSF’s Arctic System Science Program. JOSS’s CODIAC data management system now supports the data from more than 70 projects. JOSS has also supported the GLOBE program and several ocean workshops. GST and Unidata have continued to implement the SoumiNet program, with 11 SoumiNet sites in operation and two new sites being established each week. 223 sites were registered and there are funds for 73 sites – there is clearly community interest in this project. GST has also demonstrated high-resolution refractive tomography using slant GPS data from a 24-site network in Oklahoma and is expected to play a major role in the Plate Boundary Observatory program. Unidata has complied a survey of the Unidata community, won funds to establish an NSDL collection that should facilitate access to environmental data (THREDDS), worked with NCAR to develop a community data portal, updated a range of data software tools (LDM, NetCDF, GEMPAK, McIDAS, etc), and provide access to a range of radar data. COSMIC has made significant strides this past year and the project should begin in mid-October with a launch of the six-microsat constellation in June 2005.
These are but a few of this year’s highlights. I encourage you to read on for more details on the UOP activities. Thank you again for your support throughout the year and it has been honor to serve the community.
GPS SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (GST)
Program Director: Randolph Ware www.gst.ucar.edu
Mission. Equip, support, and develop Global Positioning Satellite related research tools for the geosciences.
GST is the UCAR focal point for the advancement of GPS applications in Earth sciences. Some of the recent GST key activities include:
· SuomiNet. Eleven SuomiNet sites are now in operation and 2 new sites are being established each week. At this rate most of the 73 sites proposed for SuomiNet will be established by the end of the year. Interest in SuomiNet participation is high, with a total of 223 SuomiNet sites registered. However, we will be able to establish only 73 sites under current SuomiNet funding.
· UNAVCO. UNAVCO is expected to play a major role in the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO), the second phase of a larger proposed solid Earth science initiative called Earthscope. PBO includes a high-resolution national seismic network, 1,000 continuously recording GPS receivers and 200 strain meters. With 200 real time GPS sites planned, the PBO has considerable potential for meteorological and climate research applications. UNAVCO and NCAR are working together to evaluate GPS antennas for joint atmospheric/geodetic applications in PBO.
GPS Research Group. This group recently demonstrated high-resolution refractive tomography using slant GPS data from a 24-site network in Oklahoma. A 24 hr refractive tomography video is available at http://cosmic.cosmic.ucar.edu/~braunj/results.html.
As a result, DOE ARM will support three more
years of their slant GPS work. Included is support for analysis of slant GPS
data during the International H2O project in May and June 2002. Under work supported by the Office of Naval
Research, this group has also reported successful retrieval of vertical
refractivity structure using bending angle measurements from a ground-based GPS
Wind and Moisture Analysis. Slant GPS, wind radar and microwave profiler data were used in a dynamical variable analysis (u,v,w,p,T)
background and other data. High-resolution wind and moisture fields were retrieved.
This work in progress by MacDonald, Xie and Ware was presented at IAMAS 2001
(July, Innsbruck). Previous work used 3DVAR to recover high-resolution moisture
fields (MacDonald, Xie and Ware, Monthly Weather Review, in press).
CONSTELLATION OBSERVING SYSTEM FOR METEOROLOGY, IONOSPHERE, AND CLIMATE (COSMIC)
Program Director: Bill Kuo www.cosmic.ucar.edu
Mission. Ensure a successful a collaborative science project between UCAR, several US federal agencies, and Taiwan for the launch of a constellation of six micro-satellites to collect atmospheric remote sensing data for weather prediction, climate, and ionospheric research.
Program Status. COSMIC will achieve its weather, climate, and ionospheric mission by measuring the bending of GPs radio signals by the atmosphere. This radio occultation technique was pioneered by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Stanford University in the late 1960s to study planetary atmospheres. For two years, the COSMIC staff has worked diligently to plan and secure the funding for this exciting project. UCAR has partnered with the Orbital Science Corporation to undertake the technical and management aspects of this project. UCAR will be responsible for the payloads, science, data processing and archiving, and the launch vehicle. Orbital will be responsible for the space craft.
Two of the three major contracts (satellite and science support) have been signed and the third (launch vehicle) should be completed in early 2002. The start date for the project is October 15, 2001 with a launch in 2005. UCAR has released the first version of the COSMIC data process software (CDAAC) and it is being used to process radio occultation data from the CHAMP and SAC-C missions. These missions use the same GPS receivers as COSMIC.
Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET )
Program Director: Tim Spangler www.comet.ucar.edu
Mission. Serve as a premier resource to support, enhance, convey, and stimulate scientific knowledge about the weather for the benefit of providers, educators, and users of weather information.
Planning. In the past, the COMET Program has operated under three-year cooperative agreements with NOAA. This year through agreement with NOAA, the COMET Program will be submitting a proposal for a five-year cooperative agreement. This is a significant administrative advantage for the COMET Program.
New Sponsors. It has been an exciting year for the COMET Program as they have acquired two new sponsors, the National Environmental Satellite Data Information Service (NESDIS) and the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC). The work completed for NESDIS will concentrate on developing and delivering education and training in polar satellite meteorology with attention paid to NPOESS capabilities. The main focus of the work completed for MSC will be to develop and deliver education and training in high-latitude meteorology. The COMET Executive Board met in July to plan for COMET's future.
Education and Training. All COMET education and training activities fall under one core program, ensuring an integrated suite of education products that focus on topic areas rather than method of delivery. The program uses the Web for conceptual understanding and application, teletraining for seminar-like discussions of application and forecasting issues, and CD-ROM for practice cases and archival storage of Web and teletraining content. In-residence activities take place in the COMET classroom and include case studies to illustrate and clarify lecture sessions.
COMET produced computer-based training products include:
· MetEd Web Site. On behalf of the National Weather Service (NWS), the COMET Program operates a national meteorology education and training Website. The site, http://meted.ucar.edu/, contains Web-based modules on several weather forecasting subjects. The COMET Web sites averages about 1,125,000 hits and 62,000 user sessions per month.
· Hazardous Weather. In March, the COMET Program released Anticipating Hazardous Weather and Community Risk. The purpose of this Web-based course is to provide background on weather and weather hazards for emergency managers and other decision makers. This course is intended to complement on-site courses offered by FEMA and NWS, so that they can focus on local hazards and community risk factors.
· Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP). This past year work was completed on the Understanding NWP Models and Their Processes Distance Learning Course. It is a set of NWP modules organized as an online, asynchronous course with the goal of providing forecasters with a better understanding of numerical model fundamentals. A shorter path through the course has been identified, with guidance from NWS personnel, as the material experienced forecasters will find most beneficial for refreshing their understanding of NWP. Upon completing the course, students are asked to take a short online exam based on the modules. A certificate is issued to those passing the exam with a score of 75% or better.
· Mesoscale Meteorology Primer. In June the first module in this series (Cold Air Damming) was released. This module first presents a Navy forecast scenario prior to the development of a major cold air damming (CAD) event along the east slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. Then, from a conceptual standpoint, the classic CAD scenario is described in detail, both from an observational and modeling standpoint. Subsequent sections discuss in-situ and hybrid CAD, the role of coastal fronts, and Rocky Mountain CAD.
· Quantitative Precipitation Forecasting (QPF). In January the Quantitative Precipitation Forecasting Overview, as part of the QPF PDS series was released. This site provides Webcasts and PowerPoint materials related to quantitative precipitation forecasting. These materials include an introductory QPF Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation with embedded audio, well suited for an on-station lecture and discussion session, and three Webcasts by Wes Junker, Senior Branch Forecaster at NCEP/HPC. Other Webcasts released include:
· Rain Gauges: Are They Really Ground Truth? featuring Nolan Doesken
· Social Science Perspective on Flood Events featuring Eve Gruntfest
· Urban Flooding: It Can Happen in a Flash! featuring Matthew Kelsch and John Weaver
Hurricane Strike! The purpose of this project is to develop a CBL module on hurricanes geared toward students in grades 6-8. Over the summer, a review of the modules was conducted that identified areas that need to be fixed and a new section to be created (an interactive section on Safety). Work is completed on a time-available basis, no definite end date for the project is set.
Case Studies. In cooperation with Unidata and JOSS, the COMET Program continued to
develop its case study library that provides data sets for research and
education programs throughout the nation. By October of 2001, thirty-eight case
studies will have been distributed. Most cases have been used in the COMET classroom
or have been suggested by NWS Science and Operations Officers. Each case brings
a unique forecasting challenge that was faced by on-duty forecasters to the
entire community. Additional information on the library may be obtained online
· Multimedia Database (MMDB). The development of the multimedia database has been a cooperative activity involving support from the NWS, National Science Foundation (NSF) and NESDIS. Its goal is to provide access to individual media elements used in COMET distance learning materials for reuse by sponsor training focal points, university faculty, and other government agency personnel developing new training and educational materials that will benefit the meteorological and university communities. Procedures will be developed and put into place during FY02 to ensure that all new media content being developed will reside in the MMDB.
COMET Classroom Activities. The COMET Program offered a total of 9.5 weeks or 7,072 student hours of instruction this year. In March, classes were deferred due to a NOAA travel cap. In an effort to continue delivering training, the COMET Program developed the Flash Flood Operations and Awareness Teletraining (FLOAT), which delivered 18 sessions. In addition, 26 teletraining sessions on Numerical Weather Prediction were delivered. Since March, the COMET Program has delivered 44 teletraining sessions on NWP and flash flooding that has reached 1,082 participants at over 100 NWS offices.
In February, the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC), in conjunction with the COMET Program held its inaugural Winter Weather Forecasting Course. The goal of the course was to increase participants’ understanding of winter weather phenomena so they could transfer this knowledge to local forecast center meteorologists. This class was used as an incentive for MCS to partner with the COMET Program to develop winter weather distance learning modules that will be used in MSC weather centers.
Outreach Program. The Outreach Program funds applied research by university faculty in collaboration with NWS offices. This past year, the Outreach Program also partnered Department of Transportation offices with university faculty and NWS offices to research local modeling to improve quality control, precipitation amounts, and pavement heat balance.
The Outreach Programs primary activities during the past year include:
· Administering: 54 projects
· Reviewing proposals and awarding: 9 NWS Cooperative Projects, 10 Partners Projects, and 5 DOT/NWS Cooperative Projects
Program Director: David Fulker www.unidata.ucar.edu
Mission. Empower universities to acquire and analyze atmospheric and related data.
Unidata under took a broad range of community interactions and data activities (new tools, access, and sources) over the past year, including:
· NSDL. While on sabbatical, Dave Fulker led a collaborative team that submitted the successful proposal for the core integration component of the NSDL (National Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Technology Education Digital Library). Dave will now continue as the Unidata Director as well as assuming the role of NSDL Director.
· User Registration. Unidata recently implemented a user registration system. It was first employed with the User Committee community survey and is also being used to keep track of who is downloading and using Unidata software.
· User Survey. The Users Committee is compiling a survey of the Unidata community. The results should be posted within a month or two.
· User Committee Article. The Users Committee has submitted an article on our last Community Workshop (“Shaping the Future of Earth System Education: Unidata Users as Leaders for publication in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society by the Unidata Users Committee.
· Training Workshops. Fully subscribed training workshops were held for GEMPAK, McIDAS, and the LDM.
· Java. UCAR is now a member of the Java Community Process and the expertise at Unidata in the area of units is being used to formalize the programmatic handling of units for the Java programming language.
· NetCDF. The Unidata NetCDF User's Guide (146 pages) has been translated into Japanese (by Masato Shiotani and colleagues at Kyoto University) and will soon be made available on the Japanese netCDF mirror site.
· DLESE. Unidata staff members have played active roles in the DLESE Data Access Working Group and DLESE community workshop.
· LDM. The Unidata LDM, designed originally for data distribution, is now being used or tested in various data collection projects such as SuomiNet, CRAFT, US GODAE (Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment), a WMO pilot project, and an Antarctic project
· THREDDS. The Unidata led a collaborative team that submitted a successful proposal to establish an NSDL collection that focuses on facilitating access to environmental data. This initiative is called THREDDS (Thematic Real-time Environmental Distributed Data Services). The goal of THREDDS is to create a data web, to make it easy to publish, find, and use scientific data just as the WWW has made it easy to publish, find, and access multimedia documents.
· Data Portal. Unidata collaborated with NCAR Scientific Computing Division to set up the Community Data Portal (motherlode) server, which is also serving as the initial testbed for THREDDS development.
· ADDE. Unidata's cooperative ADDE (Abstract Distributed Data Environment) server network that was recently announced provides remote access to decoded real-time data to university sites with ADDE-capable applications (so far only McIDAS and MetApps). These ADDE servers are part of our THREDDS initiative.
· DODS. Collaborative projects-DODS (Distributed Oceanographic Data System, funded through University of Rhode Island grant) and Case Studies (funded by the NWS) are continuing. DODS will become a fundamental component of THREDDS.
· Metadata. A metadata catalog server and a DODS aggregation server that make metadata and virtual data collections accessible to applications
· Level III Radar. As of the beginning of 2001, Level III NEXRAD radar (formerly known as NIDS) products are freely available via IDD. Previously these were only available via commercial vendors so only a small fraction of Unidata sites could afford to use them. Now the majority of our sites ingest as least some of these products.
