85th AMS Annual Meeting

Sunday, 9 January 2005
The Role of Undergraduates in LEAD Learning Communities:
Michael Williams, Millersville University, Millersville, PA; and E. M. Lowery, J. E. Yorks, and D. T. Brewer
Each year across the United States, floods, tornadoes, hail, strong winds, lightning, and winter storms – so-called mesoscale weather events – cause hundreds of deaths, routinely disrupt transportation and commerce, and result in annual economic losses greater than $13B. Although mitigating the impacts of such events would yield enormous societal and economic benefits, the ability to do so is stifled by information technology (IT) frameworks that cannot accommodate the real-time, on-demand, and dynamically-adaptive needs of mesoscale weather research; its disparate, high volume data sets and streams; and its tremendous computational demands. In response to this pressing need for a comprehensive national cyberinfrastructure in mesoscale meteorology, LEAD will address the challenges needed to create an integrated, scalable framework for identifying, accessing, preparing, assimilating, predicting, managing, analyzing, mining, and visualizing a broad array of meteorological data and model output, independent of format and physical location. The transforming element of LEAD is dynamic workflow orchestration and data management, which will allow use of analysis tools, forecast models, and data repositories as dynamically-adaptive, on-demand systems that can a) change configuration rapidly and automatically in response to weather; b) continually be steered by new data; c) respond to decision-driven inputs from users; d) initiate other processes automatically; and e) steer remote observing systems to optimize data collection for the problem at hand. LEAD will create a series of interconnected, heterogeneous virtual IT “Grid environments” to provide a complete framework for mesoscale research. A set of integrated Grid and Web services testbeds will maintain a rolling archive of several months of recent data, provide tools for operating on them, and serve as an infrastructure for developing distributed Web services capabilities. Learning Communities are established to ensure that education and outreach are integrated throughout the entire LEAD program, and will help shape LEAD research into applications that are congruent with the needs of the education communities, including access to data and the tools required for analysis and visualization, pedagogical requirements, national and state science and technology standards, and evaluation metrics. Millersville Earth Sciences undergraduates are directly involved in the creation of 4-D visualization modules that will be used to enhance undergraduate education in the atmospheric and related sciences nationwide. This presentation will demonstrate some of the modules that have thus far been developed.

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