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The SSEC Data Center and the McIDAS Users’ Group

The Schwerdtfeger Library



As a research institution, SSEC handles a high volume of data. Whether collected by SSEC researchers or archived for reference, information management is crucial to keep things running smoothly. Both the Data Center and The Schwerdtfeger Library provide the center with invaluable tools to access and use data and information.

The SSEC Data Center and the McIDAS Users’ Group

McIDAS-V progress—During 2005, the McIDAS Users’ Group (MUG) made progress on the next generation of McIDAS software. McIDAS-V will have three-dimensional and hyperspectral capabilities. The MUG also developed a plan to help McIDAS-X users move from the current software to McIDAS-V. At the annual MUG meeting in October, Gail Dengel and Tom Whittaker demonstrated the initial stages of McIDAS-V development. The preview generated much interest and anticipation among the audience members. It is hoped that McIDAS-V will be released in 2007.

Growth—The McIDAS Users Group (MUG) released the 2005 version of the McIDAS software. Eight new sites became MUG members and the Data Center added new real-time databases and archives of geostationary satellites from China, India and Japan.

The Data Center moved to a new SSEC Desktop Ingestor.

SSEC Desktop Ingestor—The Data Center moved to a new SSEC Desktop Ingestor. SDI-104 replaced the original SDI system. The ingestor handles data from many different satellites. Software upgrades accommodate differences among the satellites.

New hardware —In a massive equipment update of GOES real-time and archive hardware, the Data Center replaced old Sun servers with two new servers that can each store about a week of raw real-time GOES East and GOES-West data. New RAID storage provides fifty terabytes for an online archive of GOES data, toward a goal of 400 TB to be added as finances permit for a full online GOES archive—1978–present.

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The Schwerdtfeger Library

Coordinating with MadCat—The staff in the Schwerdtfeger Library spent the last year putting barcodes on library materials. Doing so will help to implement the online circulation module that operates alongside the campus library system’s online catalogue, MadCat. As a part of this process, Linda Hedges continues to ensure that the Schwerdtfeger’s internal database, which runs parallel to MadCat, is clean and accurate.

Library outreach—In July of 2005, Special Purpose Libraries affiliated with the Allied Drive reading program were awarded a commendation from the Academic Staff Executive Committee of the Academic Staff Assembly at the UW-Madison. The Schwerdtfeger Library participated in the program during December 2004 and again in November 2005.

Searching publications—Scientists and faculty can now get a snapshot of their publications broken down by publication type. Library staff developed specific searches for all faculty and scientists with AOS, and CIMSS and SSEC. Publications are broken down by journal literature, gray literature or a combined list. The goal is to have copies of all publications produced by SSEC and CIMSS, and AOS filed and in the library’s database.

Library courses—In October, library staff met with both sections of AOS 907, a required research seminar for all M.S. and Ph.D. candidates, to teach students about the range of research tools available to them in the atmospheric sciences.

Over the last year staff in the Schwerdtfeger Library also taught six additional classes to science staff, students and faculty. Again, the course focused on the effective use of research tools, performing historical research in the discipline, and using bibliographic management programs like RefWorks.

Requests—Library staff responded to several thousand requests during 2005. This encompasses everything from brief reference transactions to in-depth research support. Some were more unique. For example, the staff provided French language translations for the AniS controls and translated other documents from French to English. They also provided imagery from the ATS-III and polar orbiter image collections for specific cases, and helped students and scientists find datasets for specific applications.

Through conference presentations and invited lectures, Schwerdtfeger personnel educated various groups on library resources and services. They also constructed the list of atmospheric, oceanic and climate resources for the E-Resources Gateway on the campus libraries web site. Additionally, library staff worked with other atmospheric science libraries to recommend changes to enhance Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts, database for the atmospheric sciences as well as with authors writing about the history of the atmospheric sciences.

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