Joint Meeting of the NADP Network Operations, Data Management and Effects Subcommittees

6 October 1997 Ellicottville, NY


The meeting came to order at 0809.

Those in attendance:

Richard Artz Jim Lynch
Wayne Banwart Lee Maull
Van Bowersox Mark Mesarch
Bob Brunette Mark Nilles
Boris Chevone Dan Orr
Scott Dossett Eric Prestbo
Joel Frisch Ellen Porter
Cari Furiness Jane Rothert
Bob Gilpin John Sherwell
John Gordon Luther Smith
Rich Grant Gary Stensland
Karen Harlin Fred VandeVenter
Susan Randall Johnson Stephen Vermette
Dennis Lamb
Douglas Lantagne

1. Overview and Introduction- John Gordon, Luther Smith

John Gordon and Luther Smith reviewed the format for the joint meeting and an attendance sheet was passed.

2. MDN Issues- Molly Welker

Molly gave an update on the status of the MDN. She reported there are 24 MDN sites; and 14 of these are collocated with NADP sites. Eight sites are pending or proposed. Some of these may be on line by the end of the year. (Since the end of the year has passed, an editor's note regarding their status is appropriate i.e. as of December 31, 1997, 4 of the 8 proposed new sites are now on line.).

Molly discussed difficulties related to the changeover of the Coordination Office to the Program Office and the necessity of a decision about the location of MDN Coordination.

Marketing the MDN- Molly mentioned the continuing concern of states regarding fish consumption warnings. New states considering fish advisories include Louisiana, New York, and Arkansas.

Contract with Frontier Geosciences- An agreement seems to be in place for 1998, although there are concerns about the transfer from the Coordination Office at CSU to the Program Office at ISWS and the contract status.

Data release-QC codes for individual samples will follow the AIRMoN template. Each sample is assigned an A, B, or C code. A designates the highest quality sample and C the lowest. Molly presented an overhead showing a matrix of ABC and what problems key these code assignments. This led into a discussion of siting variances (as such variances might cause samples to be coded).

Siting Problems/Variances- Molly showed an overhead of siting variances and asked the group to consider some of the individual variances in terms of their importance. One category of much discussion was the FAMS sites which are on 40' towers and have tipping bucket raingages. Biases historically noted in tipping bucket data due to rainfall rate dependency were noted by Artz and Stensland. Wind field effects due to the height were also a concern regarding the collection of wet deposition samples. There was a request to have the sites collocate a Belfort B5-780 at these sites to ascertain the magnitude of any problem with the tipping bucket. Another major discussion concerned the lack of event recorders at many of the MDN sites. The consensus is that the MDN should implement the ERĘs as soon as possible. Data from this period is not assuredly "wet deposition only" and may have to be sequestered. One site (NH05) has the MDN collector oriented incorrectly, not on an east-west axis. Current variances due to upslope/downslope winds on the NADP network were noted. The consensus was that sampler orientation was not a serious problem.

Database- MDN currently uses an NT SQL server running INGRESS under UNIX at this time. Molly asked for guidance as to how to work toward the SQL system. There were no comments.

 

3. Effects committee report- Ellen Porter

a) The Effects Subcommittee has been working on data products. The Subcommittee is hoping that these products will assist the marketing effort. Specifically, a nutrient brochure is in preparation. It has been broken down into four sections, and each section is being prepared by a different author. The four sections are: Introduction, Estuary, Crops and Terrestrial units. There is a new time line for the draft, perhaps next spring. There was a question about a web version. Ellen thinks this would be a good idea; but she will need some assistance to do this. Ellen showed a matrix of a number of colors and number of copies of the brochure. The question was "how many to print and how many colors? Mark Nilles suggested 2000 based on his last "Web hits" publication. The consensus was that they should be two-color.

b) Status of USGS collocated sampling-John Gordon

John discussed the program in general and presented overheads depicting the two 1997/98 sites (see Attachment A). The two sites are 28VA/VA28- Shenandoah National Park and 95WY/WY95- Brooklyn Lake (a US Forest Service site). VA28 had a siting compromise he wished to bring forward. The site has added additional monitoring equipment in recent years and is getting a bit crowded. The VA28 Aerochem is only 9.4m from a 10m tower. The site operator noted that the prevailing direction of storms is from the northwest, which puts the tower upwind of the collector. An important change was also made at the site during the collocated installation: the location of the VA28 AeroChem was switched with that of a non-NADP AeroChem. This solved the problem of the NADP AeroChem and raingage not meeting same elevation requirements, but could not solve the tower problem (still within 10m of a 10 m tower). No one from the group made any comments or voiced any objections regarding the siting configuration at VA28.

 

4. Expansion of NADP to urban monitoring- Gordon/Smith/all

Luther opened the discussion by suggesting the intent was to have an open brainstorming session about whether NADP should pursue "urban" sites. John Gordon then presented a series of overheads describing why the NADP should consider an urban subnetwork at this time.

John gave the following reasons why the NADP/NTN should consider urban sites (see Attachment B): (1) Demographic trends are resulting in an increasing concentration of people in urban areas. As a result, natural resources in urban areas are under ever increasing stress; (2) The public increasingly wants to know how publicly funded science programs effect them. There is increasing support for science with a strong link to human health issues. Support for science viewed as not relevant to human health issues is decreasing.

