3:30PM Mountain Daylight Time

Members present: Eric Apel, Alison Baker, Kelly Barsanti, Ben Johnson, Brad Klotz, Anna Malushenko, Carol Ruchti, Peter Sullivan, Holger Vömel, Olga Wilhelmi, Lulin Xue
Also present: Glen Romine from the Directorate’s Office

Introduction of new members and remaining vacancies

NSA-EC welcomes Lulin Xue and Olga Wilhelmi who are representing RAL and Brad Klotz who is representing EOL.

Erin Towler has departed her position at NCAR and is now a Research Scientist at NOAA, thus MMM has one vacancy.

Matt Long has departed his position in CGD and has founded a carbon sequestration startup known as [C]Worthy. Thus CGD also has one vacancy.

After four years of service as chair of the NSA-EC, Andy Newman has stepped down. A new NSA-EC chair has to be identified.

Peter Sullivan will talk to Gretchen Mullendore regarding the MMM representative vacancy.

With three new members at the meeting everyone introduced themselves to each other.

Discussion with Glen Romine

Question for Glen: NCAR Strategic Plan is to be completed by March 2024. Can the NSA provide assistance with the draft?

The deadline for delivering the NCAR strategic plan to NSF has been pushed back to December of next year. No timeline yet for deliverables. The next strategic plan is mostly a refinement of the existing plan, not a rewrite. Would like to make it a bit clearer and less lengthy. The old plan was not very sharp, the update wants to be sharper.

Director plans to engage scientific staff and roll out the plan internally.

Important goal is the ESPP vision and plan. Yaga Richter has been named to lead this program. Climate intervention research is also a topic.

The other element of the strategic plan is the computational science plan, computational infrastructure, model unification, research data system, hub and spoke system for Earth System Science data sets. For datasets, a goal is to house them in a common framework.

Community software framework is the idea to take the existing sets of models and create a research infrastructure around it. How to maintain it and how to make more sound investments.

Translational research capability for areas such as machine learning. We currently don’t have expertise on emerging compilers or large language models for faster software development.

Question for Glen: Will CISL write an interface tool to talk to the datasets?

Want to make it easier to access existing data sets. i.e. Juptyer Notebooks. Democratize access to large model output. Goal is to create an interface to allow interacting with the data.

Comment: MMM has worked with John Hopkins, and has created such a framework for turbulence data.

Question for Glen: Is there a proposal template for funding requests to submit to the NCAR Directorate?

The NCAR funding cap was raised from about $600 M to about $900 M for the next cooperative agreement. However, UCAR still doesn’t know what the budget is going to be for this year. It could vary by $5 M. If they get the higher amount, then there is a likelihood that there will be a call for presidential funds/seed funding. Glen believes he will get the funds for it, but cannot promise. It is likely.

Question for Glen: In the past, while Andy Newman was NSA-EC chair, RAL supplemented 0.1 FTE so he could perform the duties of the chair. Would it be feasible to submit a proposal to the directorate for 0.1 FTE for the next NSA-EC chair?

Write a letter on behalf of EC membership to explain what is being looked for. This sounds feasible.

Question for Glen: Is there much emphasis on emergent and actionable science in the current strategic plan?

That remains the direction in the current plan. Goal is to amplify the investments in these areas. NCAR plans a hiring initiative as part of this new direction, with particular emphasis on predictability.

Currently NCAR makes a modest investment in convergent science with Julie leading. They want to see this continued.

The implementation plan of the old strategic plan was written during the pandemic and was not distributed. The goal is to roll out the implementation plan coming out of this strategic plan with amplification of expectations and key performance indicators.

NCAR wants to make what is expected more accessible. During the performance evaluation it would be great to point out where contributions were aligned with strategic plans.

Discussion with Glen concludes and he departs.

Website update

Research IT had suggested updates to the NSA website to satisfy security recommendations. Security protocols were implemented and now the NSA website has a higher security rating than the main NCAR website.

Poll to reschedule monthly meeting and consolidation of “Special Topics” Meeting

Attendance at meetings has been below average. With many new members on the NSA-EC should we poll the representatives to move the time slot of the monthly meeting? Some representatives were happy with the current timeslot, others had difficulty with it. Decided to poll the current representatives to see if there was a better timeslot.

The “Special Topics” meeting has lower attendance than the regular monthly meeting. Should we consolidate the meetings into a single meeting? Consensus was to pause having a regularly scheduled “Special Topics” meeting and only schedule it when there was a special topic to discuss.

Action items

  • Create poll to find a better time slot for monthly meeting
  • Draft a letter to request funding for NSA initiatives