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Review of the U.S. CLIVAR Project Office
A more activist role of the USCPO, with respect to all of the implementation activities of U.S. CLIVAR and its panels and working groups (see Figure 1.2), is its current development of a roadmap that will draw together the implementation plans of the individual panels, relate them to the overarching U.S. CLIVAR Implementation Plan, and track current and accomplished activities. The committee believes this roadmap will highlight opportunities for greater participation from various agencies and from a diverse group of scientists who might not already be entrained in CLIVAR, thus it supports this effort.
The USCPO Director, Dr. David Legler, participates regularly in International CLIVAR SSG meetings. The committee supports this activity, as it provides regular interaction and information exchange between U.S. and International CLIVAR. For example, Dr. Legler has extensive experience with data management, which is proving useful to International CLIVAR. Data management and archiving was a vital component of previous WCRP projects, such as TOGA and WOCE, and it is becoming an important issue for CLIVAR. The committee anticipates that U.S. CLIVAR will work with International CLIVAR in assessing data management needs, and the USCPO should remain active in this discussion.
The USCPO received ubiquitous praise for providing excellent support for U.S. CLIVAR meetings and workshops. In particular, it very successfully organized the First International CLIVAR Science Conference held in June 2004, which was an extremely ambitious meeting in terms of the scope of topics and the number of U.S. and international participants. The meeting proceedings, abstracts, and posters are being made available online by the USCPO, and the committee supports this effort. Moreover, in the wake of that successful conference, the co-chairs of the International CLIVAR SSG intend to produce a document summarizing the key themes that emerged and outlining their vision for corresponding International and U.S. CLIVAR research. The USCPO should encourage this activity and provide support for producing it.
STAFFING FOR THE U.S. SCIENTIFIC STEERING COMMITTEE
Among the USCPO’s key tasks related to staffing for the SSC are overseeing the coordination of SSC meetings and providing travel support for university participants, supporting travel for U.S. representatives to International CLIVAR meetings through JOSS, and supporting subcommittees and working groups of U.S. CLIVAR. The committee investigated the efficacy of the USCPO in supporting the SSC by interviewing the current co-chairs, Dr. James Hurrell and Dr. Robert Weller. Dr. Weller provided written input, presented at the committee’s meeting, and answered numerous questions from the panel. Dr. Hurrell participated in a conference call4 with a couple of committee members.
Both co-chairs spoke very favorably of the USCPO and especially of Dr. Legler. In terms of general staffing for the SSC, the evaluation of the USCPO and Dr. Legler is uniformly excellent. However, Dr. Legler’s support for the SSC goes well above and beyond simple staffing and meeting support. He clearly moves the U.S. CLIVAR project forward, translates ideas generated by the SSC into concrete plans, and works to implement them.
The SSC co-chairs view the SSC, USCPO, and IAG as a triumvirate, with the USCPO as the lynchpin. The co-chairs noted that, if any criticisms of the U.S. CLIVAR project are made or
All people interviewed by the committee were asked questions directly from the study Statement of Task (see Chapter 1).