Translator Leadership Changes—Riihimaki Steps Down, Xie Steps Up

Published: 19 February 2019
Shaocheng Xie

Data translators for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility develop value-added products, or VAPs, from the direct output of ARM instruments and are liaisons between the scientific user community and ARM infrastructure staff. The ARM data products and translators lead is an important role within ARM that provides scientific leadership in coordinating the VAP development projects across the measurement focus areas (clouds, aerosols, precipitation, radiative, etc.).

Laura Riihimaki

In January 2019, Shaocheng Xie accepted the position of the ARM lead translator. He replaced Laura Riihimaki, who stepped down February 1 to take a position with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado. CIRES is a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The lead translator is responsible for coordinating and leading translator team activities, such as regular conference calls, follow-up activities related to ARM’s translator vision plan, and annual planning for translator priorities. The lead translator also serves on the ARM-Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Coordination Team (AACT), representing the translator team in planning for the annual ARM/ASR joint meeting. This role will be a two-year rotating position through the end of fiscal year 2020.

While working at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, Riihimaki served as the ARM lead translator for two years and was an ARM science translator for over six years. As science translator, Riihimaki oversaw the development and automation of VAPs that primarily use passive broadband and spectral radiometer and lidar measurements to derive cloud and thermodynamic properties of the atmosphere. She directed the development of a diverse portfolio of VAPs, such as Droplet Number Concentration, Surface Spectral Albedo, and Cloud Type Classification.

As lead translator, Riihimaki led the development of the first three-year translator vision plan, which incorporated key feedback to align with ARM’s mission priorities. She collaborated with various ARM staff to improve VAP development processes and discoverability of ARM science products. She also worked with ASR chairs for the Clouds-Aerosol-Precipitation-Interactions and Warm Boundary Layer Processes working groups to understand the science needs of the community.

ARM thanks Riihimaki for her many years helping to improve ARM science products for the user community.

Well known in the atmospheric science community for his work to develop and validate earth system models, Xie has been an ARM science translator at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, since 2008. He leads the development of VAPs that help make ARM data more accessible to modelers. Examples include the ARM Best Estimate (ARMBE) data products and Variational Analysis (VARANAL) model forcing data sets. More recently, he has provided ARM metrics and diagnostic information for model evaluation. Xie has been an important link between ARM and modeling centers to help integrate ARM measurements into model development activities. ARM looks forward to working with him in his new leadership role.

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ARM is a DOE Office of Science user facility operated by nine DOE national laboratories.