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NOAA Data Management, Front and Center

Data quality, usefulness, and longevity are part of long-term efforts

NOAA graphic of observation systems
Courtesy of NOAA

NOAA’s commitment to strengthen the uses and quality of its environmental data is ongoing in 2020. This week, NOAA focuses on internal data management during the Environmental Data Management Workshop (EDMW) for NOAA employees, affiliates, and cooperative institute staff. The theme for EDMW, a virtual conference, is “Data to Decisions: Putting NOAA Data to Work.”

NOAA’s work to collect, process, and archive quality data—often in increasingly large amounts and from new or emerging technologies—is a core concern of NCEI, the data archive for NOAA. 

NOAA Environmental Data Management Workshop

As an organization, NOAA reaches into many fields of science and relies on many types of technology. The EDMW gives NOAA staff the opportunity to see commonalities and learn from one other. Among the topics on the agenda for the summer workshop are:

  • Collaborations with private industry, crowd-sourcing initiatives, and novel or alternative applications of technology
  • Strategies to meet the 2019 Presidential Memorandum on Ocean Mapping of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and to document the shoreline and nearshore of Alaska
  • Effective, user-friendly, state-of-the-art data and information management at NOAA and the call for data modernization efforts across federal agencies
  • The process of finalizing a cloud strategy at NOAA that guides the adoption and utilization of cloud capabilities and services
  • Innovative approaches to managing and using data from unmanned systems across NOAA and the needs of users, providers, system operators, data system architects, and other developers and programmers to guide those efforts


Many staff from NCEI will make presentations at EDMW, including several from our leadership team: Sharon Mesick, Chief of Coasts, Oceans, & Geophysics Information Services and Coastal Data Development Program Manager; Monica Youngman, Chief of Data Stewardship Division; Rich Baldwin, Chief of Data Access Branch; Mike Brewer, Chief of the Climate Information Services Branch; and Deke Arndt, Director of the Center for Weather and Climate.

Plenary sessions involve other NOAA leaders: Retired Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, NOAA Deputy Administrator as well as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans, and Stephen Volz, Assistant Administrator of the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS).