Recommendations to Improve Chapter 9 of the Plan

  • This chapter of the plan should tie in better to Chapter 5 on CEOP.

  • Although GAPP has made great contributions to data management with limited resources, the plan should focus on monitoring for opportunities to enhance data management.



GAPP has a well-defined role as a Continental-Scale Experiment within GEWEX, to which it responds directly through the GEWEX Hydrometeorology Panel on at least an annual basis.

GAPP was until recently a uniquely defined program in the NOAA Office of Global Programs; it has recently been merged with CLIVAR-PACS to become a part of CPPA. This is the main source of support for research and program management, with a dedicated NOAA program manager and additional support from the NASA Terrestrial Hydrology Program. As a result of its major funding role, NOAA exercises significant control over the program.

Within GAPP, the project management structure consists of a Science Advisory Group to provide scientific oversight, a standing committee on data management, and a number of working groups composed of the appropriate interested principal investigators. The working groups have responsibility for some 14 “synthesis products” organized under the GAPP science questions. The committee is concerned that there may not be sufficient representation on the Science Advisory Group from independent scientists (i.e., not current or past GAPP-GCIP PIs).

Beyond the strong affiliation of GAPP with the CLIVAR-PACS program through NAME and the formalization of that relationship in the programmatic reorganization at NOAA, which has led to the formation of CPPA, there is no formal structure in place to interface with research efforts outside GEWEX nor other involved agencies beyond NOAA and NASA. This is partially a reflection of the lack of a coordination structure, such as a U.S. GEWEX project office.

The GAPP synthesis products are largely a restatement of the list of goals, with no associated metrics for measuring progress, and no definition of completion (although a broad time window is given for each and start dates are not identified). This problem reflects back on the lack of a cogent implementation roadmap for the science questions and goals put forward early in the document. Although it is not indicated in the plan, the committee understands that a synthesis document will be produced to record progress in each of these areas. However, this PI-led distributed documentation effort of the synthesis elements is not a substitution for overarching science management.

The committee finds that the organization of management and participants is satisfactory and appropriate, given the nature of the program, its support, and its role within the larger structure of GEWEX and agency support from NOAA and NASA. Nevertheless, the lack of a U.S. GEWEX project office, or even of GAPP project officers for science and

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