· CRAFT. Unidata was instrumental in hosting the CRAFT Stakeholders Workshop in February where nearly 70 participants (including universities, private industry, government, UCAR/NCAR) discussed future plans for making level 2 radar data available to all interested parties.
· FNMOC. Fleet Numerical Oceanographic Center (FNMOC) has become an active Unidata sites. Among the many benefits of this collaboration is community access to COAMPS and NOGAPS data via the Unidata IDD. FNMOC and the associated GODAE are part of the THREDDS team as well.
· GEMPAK. The new 5.6 release of GEMPAK/N-AWIPS incorporates NMAP with drawing tools, contour editing and graph to grid contouring, direct model comparison, multiple loop frames, cloud height determination, time matching and windowing.
· McIDAS. The new 7.80 release of Unidata McIDAS offers simplified access to datasets distributed across the Internet through a newly-ADDE-enabled GUI. The set of cooperating hosts immediately accessible in this distribution compose the ADDE server network mentioned above.
· Java. Development of the new Java-based, platform independent MetApps suite of applications continues and RAP and ATD are contributing development resources – especially for the development of an application for analyzing and displaying radar data (level 2 as well as level 3).
The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) Program Center
Director: Mary Marlino www.dlese.org
Mission. Enhance geoscience education through new educational technologies.
Current Activities. DLESE is an NSF-funded project entering its third year of development (Fall 2001). The project is distinguished by its participatory community design process and its focus on support for Earth system science educators and learners at all levels—from K-12 to undergraduate/graduate to informal education—to locate and effectively use on-line resources. Rather than a centrally located collection of holdings, the library will be a distributed and reviewed “collection of collections,” as well as a virtual community center designed to facilitate sharing and collaboration.
· A collection of 1,000 learning resources.
· A geoscience education-specific metadata framework enabling searching by educational level, topic and resource type.
· A basic discovery system permitting keyword and controlled-vocabulary searching.
· A Resource Cataloger enabling community contribution and cataloging of learning resources.
· A portal supporting library use, community action, and DLESE partnerships.
· Web-based working groups addressing issues of diversity in the geosciences, dataset access and use, the integration of research and education, and other essential aspects of DLESE development.
· Robust community governance through a Steering Committee and set of standing committees supported by policies for collaboration, collections development, intellectual property, and privacy.
· Infrastructure provision: developing core technical components needed to facilitate digital library functionality including those needed for resource characterization and discovery, resource management, distributed services support, and the leveraging of technologies from other digital library projects and community contributors.
· Collections building: maintaining the DLESE collections, developing appropriate collection policies, and ensuring that collections continue to serve the needs of the DLESE user community.
· Data access: maintaining a rich collection of digital datasets, ranging from in situ observations to remotely sensed images and the outputs of computer models. DLESE will also provide access to data tools and services to meet the requirements of learners at various levels of capabilities.
· Supporting use: in order to achieve the DLESE goal of transforming education, collections must be supported with information on effective pedagogy, successful teaching practices, and effective tools for learning assessment. Linkages between content and teaching resources must be created to help educators use the collections most effectively in a wide variety of teaching situations.
· Library operations: DLESE is moving from prototype status to a fully functional library with reliable 24/7 services. This entails stability of systems, more substantial help services and support staff, and the development of authentication services.
· Proposal: a proposal to the Geosciences Directorate of NSF will be submitted in November 2001 for continuing funding for the DPC.
JOINT OFFICE FOR SCIENCE SUPPORT (JOSS)
Program Director: Karyn Sawyer www.joss.ucar.edu
Mission. Assist the national and international research community in the organization and implementation of research programs in the atmospheric and related sciences.
Field Operations and Data Management (FODM). These activities provide program planning and design, site surveys, field operation logistics, management and data management activities—including system design and the collection, quality control, formatting, and customized delivery of scientific project data. Some recent FODM activities include:
· CODIAC. CODIAC is a data management system that offers scientists access to research and operational geophysical data. CODIAC provides the means to identify datasets of interest, view associated metadata, browse the data, and then automatically obtain data via Internet file transfer (FTP) or on magnetic tape. CODIAC Internet data delivery over the past year reached an all-time monthly high, with a substantially higher annual volume than ever before. These data showed an increased use of the CODIAC system to access research and operational data from more than 70 projects hosted on the JOSS web site. JOSS completed the planning and acquisition of major new computing hardware to replace the aging web server computer and a large part of the older data storage devices. Phase-out and replacement of this equipment will take place in early FY 2002.
