Riverside Technology, inc. is honored to announce that we recently won a contract with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) office. Through a re-competed task with NESDIS’ Office of Projects, Planning, and Analysis (OPPA), Riverside continues its scientific, engineering, communication, and administrative support to OPPA, and its predecessor organization, the Office of Systems Development (OSD), which extends back to 2007.
NESDIS/OPPA provides engineering and program management to small-scale flight projects, domestic and international partnerships, and data exploitation initiatives. OPPA’s mission is to provide the leadership, expert engineering, and project management to enable the deployment of new satellite missions necessary to maintain the uninterrupted flow of remotely sensed environmental data. These data are required to protect life, property, the environment, and to promote economic well-being. OPPA is responsible for advanced planning and systems engineering and acquisition activities, including defining user requirements and developing conceptual engineering designs of future satellite systems to meet those requirements. It manages systems development, launch services, and launch and early orbit support to system handover to operations.
In addition to our current work on this task, Riverside will provide project management support to NESDIS’ Office of Systems Architecture and Advanced Planning (OSAAP) on NOAA’s Commercial Data Pilot project. That project aims to evaluate the quality of available commercial data and its impact to weather forecast models.
“Based on our years of experience performing this work, we recognize the importance of the longevity and success of these programs,” said Larry Brazil, Riverside’s President and CEO. “We welcome the opportunity to continue providing our expert services to NOAA, NESDIS, and OPPA.”
This work was awarded to Riverside under our Scientific, Technical Support Services (Sci-Tech) IDIQ contract. Riverside currently supports all three divisions of OPPA through SciTech task orders including the Project Management and Execution Division (PMED), the Research to Operations and Project Planning Division (ROPPD), and the Technical Planning and Integration for Observation (TPIO) Division.
A Riverside employee recently received some high praise from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regarding her excellent work on a graphic design project for the Gulf of Mexico Collaboration Team of NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Service. Graphic designer Barbara Ambrose received an official Letter of Appreciation and recognition at an All-Hands Meeting with National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) directors for her work on a high-visibility design project.
Barbara has been with Riverside since 2015 and works at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi as part of the NCEI team. The Gulf Team organizes NOAA’s visual displays for various regional meetings and conferences, and Barbara played a critical role in quickly designing and producing a brand new large-scale, background pop-up display that accurately and attractively represents NOAA’s work in the area.
“We are immensely grateful for Barbara’s assistance with this project. She has an excellent eye for design and pays great attention to detail,” said Brian LaMarre, the Meteorologist-in-Charge with the Gulf of Mexico Team, in the Letter of Appreciation. “[Her] assistance … yielded a well-designed background display that will benefit NOAA in the Gulf region and convey the agency’s messages to key audiences into the future. We greatly appreciate this help towards improving understanding about NOAA and its activities in the region.”
NCEI Acting Director Margarita Gregg and Center for Coasts, Oceans, and Geophysics Director Eric Kihn presented Barbara with her accolades. Congratulations, Barbara!
Jason Polly and Ian Hageman, two of Riverside’s GIS specialists, are attending the annual GIS in the Rockies conference today in Denver. Every year, representatives from local, state, and federal government; the utilities industry; environmental services; land surveying professionals; the oil and gas industry; students; educational practitioners; and retail and business marketing professionals gather to learn more about geospatial technology issues and business-centric strategies supporting the markets touched by the geospatial industry. For more info on GIS in the Rockies, visit http://gisintherockies.org/.
Riverside Technology, inc. is honored to announce that we are on the team selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide Independent Review Team (IRT) support to the National Environmental Satellite Data Information Service (NESDIS).
Riverside is teamed with Infinity Technology Inc. (Infinity) of McLean, VA to assess the NESDIS programs, processes, science priorities, and system architectures against their recently released Five Year Strategic Plan. This plan focuses on the principals of commitment, community, and capability that embody NESDIS’ new, agile organization.
Continuity: Ensuring mission continuity through the provisio
n of space-based observations and the exploration of other potential opportunities
Data and Information: Serving as an agency pipeline for environmental data and information that support mission critical operations, enable scientific research and support environmentally intelligent decision-making
Architecture: Creating a cost-effective integrated ground enterprise and satellite architecture to enable secure, reliable, scalable, agile, and robust future system operations to meet user needs
Use-Inspired Science: Delivering use-inspired and innovative science to meet strategic goals and maximize the value of the environmental data delivered to users.
People: Nurturing a dynamic, engaged and motivated workforce in support of our mission
Partnerships: Creating and maintaining effective partnerships in order to meet National, NOAA, and NESDIS mission objectives
The IRT consists of a collaborative team of outside experts and will be chaired by Mr. Thomas Young, an independent consultant and expert in space systems. Riverside supported the previous two NESDIS IRTs chaired by Mr. Young in 2012 and 2013 which evaluated the status and health of NESDIS’ primary satellite programs, GOES-R and JPSS. Riverside’s NESDIS Program Manager, Mr. Brian Mischel, will support Mr. Young as the IRT Executive Secretary.
“The execution of regular reviews of how their operation measures up against their long-term plan is more evidence of the high-caliber work NESDIS performs and the seriousness with which they approach their mission,” said Larry Brazil, Riverside’s President and CEO. “We are pleased to play a critical role in their evaluations.”
