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NESDIS-CI and CREST Directors Meeting

June 15-16, 2010

Shepherd Hall, Room 250 [2nd Floor]
The City College of New York, NY 10031

Photos (click to enlarge)

Directors Group Picture

Directors Group Picture:
Sharon Leduc; Reza Khanbilvardi; Al Powell; Ralph Ferraro; Steve Miller; Ingrid Guch; Tom Achtor; Phil Arkin; Ted Strub

photo: Group Dinner: Terrace in the Sky

Group Dinner: Terrace in the Sky, an uptown Manhattan Restaurant near Columbia University
(l to r) Steve Miller; Al Powell; Sharon Leduc; Tom Achtor; Jim Yoe; Ingrid Guch; Reza Khanbilvardi; Marouane Temimi

Ted Strub; Ingrid Guch; Reza Khanbilvardi; and Al Powell

Ted Strub; Ingrid Guch; Reza Khanbilvardi; and Al Powell



June 15, 2010

9:15 AM - NESDIS/STAR Priorities

Al Powell discussed STAR Priorities for the future including the Satellite Operational Algorithm Readiness (SOAR) program, current and future interactions with GOES-R and JPSS, the importance of calibration and international partnerships.

It was mentioned that JPSS has an "Algorithm Development Library" that is intended for users who do not have access to an official IDPS to experiment with algorithms in a framework that is similar to the IDPS. There will be a seminar about the ADL on July 20th, 2 - 3:30pm in WWB rm 707. Notice will be sent out shortly to all STAR members as well as the leadership in this email list, via STAR seminar system. It will start with a brief introduction given by Rich Ullman; follow by ADL presentation by Kerry Grant and his team; then with some demo and discussion if interested. Dial-in information will be sent out together with the notice.

10:15 AM - NESDIS CI anticipated relationships with National Climate Service

Sharon LeDuc discussed latest activities at NCDC and planning for the NCS. The National Academy of Public Administration is reviewing NCS and how best it should be structured. There is a Climate Service Strategic Plan meeting in Chicago next week to discuss that. The Climate Service Strategic Plan is expected to map into the Next Generation NOAA Strategic Plan.

Tom Karl is the "Transition Director" for NCD and the Chairman of the Global Change Research Program (GCRP).

The NCS is expected to have a large research component and a large service component. For the services, RISAs, Regional Climate Centers and Regional Directors are expected to play a big role. For research the Scientific Data Stewardship/ Climate Data Records competition will play a big role. CICS is expected to play a big role in Assessments.

11:00 AM - GOES-R AWG, R3, and Proving Ground Ingrid Guch updates and discussion

Ingrid Guch went over the latest status for the AWG, R3 and Proving Ground. She went through the R3 Call for Proposals in detail. The call for proposals was sent out to the directors and is available at Letters of Intent are due in July and full proposals are due in August.

12:00 - Lunch Break
1:00 PM - Environmental Literacy/partnerships with education program and other strategies

Ingrid Guch went over Louisa Koch's presentation from the all-NOAA CI directors meeting for those who were not at that meeting. Tom Achtor led a discussion by showing examples of things CIMSS is doing in this area. The idea of the education program assisting with Task-I funds by specifically funding post-docs in each CIs area of expertise was very much supported, lots of hope that the program would be interested in this. Sharon LeDuc mentioned she has been working with Partnership for Public Service to assist with federal recruits.

2:30 PM - Next Generation Strategic Plan Avery Sun [dial-in]

Avery Sun presented the latest version of the Next Generation Strategic Plan. It has been approved by many in NOAA but is still awaiting signature for public release by Dr. Lubchenco.

4:00 PM - MOA discussions and/or Task I discussions

The group discussed MOAs and felt that a 25-50% representation on executive boards/councils for NOAA would be a reasonable recommendation. The group discussed Task I and specifically that there is an action from the Research Council to the CI Subcommittee to standardize Task I. The group recommended instead of trying to standardize something that is so varied it would be better to come up with a standard checklist for Task I funding considerations. Ingrid (subcommittee level) and Al (RC level) will try to push this as a way-forward.

4:45 PM - Choose Focus Area 1 (11:15am-noon) and Focus Area 2 (1-3pm) for June 16th meeting

We decided to focus on how STAR and NESDIS CI needs fit into the new NOAA Strategic Plan draft as the single focus area.

6:00 PM - Group Dinner TERRACE IN THE SKY, Manhattan

This place was great!