· EPIC 2001. The field phase of EPIC began in Huatulco, Mexico, and the Galapagos Islands on 1 September. The NCAR/NSF C130 and NOAA P-3 are based in Huatulco, where the Operations Center is located. Aerosondes are being deployed from the Galapagos Islands; and the R/V Ron Brown and two other research vessels are participating. JOSS has full responsibility for managing operations, logistics and data management. NSF and NOAA fund this program.
· Arctic System Science. JOSS provides data management support to several field projects that are part of the NSF Arctic System Science Program (ARCSS). The support has several components that help the project collect, archive and distribute project datasets in a timely and effective manner. We assist the project science teams in the development of a data management strategy including use of data questionnaires, data policy, recommendations, formats and documentation, and the preparation of a data management plan. This has been done for the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic (SHEBA) and the Arctic Transitions in the Land-Atmosphere System (ATLAS) Projects, and is under way for the Western Arctic Shelf Basin Interactions (SBI) Project. The next step is the collection of operational datasets from the National Weather Service, model forecast products as well as state and local observation network data. This has been done for SHEBA and ATLAS. JOSS acts as the interim archive for datasets from SHEBA, ATLAS, the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), phase one of the (SBI) Project, and the ongoing Arctic Regional Climate Model Intercomparison Project (ARCMIP). JOSS has implemented a data management system that offers scientists a means to submit their data, identify and download other datasets of interest, display selected datasets online, and update datasets and documentation that maximize the ease of data exchange and archiving during the project period. JOSS data holdings for these projects include approximately 500 datasets made up of more than 500 Gigabytes of information. JOSS remains flexible for the receipt of multiple format and multi-disciplinary datasets, and can assist the investigators with the preparation of new composite datasets. This is done for SHEBA, ITEX and ARCMIP. JOSS personnel serve on the WCRP-sponsored Data Management and Information Panel (DMIP) for the Arctic Climate Systems Study (ACSYS) and the new Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project.
· Future Projects. JOSS continues to actively plan future programs. This includes the International H2O project (IHOP 2002) to be conducted in Oklahoma May/June 2002; the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME), Global Energy and Water cycle Experiment (GEWEX/GAPP), The Hemispheric Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX), South American Low Level Jet Experiment (SALLJET), and several Austral/Asian monsoon programs that are in the early planning stages.
Program Support Group (PSG). During FY 2001, the PSG continued to provide administrative support with a staff of over 36 at four off-site offices to provide scientific, technical and programmatic expertise to national and international programs. PSG provided logistics support to approximately 1500 travelers attending over 400 planning, organizing, and oversight meetings, workshops, conferences, and field research experiments. On-site PSG staff support was provided to 23 scientific meetings, including:
· GLOBE. JOSS conducted the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program (GLOBE) Sixth Annual Conference, held in Blaine, Washington. Leaders from GLOBE countries around the world gathered to discuss their experiences and strategies for advancing the program.
· Ocean Workshops. JOSS also supported the Ocean Carbon Transport, Exchanges & Transformations (OCTET) Workshops, Climate Variability and Predictability/El Nino Southern Oscillation (CLIVAR/ENSO) Workshops, and Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO/ENSO) Workshops organized for environmental scientists to discuss progress in their fields, prepare reports of their recommendations for future studies, and promote upcoming research.
Visiting Scientist Programs (VSP)
Program Director: Meg Austin www.vsp.ucar.edu
Mission. Provide postdoctoral and visitor opportunities at federal research labs and universities. Organize and support advisory panels and scientific workshops.
Postdoc Programs. VSP is currently holding annual recruitments for two postdoctoral fellowship programs. We will make approximately 12 to 14 new appointments in 2002 for these programs.
· NOAA Postdoctoral Program in Climate and Global Change. Application deadline: January 15, 2002
· International Research Institute for Climate Prediction Postdoctoral Scientist Program. Application deadline: January 15, 2002
Visitors Program. VSP is also recruiting for individual visiting scientist positions being sponsored at different federal agencies:
· Sea ice modeling at National Ice Center
· Coastal modeling at National Ocean Service
· Land surface modeling at Hydrologic Research Lab
· Air quality modeling at Air Resources Lab
· Space Weather Week (May 2002)
· Evaluation of Spacebased Lidar Technology Workshop (spring 2002)
· NOAA Summer Institute (June 2002)
· UCAR Reanalysis Advisory Panel (fall 2001)
· UCAR Advisory Committee for NPOESS/OSSE Project Scientists from university community, NCEP, NASA, and NRL
· UCAR Advisory Panel to NCEP (Jan. 2001)