Kevin Garrett joined Riverside in 2012 and is a critical part of our team at the NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR). Kevin’s support to NOAA dates back almost a decade, starting with the MiRS project (Microwave Integrated Retrieval System), where he developed what is now a standard algorithm for physical retrieval methodology. Recently, Kevin helped adapt this technology to satellite data assimilation pre-processing and quality control (MIIDAPS project) and is working hard to extend its use to data fusion purposes.
“It is safe to say that the MiRS and MIIDAPS projects would not be where they are without Kevin’s expertise,” said Dr. Sid Boukabara, STAR Senior Data Assimilation Scientist. “I had the pleasure to see Kevin grow scientifically and increase his leadership skills. As a consequence, he was asked to be involved in an increasing number of challenging activities within NESDIS/STAR and in support of the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA).”
Kevin’s other recent major contributions include implementing multiple data-gap mitigation strategy projects and assessing the impact of the data gap on NOAA systems using the latest forecast and data assimilation systems.
We asked Kevin to play along as our newest Employee Focus:
What three traits describe you?
Straight-forward, honest, patient.
What motivates you to do what you do? What are you most excited or passionate about in your career?
Like a lot of meteorologists, I used to get excited when I was younger when we had a major winter storm or severe thunderstorm (I still do!). Eventually this led me to study atmospheric science in graduate school, specifically remote sensing of the atmosphere from different types of meteorological satellites. It’s fascinating to understand the physics behind how satellites can observe the Earth’s atmospheric and surface properties, from the temperature and moisture structure, to wind, clouds, and precipitation. But what motivates me is improving the algorithms that derive this information from satellite observations. Improving the algorithms increases the accuracy of weather forecasts and other satellite products used by operational forecasters. They, in turn, inform the public so they can take the necessary precautions to guard against high-impact weather events.
What are your favorite things to do when you’re not at work?
Typically, when I am not at work, I spend time with my family outside, going to the park, or taking short day trips. The hobby I am most passionate about is home-brewing beer, which I get time to do about once every six weeks or so. I also like to cook and tend to my garden .
Tell us your guilty pleasure.
I love hot peppers. I’ve been cultivating Carolina Reapers and Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Peppers) for the past few years. Their flavor is great if you can stand the heat. They are mostly used to make homemade hot sauce or to spice up a jar of olives or dill pickle chips. Every once in a while, I’ll chop one up for a plate of nachos and really torture myself!
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I used to pick blueberries for a summer job when I was about 11. It was hard work for not much pay. I’m pretty sure there were some child labor laws being broken, but I ate well!
What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I would want to run a brewery. Or be a chef if I were trained.
Who lives in your house?
I currently live with my wife, Katie, and our 2-year-old daughter, Madeline. We also have “the clouds:” 2 cats (Cumulus and Nimbus) and a terrier-mix named Cirrus. (In case you were wondering, Katie is also a meteorologist).
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
Straight out of undergrad, I used to work in the garment district in midtown Manhattan near Times Square, doing IT support for Jones Apparel Group. I was there on 9/11 watching that terrible event unfold from the 27th floor of our office building, which had an unobstructed view of the towers about two miles away.
You can only eat the same three foods for the rest of your life. What are they?
Iberico jamón, manchego, and a freshly baked baguette.
Tell us about your most unique travel experience.
When I was in 7th grade, our school’s outdoor club went on an 11-day trip to Switzerland to tour and hike in the Alps. I was 12 and had never ventured out of New England before. Fortunately, I get to travel occasionally for work, and my most unique recent trip was spending 10 days in and around Tokyo while visiting the Japan Meteorological Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. My trip included experiencing a 5.9-magnitude earthquake.
Name a food item you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
What’s an ability you wish you had?
Anything artistic, like playing an instrument or drawing.
Tell us about your best live performance experience.
Definitely Nine Inch Nails at Brixton Academy in London in 1999. It was a small venue and LOUD!
If you could choose one amenity to add to the workplace, what would it be?
An espresso bar.
Riverside Technology, inc., a HydroScience IDIQ contract holder with the National Weather Service, was recently awarded a task in response to our proposal for the “Development and Use of an Experimental Version of Meteorological Ensemble Forecast Processor.”
The National Weather Service (NWS) currently provides advanced ensemble streamflow predictions (ESP) for numerous locations in the United States via its River Forecast Centers (RFCs). These predictions are created in near real-time using the NWS Hydrologic Ensemble Forecasting Service (HEFS) that is deeply integrated with the NWS standard operational Community Hydrologic Prediction System (CHPS).
HEFS uses the Meteorological Ensemble Forecast Processor (MEFP) to process data to create continuous ensembles of precipitation and temperature that span the required forecast period. NWS selected Riverside to enhance MEFP to improve forecasts during extreme precipitation events. The Riverside Team for this project includes Dr. John Schaake, who developed the Ensemble Preprocessor (EPP3), the precursor to MEFP.
“The Riverside team is very excited to continue our work supporting the NWS by improving the value of short-term ensemble-based streamflow forecasts,” said Larry Brazil, Riverside’s President and CEO. “These types of forecasts are becoming increasingly more critical to water resources decision makers across the country, and Riverside is proud to be a partner with the NWS at the forefront of the science and its real-world application.”
Supporting the NWS to improve the MEFP will lead to better ensemble streamflow forecasts, enhancing, in particular, reservoir operations for water supply and emergency management activities for flood mitigation.