• develop ways to acknowledge and broaden the uses of environmental monitoring information beyond weather, to include examination of societal vulnerability and resilience to a broader range of hazards,

  • examine whether and how the partnership agreements and applications within one state, group, or region can be used elsewhere,

  • discover metrics that measure how well current initiatives meet the data needs of the citizenry, for example, teachers, students, hospital administrators, golfers, homeowners, and individuals of all ages, and

  • identify novel ways to build capacity for using environmental monitoring data in society.

THE CHALLENGE FOR THE FUTURE

Today we are faced with a complex collection of mesoscale networks clearly driven by market forces. This condition is both energetic and chaotic and possesses local strengths, national gaps, and operational weaknesses. Local strengths are heralded by the proliferation of surface meteorological stations, which are often tailored to satisfy the monitoring needs of a particular application. National gaps result from weaknesses in the federal government’s observational infrastructure pertaining to mesoscale numerical weather prediction and chemical weather forecasts. Observational deficiencies in the mountains, at the coasts, and near urbanized areas require special attention. With respect to mesoscale numerical weather prediction and chemical weather forecasts, three-dimensional observations are paramount and involve heavy infrastructure to which federal agencies must be major contributors.

Nearly every dimension of participation in mesoscale observation is important and worthy of cultivation. The challenge is to harness the strengths of our current condition while creating an organizational circumstance that can stimulate and coordinate diverse assets to serve similarly diverse interests. The Committee believes that it has offered constructive and sometimes novel alternatives toward that end while avoiding prematurely prescriptive or excessively centralized solutions. Much work remains, especially with regard to the elaboration of architecture, the design of networks, and the forging of new relationships among all levels of government, industry, and the earnest contributiosn of our citizenry.



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