Deputy Secretary of Commerce visits Air Resource Laboratory UrbanNet site

group of men in suits on a flat rooftop. metal scaffolding with scientific instruments in the foreground

Dr. Stein tells Deputy Secretary Graves and NOAA leadership about the UrbanNet tower and the meteorological measurements the instruments mounted on it collect.

The NOAA Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) brought Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves to the top of the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington D.C. to see one of ARL’s UrbanNet sites on May 3, 2024. 

UrbanNet is an ARL research program that supports urban climate and greenhouse gas monitoring in and around the Washington D.C. area. To better characterize the urban environment, multiple UrbanNet rooftop stations are being established in Washington D.C. Currently, there are three sites, one at Howard University and a tower on the north and south sides of the U.S. Department of Commerce Herbert C. Hoover Building.

ARL Director Ariel Stein and ARL Atmospheric Sciences Modeling Division Director Howard Diamond led the tour with Special Assistant to the Director of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for Greenhouse Gas Measurements Program Dr. James Whetstone. NIST’s participation was a key part of the installation of the Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) instrument at the Hoover Building.

Other guests on the tour included NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction Dr. Michael C. Morgan and NOAA Research Assistant Administrator Dr. Steven Thur.

ARL’s teams at both the Atmospheric Sciences Modeling Division in College Park, MD and the Atmospheric Turbulence and Dispersion Division in Oak Ridge, TN collaborate to build and maintain the sites as well as process the meteorological measurements. Links to live data from all three towers can be found on UrbanNet’s dashboards.

Group of men in suits gathered on a flat rooftop around scientific instrument box

Dr. Stein tells the group about the LIDAR instrument.

Tower made of metal scaffolding mounted on a flat rooftop with the Washington Monument in the background.

UrbanNet tower on the Herbert C. Hover Building in Washington D.C.