John then proposed a possible funding mechanism: Booming state economies represent a window of opportunity for the NADP to gain state support for an urban monitoring program. Most state economies are very healthy, with many states projecting budget surpluses for the first time in 30 years. State officials might be more receptive to funding an urban precipitation network given the current budget situation than in years past, particularly if they are convinced of the importance of such a network as it relates to human health.

John suggested the NADP should move rapidly to demonstrate proficiency in the area of urban sampling by establishing a small pilot network of ~3 urban sites. Immediately after the pilot network is established, begin networking with state health and environmental monitoring officials to garner support for funding additional urban sites.

John then opened the discussion to further issues regarding a possible urban network.

Molly questioned how many current sites are "urban- influenced." Much discussion about sources and siting ensued. Rick Artz suggested that not monitoring more urban areas meant that significant deposition to the Chesapeake Bay was being missed. Steve Vermette mentioned that the old EPA GLAD network had urban sites. No one seemed to be interested in exploring that data set. In general, there was a recognition of "near source" sites already existing in the network, the desire to smooth existing lines around urban areas (reference to isopleth map characteristics) and the general support of the NADP committees to do more urban area sampling. Without a motion it was decided that the Data Mgt and Analysis Subcommittee take up a "sites analysis" to see where current "urban" sites exist and that Network Operations should begin developing criteria for urban siting.

 

5. Discussion of upcoming program review- Rick Artz

Rick opened by saying that there will be a program review. We need to find good critical external reviewers. He sees this as a very positive thing for the network. He noted that the review was specifically not a technical or budgetary review but one addressing whether NADP has met itĘs primary research objectives. The review will be very broad in scope. Rick sees a 6-month time frame. The bottom line is that the Agriculture Experiment Station Directors require a review. He recalled the provisional YES vote for the NSRP-3 renewal in the NE SAES Region. This vote was contingent on a review. Joel Frisch added that this should be a historical review with recommendations for the future and that it should show progress based on the projects original goals. We may then see the need to modify current objectives. Van Bowersox seconded Ricks mention of the NSRP-3 contingency. There is a need for a review in the third year of every 5-year project. This was noted during the last proposal cycle. NADP is NOT meeting this requirement. Jim Lynch noted that CSREES had money to expedite the review and that we should target March or April 1997 for the review (before the next Executive Committee meeting). Gary Stensland questioned whether the historical framework should be for the entire history of NADP or over just the last 5 years (length of the last NSRP-3). He asked what are the hot buttons for Agriculture, herbicides, MDN, nutrients? Gary suggested using the NRSP proposal as a guide and addressing these issues. The group concluded that the Executive Committee should take up this issue and suggested that Jack Barnes might lead the effort to get a review committee assembled.

 

6. Marketing NADP-Mark Nilles

Mark started by describing the activities that took place in 1997 regarding the FY98 budget for the USGS atmospheric deposition work and the ongoing concerns expressed in the budget committee regarding funding weakness, rising costs, and the future. This is the drive behind marketing the program. He feels the USGS report about data users was one example of a way to market NADP. He mentioned Ellis CowlingĘs plan to the Executive Committee regarding state level promotion. Discussion ensued with questions. The discussion included: "How does one support the network without supporting a site?", "Do we need a marketing director or committee"? Someone suggested we could use the Public Television model; i.e., asking the users, along with core funding to support the network. Mark volunteered to lead an effort to figure out how to draft and execute a plan. Dennis Lamb asked what it was we might give a corporation for their money? Mark suggested that targeted assessments could be done. This is something that EPRI has expanded in the past several years. Joel advised that we should be able to offer a product to open the door for money and Rick asked to what extent the money could cause a real or perceived bias.

Is a targeted assessment biased? Next step? The Executive Committee has to consider any recommended action.

 

7. Role of NADP/NTN on Chesapeake Bay nitrogen loading studies-Rick Artz

Rick discussed the Vice-Presidential initiative. Description of "index sites" and other research on the bay. There is a regional pilot program now on the Upper Delaware. NADP should be marketing to this group.

 

8. Status report on staffing and job responsibilities at the Program Office and future plans-Van Bowersox

Van showed an organizational overhead, segregated the functions and positions and showed position names and personnel, if known.

Program Administration Services
Program Coordinator
Administrative Coordinator
Budget Coordinator
Site Support Services
Siting Documentation- Kathy Douglas
Site Liaison- Scott Dossett
NED Technician- Jim Osborne
Data and Information Services
Webpage/database Manager- Bob Larson (as of 15 Oct)
Database Technician- Bob Gilpin (till March 1998)
Quality Assurance
QA Manager-new hire, 100% EPA solid on funding

After VanĘs presentation, Rick Artz noted that he needs AIRMoN data. He noted that the current system is 6 months behind and he needs annual averages. Bob Gilpin promised to deliver the data next week. There was much discussion about time lines, the CO to PO changeover and schedules.

Joint Meeting adjourned at approximately 1010.

 

Draft minutes submitted by Scotty R. Dossett