Town Hall Meeting: Open Environmental Information—A Discussion about Gaps and Paths Forward
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Tuesday, 6 January 2015 7:00–8:15 a.m.; 121BC
What is meant by Open Environmental Information? What are the gaps today for access to government-held environmental information and services? What are the impacts of those gaps and what are the societal benefits if those gaps are closed? How do we close the gaps and how rapidly can this be done? Who should take on the role to close the gaps? The Town Hall will include a panel and moderator and will encourage audience participation.
The following are excerpts from the Terms of Reference of the COEIS and is provided as additional background for the Town Hall.
“Open, timely access to rich state-of-the-science environmental data, model output, archives and information is crucial for the Weather and Climate Enterprise to optimally serve the nation.
To help NOAA and similar sources of environmental data ( federal, state, municipalities, etc.) ensure that such services are created and shared according to the principles of the open services paradigm, it is important to have clear and open exchanges amongst members of the Enterprise. This is especially true in an era of not only rapidly evolving information services, but also in uncertain fiscal conditions that may limit service options. It is also true that private industry, academia, and other organizations and institutions have access to data, model output, archives and information that is of communitywide value and must be included in the open dialogue. The American Meteorological Society is uniquely positioned to host and catalyze such exchanges.
The primary goals of open environmental information services are to ensure that:
- The Weather and Climate Enterprise, and therefore the nation as a whole, realize maximum value from environmental information services by ensuring that all potentially useful and relevant information is available to the entire Enterprise;
- New environmental information services and technologies are developed openly in symbiotic partnership with all elements of the Enterprise such that the resulting services achieve optimal utility and efficacy when deployed. This includes development in the broadest sense, and includes data bases, access systems, models, data assimilation schemes, applications, measurement and observing systems, and so forth.
The purpose of the COEIS is to build and strengthen bridges between various sectors of the weather and climate communities to help achieve the open environmental information services goals. While much of the focus of COEIS will be towards NOAA environmental services and the communities that develop and use such services, the committee will also work to foster open services with other domestic and foreign members of the Enterprise. While there are a number of forums in which NOAA and related government agencies currently engage the Enterprise on related topics, the COEIS would provide an explicit AMS entity to help encourage, create, promote, organize, expand, standardize, and execute these generally ad hoc efforts today.”
For additional information, please contact Warren Qualley (firstname.lastname@example.org).