August 2013

hank revercomb

Director's Note

Hank Revercomb

This month, I’m focusing on recent changes to the SSEC leadership team, and my main message is that the transition plan presented in the State of the Center last year is working. If you keep up with our monthly “Director’s Notes,” you will have noticed the expanded authorship, now including Jenny Hackel, Wayne Feltz, and Mark Mulligan.

As you already know, John Roberts, our Executive Director for Administration, has handed over many of his day-to-day duties to Jenny as the new Assistant Director for Administration. The exchange of offices between John and Jenny is indicative of the significant role she has accepted, but all of us, are very happy that John is staying on at 60% (you can find him all day Tuesday through Thursday).

With Tom Actor’s retirement now being official, I am also very happy to announce that Wayne Feltz has accepted the role as the new SSEC Executive Director for Science. This key role for SSEC is defined in our Strategic Plan as: “The Executive Director for Science is responsible for providing support to the SSEC science activities to ensure a high quality research environment. This broad-based program management includes support for staff planning, coordination with technical computing on scientific computing issues, oversight of the SSEC Data Center, and supervision and proposal development support for PIs. Strategic planning activities include identifying proposal opportunities and evaluation of successful proposal strategies.” Like Tom, Wayne also serves as the CIMSS Associate Director and in addition he leads several science projects, so his plate is very full. When he asks for things from you, please be generous with your help.

I cannot thank Tom enough for his enormous contribution to the success of SSEC during his tenure as Executive Director for Science that began late in 1999. As I said at our June Hail & Farewell, Tom has also left us in excellent hands. In addition to Wayne, he transitioned his leadership of the Media Group to Jean Phillips, and McIDAS-V to Dave Santek. This is just one more example of Tom’s truly outstanding talent that combines management skills, science knowledge, and his love for meteorology. It has been a pleasure working with you, Tom, and we all wish you a tremendously rewarding retirement.

Finally, I am happy to acknowledge important contributions from Mark Mulligan, who has helped enormously in defining our transition plan and in assisting Fred with his duties as Executive Director for Technology. His new participation in our weekly administrative meetings is greatly appreciated.

There is one more change, that is not really part of our transition plan, but I’ll sneak it in here anyway. The “AERIbago," after many years of invaluable service is being retired. After considerable study by Erik Olson, a trailer/truck configuration has been implemented as an upgraded replacement—and that requires a new name. So I now get to announce that after many of you came up with a host of clever and innovative names, we have chosen SPARC, the SSEC Portable Atmospheric Research Center, proposed independently by Lee Cronce and Barry Roth. I hope its enhanced role in field experiments led by SSEC, and AOS as well, will SPARC a wide range of new insights and innovations. Keep an eye out for the pickup with the bright red cab in the loading dock. The SPARC trailer will follow soon.

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