PSD Provides Expertise for NOAA Science Advisory Board Drought Retreat


July 25, 2006

dried up lakeThe NOAA Climate Working Group of the NOAA Scientific Advisory Board is holding a four-day summer retreat "NOAA and the Drought Challenge" focused on NOAA's responsibilities to provide the nation with drought information, July 31 through August 3, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The retreat is being organized on behalf of the Climate Working Group by the NOAA Climate Program Office (Chet Koblinsky, Claudia Nierenberg, and Roger Pulwarty), and the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division [PSD] (Randall Dole, and Robert Webb). PSD participation includes Randall Dole, who is providing input to the retreat as a member of the NOAA Executive Committee on Drought; Marty Hoerling, who will give a presentation on climate change implications for North American drought; and Robert Webb, who will help to facilitate the retreat.

Background: NOAA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established by a Decision Memorandum in 1997. It is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on long- and short-range strategies for research, education and the application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction. The Climate Working Group provides scientific advice and broad direction to NOAA's Climate Program, in the context of national and international activities. Its focus is on the broad research and operational components of the climate program, as well as the underlying observations and data management issues. The Climate Working Group has requested that the NOAA Climate Program hold focused summer retreats to examine the integration of programmatic activities to provide information and services for a series of topics of interest to the nation.

Significance:
The retreat has been designed to provide an assessment of current, projected, and needed drought-related activities across NOAA, and to help the NOAA Climate Program define NOAA's role in the development of a National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). From the perspective of the Climate Working Group and the Climate Program, the focus on drought offers an example of the framework for organization, delivery, and evaluation of future of climate services within NOAA. The retreat objectives are to develop a road map on how NOAA and the nation should: 1) transform the collection of NOAA (and other agency related) drought activities into an integrated information system, 2) optimize coordination of federal, state and local drought resources and activities, and 3) deliver more effective drought information services.
(Photo courtesy of John Lewis, NWS, Little Rock, AR)

Contact: Robert Webb More Information: Report on NIDIS [pdf]