June 16th

8:30 AM - Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation Jim Yoe

Jim Yoe presented the latest updates from JCSDA. The annual FFO is being changed to rotate between agencies and for some agencies a contract vehicle is preferable to the grants vehicle. The upcoming "FFO" will be released via NASA ROSES Contract opportunities. There was discussion about how to rate an FFO Project a "success" and who should rate them. The motive in presenting the analysis of the FFO past was to identify common factors with the most successful projects, and to discuss what the JCSDA is trying to do to ensure that those factors are in play more regularly. The biggest pay-off projects have been those for which the investigators have access to JCSDA/partner personnel/expertise and IT systems. The Computing Initiative and the Visiting Scientist Program are both means by which more investigators - FFO AND JSDI sponsored - might be endowed with these keys to making really impactful work. As an aside, we might consider how to use a visiting scientist slot as a means of helping potential investigators whose expertise lies in one of the less operationally mature areas of interest to the JCSDA to forge the mutual understanding that may increase the likelihood of submitting a successful proposal.

There was also talk about how the Navy has successfully implemented items such as 4DVAR and ocean models but NCEP has not and that perhaps there was more synergy that could be taking place between the 2 JCSDA Partners to help NOAA move forward in those areas.

The Directors were asked to e-mail comments on how to improve collaboration with the JCSDA and the CIs to Jim Yoe and Ingrid Guch (and Sid and Lars Peter);

10:00 AM - CoRP Symposium and Student Exchanges status and discussion

The CoRP Symposium is being held August 10-11, the deadline to register is Friday. CIs/CREST who have people who are waiting for a personal invitation to speak or come (rather than register on their own) should let Ingrid and Dan Lindsey know so they can be sure to do it.

CoRP Exchange participants (students) can contact Tom Achtor, Phil Arkin, Shakila Merchant, Amy Vandehey or Ted Strub, Steve Miller for the appropriate CI/CREST locations if they are looking for a host. In addition, Heather Hay will send out the latest spreadsheet of students and PIs willing to host {CIs/CREST who do not indicate specific PIs willing to host will just have the contact above listed}.

Each student participating in the exchange should provide a final report on what happened within 30 days of returning. Results from an exchange could be an idea for a proposal submission, refinement of a thesis or plans for participation in future events to present findings (CoRP Symposium, STAR/CI/CREST Seminar, etc).

Next year we would like to include the CI directors on the mailing list as well as the CI Administrators, and begin in February to allow more time for preparations since Summer is the heaviest travel time (although not the only option).

10:45 AM - Satellite Algorithm Test Bed updates and discussion

Ingrid Guch scrolled through the latest SATB write-ups that went into the PPBES process last year (minus the dollar amounts) and asked for feedback on whether or not it still sounded in general like what the CI Directors were originally interested in (IE nothing was drastically different from how they remembered it). In general, it all sounded familiar, although this has really been a CIRA/CIMSS/STAR activity to date. There was discussion about whether or not the exact write-ups and answers to questions were important to work on, since the PPBES process is going to be replaced with a new process. It was thought that yes, it would be good to work on these older questions since the new questions will likely cover the same territory. Ingrid will send something out for comments in the next month or so.

1:00 PM - STAR ASARPP Initiative, the NOAA Strategic Plan, and Language

There was some discussion about describing the STAR ASARPP initiative as "eyes" "NOAA Sees", where SOAR is the eyes, NCC is the wall chart, the SATB is the bank of eyeglasses the optometrist uses, the Computing Environment is the lens grinding machine, the University Based initiatives are the medical schools, the post-launch maintenance is reading glasses for aging eyes and the visualization lab is the advertisements to tell people to get their eyes checked regularly.

Objectives in the NOAA Strategic Plan draft that appeared most relevant to STAR/NESDIS CIs/CREST were:

  • Improved understanding of the climate system
  • Assessments of current states of the climate system
  • Weather-ready nation
  • Understanding of habitats
  • Comprehensive Ocean/Coastal planning
  • Environmentally Sound Marine Transportation
  • Accurate and reliable data from sustained and integrated earth observing systems

The directors' noted the Strategic Plan lists a need to "develop advanced technologies in sensors, computing and networking, and user interfaces to better observe, understand, model and communicate knowledge of complex systems" and an outcome of "Better knowledge of what improvements to observing systems, analytical approaches and models.... will allow us to better analyze and predict the atmosphere, ocean...." (p.21), but there is not any mention of the need to "research how best to use current and future observing systems, analytical approaches and models..." Similarly there is no mention of "Research" in the paragraph on page 22 regarding how to observe the environment with current and next generation of observing system. In addition, there was some confusion on p. 26 of the heavy focus on NOAA Corps rather than also mentioning CIs and academic centers of excellence for workforce evolution. Ingrid will send Avery an email with these points and the CI Directors will also make them as needed during the public comment period coming up.

3:00 PM - Adjourn

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