2008-04-30: Community Air Quality Data Systems Telecon

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These minutes are by Joe Tikvart and are also available as a word doc.

April 30, 2008, 2:00 – 3:00pm EDT
Conference Room C300A
Call-in 919-541-1590

Conference Call Meeting Notes

COMMITTEE MEMBERS, Attendees 4/30/08 bolded:

Rich Scheffe, Chair
Jeff Arnold
Sig Christensen
Phil Dickerson
Tim Dye
Stefan Falk
Dirk Felton
Neil Frank
Val Garcia
Mike Gilroy / Ken Knowle
Bryan Hubbell
Amy Huff
Rudy Husar / Erin Robinson
Terry Keating
Bill Lamason
Sharon Leduc
Frank Lindsay
Phil Lorang
David McCabe
Shawn McClure
Nick Mangus
David Mintz
Tom Moore
Rich Poirot
Betty Pun
Tesh Rao
Bret Schichtel
Uma Shankar
Doug Solomon
Louis Sweeny
Jim Szykman
Joe Tikvart
Gary Walter
Chet Wayland
Rob Willis
Steve Young


Wednesday, May 14, 2008 in Rm. C300A from 2:00 – 3:00pm EDT; call-in number is 919-541-1590. Conference call meetings are scheduled on a bi-weekly basis through August 2008. Topics for the next meeting may be submitted to Joe Tikvart (tikvart.joe@epa.gov) or identified in a new area provided on the wiki:


  • A separate time to discuss interoperability and the selection/use of data protocols is needed. Meeting on alternate Wednesdays (at 2pm EDT) was suggested and the first subcommittee meeting has been set up for May 7. Participation of members, other than those previously identified as subcommittee members was invited.
  • Look for a spot on the wiki where minutes from the last meeting and agenda suggestions for the next meeting are easily found/submitted.


  • Finalize the work assignment described in the Assessment White Paper prior to the next conference call; additional comments should be sent to David Mintz (mintz.david@epa.gov).


Update on current activities:

  • Regarding NASA ROSES, Rich Scheffe indicated that the University of North Carolina and Colorado State University were working jointly on a project involving access to satellite and air quality data with associated technical support features. A test case for community interaction and interoperability is part of the effort. Connection to CMAS as a way of obtaining modeling data is also a consideration. Uma Shankar and Shawn McClure will be conducting a related workshop in Ft. Collins on May 13 – 14.
  • Rich also indicated that EPA is funding an effort to build connections from AQS to VIEWS; important factors include integration of data, access to IMPROVE and STN data, and gaseous pollutant data sets.
  • Terry Keating indicated that there has been limited progress on the RFA discussed at the Data Summit relative to AMI/GEOSS and short term systems. Confidentiality and procurement rules are of concern.

Subcommittee on Interoperability: Nick Mangus reviewed activities of this subcommittee. Information on Web Coverage Service (WCS) standards have been added to the wiki. One thought is to pick a few GEOSS standards and compare them. An issue is what State/local agencies are using for their standards; there needs to be recognition that they are probably “behind the curve”. Another possible issue is the potential need to reorganize data bases. However, the purpose here is to avoid changes to systems, and to allow an “overlay” of system features. It was noted that the world is moving rapidly in this direction, so there is not a need to change underlying systems. Emerging “web processing standards” could be very successful. A WCS standard could be adopted as a starting point for conversation across diverse audiences. Several next steps were identified:

  • Use WCS as a protocol for data;
  • Rudy Husar has set up workspace for interoperability on the wiki; this also provides a basis for gathering papers, but the workspace needs testing;
  • A separate time to discuss interoperability and the selection/use of data protocols is needed. Meeting on alternate Wednesdays (at 2pm EDT) was suggested and the first subcommittee meeting has been set up for May 7. Subcommittee members are David, McCabe, Steve Young, Nick Mangus, Tim Dye, and Rudy Husar; other members of the advisory committee were invited to participate.

Vision Statement: Two comments were provided on the wiki under the discussion tab. It was noted that benefits to multiple agencies (e.g., NASA, NOAA, etc.) should be indicated with commitment at the agency level.

Assessment White Paper: Three comments were provided on the wiki. David Mintz indicated that it is hoped that the work assignment will be finalized before the next conference call; the contract is expected to involve a 2 – 3 month effort. It was suggested that queries made under the contract should be categorized with less overlap and more efficiency. They shouldn’t be limited to core systems; but it is desirable to “cast a smaller net” before doing a broader assessment. VIEWS and other significant systems can be brought in eventually, through the use of multiple phases; as many as eight systems are listed for consideration in the white paper. Other issues include:

  • Redundancy for stability versus contingency versus duplication; redundancy is related to data availability. To whom are data available?
  • Distribution of resources; responsibility and funding structure.
  • Some level of a risk assessment, e.g., for AQS, should be considered; do this “at a high level” and on a system basis. What is the contingency for downtime?
  • What are the implications of losing a system? What is the value of systems? What is the perceived value that might be unique? Name the highest risks for each system. Benefits and loss of system are flipsides of each other.
  • Consider long term organizational stability.
  • Dependency of systems on other programs, e.g., AIRNow - Tech.

It is necessary to decided whether the assessment is getting information or providing recommendations. Recommendations are the desired product. Additional comments should be sent to David Mintz.

Action Items / Next call: The next call of the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14 at 2pm. Agenda items should be sent to Joe Tikvart. There is a need to set up a spot on the wiki where suggestions for the agenda can be submitted.

Conference Call Agenda

The agenda was sent by J. Tikvart and is available as word doc.

Recap Major Actions since Data Summit: (5 min)

Community Air Quality Data Systems Strategy
Subcommittee on Interoperability
Vision Statement
Assessment White Paper

Quick Update on Current Activities: (10 min)

NASA ROSES (Scheffe)
VIEWS (Scheffe)
RFA Update (Keating)

Subcommittee on Interoperability – Next Steps: (5 min)

Background from March 12 minutes: To address the diversity of interoperable data standards and to make recommendations, several volunteers agreed to participate, including: David McCabe, Steve Young, Nick Mangus, Tim Dye, and Rudy Husar. More specifically, they will attempt to (1) identify interoperability standards and methods, (2) test, apply and move forward, and (3) build on ESIP and GEO. The interest in data systems should be moved toward the interoperability group.

Vision Statement – Comments: (10 min)

Draft vision statement is on the wiki.

Assessment White Paper – Comments & Next Steps: (20 min)

Draft white paper is on the wiki.

Wrap up/Action Items/Next call: (5 min)

Wednesday, May 14, 2:00-3:00pm EDT