Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce visits NOAA Boulder

Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Bruce Andrews (center) and Special Advisor, Aparna Paladugu (right) take a closer look at NOAA super computers as ESRL's Scott Nahman explains how they accommodate the storage and speed necessary to process complex weather models.
Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Bruce Andrews (center) and Special Advisor, Aparna Paladugu (right) take a closer look at NOAA super computers as ESRL's Scott Nahman explains how they accommodate the storage and speed necessary to process complex weather models. (CREDIT: Will von Dauster, NOAA)
Nyzette Rydell, Meteorologist in Charge at the NWS Boulder Weather Forecast Office, with the visitors and ESRL Director Alexander MacDonald, gives an informal overview of operations as forecasters monitor conditions on interactive workstations that, she explained, 'were developed in collaboration with scientists right here in the building.'
Nyzette Rydell, Meteorologist in Charge at the NWS Boulder Weather Forecast Office, with the visitors and ESRL Director Alexander MacDonald (right), gives an informal overview of operations as forecasters monitor conditions on interactive workstations that, she explained, "were developed in collaboration with scientists right here in the building." (CREDIT: Will von Dauster, NOAA)
Presentations about NOAA Boulder science were demonstrated using Science On a Sphere.
Presentations about NOAA Boulder science were demonstrated using Science On a Sphere. (CREDIT: Will von Dauster, NOAA)

Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce visits NOAA Boulder

July 11, 2014

On June 30th, NOAA hosted a visit from Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews who spent the day on the Department of Commerce (DOC) Boulder campus after attending the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new U.S. Patent and Trademark office building in downtown Denver.

Alexander MacDonald, Director of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) led Andrews on a “walk and talk through” of the National Weather Service (NWS) Space Weather Prediction Center, the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO), High-Performance Computing Center, and ESRL’s kinetics laboratory. During these stops, Andrews learned about the research and collaborations behind improving NOAA capabilities, such as developing more accurate and timely weather forecasts, and analyzing computer demands for processing the next generation of weather models feeding those forecasts.

In NOAA Boulder's Planet Theater, leaders from the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) and ESRL’s four divisions successively highlighted examples of their group's science using datasets that were vibrantly illuminated on Science On a Sphere® (SOS). Engaging questions and lively discussion interspersed the presentations, which included demonstrations of swirling clouds forming into violent storms, and sea surface temperatures influencing weather and climate patterns. Animations of Earth’s nighttime lights, and of the thousands of daily airline flights that crisscross the globe underscored how using fossil fuels for power and transportation contributes to the warming of our planet.

After visiting NOAA, the DOC Boulder campus tour continued at NIST where Andrews was introduced to their scientists and research, including a presentation on quantum computing with 2012 Nobel Laureate Dave Wineland.