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-SSEC to participate in PEATE

-Awards from NASA

-CIMSS turns a quarter century

-AMS awards Don Johnson

-Alex Harrington wins award for research done at CIMSS

-Plasma display in lobby

-New online learning tool release

-Thanks to the Tropical Cyclones team

-Office climate survey

-New connections

-Award for WI Weather stories


As part of an academic research center dependent on federal funding, SSEC employees are used to putting forth outstanding effort that goes largely unnoticed. Here, at least some of these exploits have a chance in the spotlight. The list does not include dozens of manuscripts reviewed by principal investigators and other duties, but focuses on service, honors and awards.

Appointed to development team—SSEC was pleased to be appointed to the Product Evaluation and Algorithm Test Elements (PEATE) group of scientists preparing to develop products and capabilities for the next series of polar satellites. SSEC will provide support to the science team evaluating several instruments on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) and will provide data products, processing and analysis for the atmospheres PEATE, one of five evaluation and test groups or PEATEs. SSEC brings a distinguished background to the group, with expertise in developing algorithms and products in all the areas proposed for NPOESS.

NASA awards
The NASA Aviation Safety and Security Program presented Wayne Feltz and CIMSS with trophies for their work in ASAP and the TAMDAR validation. Several CIMSS researchers received individual certificates of appreciation.

Awards from NASA—On September 21, 2005, the NASA Aviation Safety and Security Program presented Wayne Feltz (CIMSS) and his team of CIMSS scientists with awards for research in the Advanced Satellite Aviation-weather Program (ASAP), and their work on Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Report (TAMDAR) validation. Please refer to In the News for more information.

CIMSS turns a quarter century—CIMSS celebrated its 25th anniversary in mid-July with a three-day symposium, featuring looks back and forward as well as appraisals of the present, both of CIMSS and satellite meteorology on the broader scale. Over the years, CIMSS has become a magnet for scientists around the world who want to enhance their research with satellite data or learn more about satellite meteorology in general.

Excellence awarded by AMSDonald R. Johnson, emeritus professor in UW-Madison’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and an SSEC senior scientist, won the 2005 Teaching Excellence Award from the American Meteorological Society. Johnson, who began teaching at the university in 1964, was recognized for his “excellence in teaching as evidenced by his mentoring of students who have become leaders in the meteorological community.”

Hard work rewardedAlex Harrington, an undergraduate senior working for CIMSS, won first place in the poster session at the Regional Space Grant Consortium (RSGC) conference September 15-17, 2005 for his poster titled “Validating CRAS forecasted satellite imagery using GOES.” He received a $500 award, which was matched by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC).

OWL in the lobby—The OWL, or Online Weather Looper, now has a permanent home in the lobby of the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences building. In addition to Webmaster Bill Bellon, several individuals contributed to this effort, including Tom Achtor, Rick Kohrs, and personnel from Building Management. JoAnn Banks reported that not only did the display go up, but the lobby also received a new ceiling, lights, and blinds.

New online learning toolTom Whittaker and Steve Ackerman developed a new online learning tool called QuizImage. QuizImage lets a teacher “rapidly create images with hotspots.” Wisconsin Week’s “Engage—New e-Learning tools” in Computing @ UW–Madison mentioned this program in their December 8 edition.

image courtesy of Dave Santek
This image shows Hurricane Katrina on August 29. Satellite data and some techniques developed by UW-Madison's Tropical Cyclones group helped provide adequate evacuation notices.

Thanks to the Tropical Cyclones team—This year’s eventful hurricane season continued through late October, battering the southern coast of the United States with several devastating storms. The CIMSS’s Tropical Cyclones team received certificates of appreciation from National Hurricane Center director Max Mayfield in thanks for their contributions during the 2005 hurricane season. Seeking explanations and predictions, the media frequently turned to the Tropical Cyclones team. “It makes us feel good that we’re playing a small role in the saving of lives, potentially,” team leader Chris Velden (CIMSS) said. Members of the team made a multitude of appearances on TV and radio, and in newspapers and Web sites.

Office climate survey—In keeping with a University effort, SSEC conducted a Climate Survey to assess its working conditions, giving a positive (88% before analysis). SSEC also set up an Equity and Diversity Committee to review the results and make recommendations.

New connections—SSEC and Hampton University’s Center for Atmospheric Sciences signed a collaborative agreement that establishes connections between CIMSS and HU’s interest in Puerto Rico’s Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center. The agreement also sets up a connection between UW-Madison’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and HU’s Physics Departments. We envision joint research, teaching, and student exchanges.

Folklore award for Wisconsin Weather Stories—The Folklore and Education Section of the American Folklore Society awarded the 2005 Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize to the Wisconsin Weather Stories project for “most effectively [encouraging] folklore and folkloristic approaches in school environments.”

Partners in the project are CIMSS, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the UW Folklore Program. Undergraduates collaborated with professors and professional teachers to develop weather story lessons, in the process learning how to translate complex ideas into usable K-12 materials.


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