ARL Weekly News – May 12, 2023

Upcoming Events

Paper Award

The American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers has awarded the Superior Paper Award to the paper: “Status of Spray Penetration and Deposition in Dense Field Crop Canopies” published in an ASABE journal. ARL’s John Kochendorfer is one of the authors on the paper. Citation:

Womac, A., Ozkan, E., Zhu, H. Kochendorfer, J., and Jeon, H., Status of Spray Penetration and Deposition in Dense Field Crop Canopies. Journal of the ASABE, 65(5): 1107-1117, 2022.

AEROMMA ground-based observations

In collaboration with Yale University, Nebila Lichiheb, Mark Heuer, LaToya Myles, and Rick Saylor are involved in the Atmospheric Emissions and Reactions Observed from Megacities to Marine Area (AEROMMA) campaign to conduct ground-based atmospheric NH3 concentration measurements. These measurements are conducted at the Yale Coastal Field Station (YCFS) (Guilford, CT) from April to October 2023 to study the seasonal variability of NH3 concentrations over a coastal ecosystem.

During the week of April 24th, Mark Heuer completed the installation of a Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (CRDS) system (Picarro, G2103) and a 3m meteorological tower at the YCFS to measure: NH3 concentration, air temperature, wind speed, wind direction, sensible heat flux, net radiation, relative humidity, air pressure, soil surface temperature, water surface temperature and precipitation.

The meteorological tower mounted on the boardwalk located 30 m from the trailer housing the Picarro analyzer.
The Picarro analyzer (G2103) connected to a rotary pump and housed in an air-conditioned trailer at the YCFS.

HYSPLIT Training for Emergency Managers

Mark Cohen gave an invited presentation to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (Pa EMA), at their Eastern region In Service Training conference, on May 10, 2023. The presentation: “Interpreting the NOAA HYSPLIT Dispersion Model” was co-presented with NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Mark Pellerito. The presentation covered the types of HYSPLIT products that NWS Weather Forecast Offices share with local emergency management officials and how to understand what these mean. A discussion of uncertainties was also included along with ways to reduce uncertainties. Suggestions were invited from the audience (and any other user of these products) regarding ways to make the model results clearer or more useful.

A similar presentation was given on May 3 to the Western Pennsylvania Region’s “In Service Training” for Pa EMA, along with Warning Coordination Meteorologist Fred McMullen. The PA Central region training is scheduled for June 6.

NADP Spring Meeting.

From May 1-5, Winston Luke attended the Spring meeting of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) in Madison, Wisconsin. NADP is a cooperative program of federal, state, tribal and local agencies; educational institutions, private companies and non-governmental groups, and provides long-term, high-quality air and precipitation measurements to evaluate atmospheric deposition over space and time. NADP’s 500+ independent sites and five monitoring networks measure acids, nutrients, base cations, and mercury in precipitation; plus atmospheric concentrations of gaseous ammonia, and gaseous, elemental and particulate mercury. NADP data supports research on multi-pollutant source/receptor relationships, atmospheric modeling, the potential for deposition effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycling of pollutants.

Dr. Luke serves as Secretary of the NADP’s Network Operations Subcommittee, which provides a forum for discussion and evaluation of issues pertaining to station siting, equipment, and procedures for sampling and analysis in all NADP networks. NOS oversees field-siting criteria and laboratory and sample collection protocols, and evaluates equipment and record keeping methods. In addition, Dr. Luke is a member of the Mercury in the Environment and Links to Deposition (MELD) subcommittee of NADP, and presented summaries of ongoing atmospheric mercury research at ARL’s three long-term monitoring stations (Beltsville, MD; and GML’s Mauna Loa and Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatories). The MELD committee is conducting a survey of mercury-related research and monitoring activities across the federal government, to include all compartments of the ecosystem (air, terrestrial and aquatic), human health, and biota. Dr. Luke presented an overview of ongoing mercury measurement programs in NMFS and NOS.

On a note of major importance, the NADP program office will make publicly available high-accuracy precipitation records from roughly 350 electronic rain gauges across the United States. This large database, encompassing decades of precipitation measurements, will be an important contribution to climate-related research activities.

IT Security Assessment Highlights ARL Strengths.

An independent security control assessment was conducted as part of ARL’s FY23 IT Security Assessment & Authorization (A&A) activities during the week of May 8-12. Mr. Shannon Johnston, Information System Security Officer (ISSO) for OAR/ESRL, led the assessment team with support from Rick Jiang (ARL’s System Owner), Fred Shen (ARL’s ISSO & ASMD), Tom Wood (ARL’s Alternative ISSO & ATDD), and Brad Reese & James Call (SORD).

Mr. Johnston pointed out in his Assessment Summary Report that “Out of the 61 controls assessed, 47 were found fully implemented (satisfactory), 8 were found partially implemented, 6 were found to not be implemented satisfactorily (Other Than Satisfactory). This represents a control implementation rate of 90% completion. However, during the assessment out of 410 control metrics assessed ARL was found to be satisfactory on 393 of them, representing an overall implementation of 95.85%.”

The Report also indicates three major strengths: 1) “ARL has documentation that is second to none in OAR. Their documentation is clear, thorough, updated on a regular basis, and well organized….”; 2) “ARL’s IT department is well organized, managed, and makes the most of their limited resources. They are able to support the laboratory mission while also performing duties that frankly lay outside of their job description responsibilities.”; and 3) “ARL has developed a strong operational resilience, standing up systems and services with uptime and redundancy in mind….”  The Report identified four security control findings that require special attention, among which are “response to audit process failure”, “protection of audit information,” “contingency training,” and “physical access authorization.”

Weather Balloon Launch
On 16 May, Temple Lee, Randy White, Tom Wood, Dominick Christensen, Faria Panwala, and Mark Heuer conducted a weather balloon launch from ATDD for the local NWS Weather Forecast Office in Morristown in anticipation of the severe weather threat forecasted across northeast Tennessee that day.

Recent Events

Climate Change Briefing for students.

On May 25th Dr. Howard Diamond will be giving a presentation on climate change science to a group of about 30 Ukrainian students. Howard was approached to do this by a retired engineer from Raytheon, Bill Reed, from Denton, TX. Howard has worked with Mr. Reed before in making after school presentations to interested high school students at Denton High School. Mr. Reed has now expanded his work with students via the organization called ENGin, which is a global nonprofit building a future in which every young Ukrainian can confidently speak to foreigners in fluent, conversational English. Their goal is to connect Ukraine to the world in order to propel its postwar reconstruction and longer-term economic and social development. While the group that Mr. Reed leads has up to 30 students, it turns out that the greater ENGin group is opening his group, to the 31,000 participants across the ENGin network, but he only expects perhaps an extra 8-10 people to join in. Mr. Reed has a clear passion for working with students and he finds climate change to be an extremely important topic that he believes students to learn more about the real science on. For more information on Mr. Reed and what he has been doing, please see this article in the Denton Times newspaper. While Dr. Diamond’s presentation is primarily intended to convey the important nature of climate change, Mr. Reed also hopes that it will help in improving the English language skills of the students he mentors as well as to open their eyes to possible future academic and professional opportunities in the West. The presentation will be done via GoogleMeet and all the students are located in either Ukraine or Poland.