Scheffe: Data Summit Background

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

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Summit Purpose:

Convene organizations and individuals with key roles in retrieving, storing, disseminating, and analyzing air quality data in order to learn about and explore efficient means of leveraging the numerous individual efforts underway; to assist EPA/OAQPS in honing its role in the larger air quality data community; begin to establish a community-wide strategy responsive to user defined needs. The assumption is built off of existing systems for most efficient operation and not to develop from scratch a new infrastructure.

Summit Objectives:

  1. Develop an understanding of various, related air quality data processing programs/systems.
  2. Based on 1, consider developing a community-wide strategy that enhances communications across these systems by identifying efficiencies, minimizing redundancies, and addressing user defined needs.
  3. Provide guidance to EPA/OAQPS regarding the role of AirQuest and other information systems on how to work interactively with these systems and to service broader community needs.


Note: This meeting is being driven by a number of events and discussions over the last five years that include:

  • perceived frustration and/or misunderstanding in accessing EPA data bases,
  • development of user friendly air quality data processing tools by Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs), the Health Effects Institute (HEI) and other organizations
  • enhanced emphasis on inter agency collaboration through venues such as GEOSS
  • elevated interest in using disparate sources of air quality observations (e.g., surface and satellite data), emissions and model results in conducting assessments
  • Recognition of incorporating multiple spatial scales, and therefore a variety of information sources, to address increasing importance of hemispheric transport and climate-air quality interactions, and
  • Recommendations from EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee’s subcommittee on monitoring encouraging EPA to foster greater access and analysis of air quality data bases.

One of the objectives of the meeting is to inform investments by EPA under the Advanced Monitoring Initiative. AMI began in FY06 to demonstrate the potential of a Global Earth Observations System of System. In FY06 and FY07, a series of pilot projects were funded. For FY08, the funding has been allocated to four integrative themes: air quality, water quality, land use/multi-media, and information technology. The current proposal for the FY08 air theme is found here, This proposal calls for the development of three "operational use cases" (operational systems that support data access, integration, analysis, and visualization for specific decision making contexts) in the areas of model evaluation and intercomparison, air quality "re-analysis," and emission inventories. Input from the Summit will help to refine this proposal and develop a specific plan for spending the FY08 funds. - Terry Keating


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