From the User Executive Committee (UEC) Chair

Published: 22 July 2018

The UEC is eager to engage with you. This is a quarterly message from the UEC Chair.

Welcoming New Users to ARM

Larry Berg, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

At the time I am writing this, I just returned from the American Meteorological Society’s 23rd Symposium on Boundary Layers and Turbulence in Oklahoma City. It is gratifying to report that there were a number of ARM connections at that meeting.

One was being approached by an early career scientist who attended the luncheon hosted by the ARM User Executive Committee (UEC) at the March joint meeting of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility and Atmospheric System Research (ASR) principal investigators. The goal of the lunch was to help attendees feel comfortable approaching UEC members, and I’m excited to see this kind of interaction starting to happen more frequently.

Also, there were sessions focused on land-atmosphere interactions that highlighted two recent ARM field campaigns—Land-Atmosphere Feedback Experiment (LAFE) and Holistic Interactions of Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems (HI-SCALE). These sessions attracted a number of excellent presentations.

With the role of the UEC being to provide a bridge between users and ARM, our focus through the end of this calendar year will be on ways we can make it easier for users to find the right ARM data. We particularly want to make things easier for new users coming to ARM, who can be overwhelmed by the acronyms, the number of datastreams, and the ins and outs of navigating the ARM system.

When we were new to ARM, many of us on the UEC had someone we could go to with questions and guidance on navigating ARM. A question we are pondering is, how can we provide an “ARM buddy” or “ARM guide” for everyone?

To help address this, over the next few months we (along with several other ARM constituent groups) will be providing input on a redesign of ARM Data Discovery, evaluating how we might employ user surveys and what forms those might take, and investigating how ARM can better retain users over the long term.

Our goal with all this is to help users quickly find reliable, high-quality data without needing an “ARM buddy.” We also want to connect you with help fast when you need it.

This fall, the UEC will hold an extended meeting so we can discuss some issues that are hard to address in an hourlong monthly meeting, such as looking into the details of data products and uncertainty. I’ll plan to report on that meeting in my next column.

What are your ideas for addressing these topics? The members of the UEC would love to hear from you. You can reach me here and learn more about other members of the UEC here. I look forward to hearing from you.

Larry Berg