During nearly two years of virtual monthly meetings and two ‘live’ get-togethers since its formation in December 2014, ARM’s User Executive Committee (UEC) has steadily gone about its business of discussing and making recommendations on issues of concern to ARM Climate Research Facility users. Throughout, the UEC has remained true to its chartered function of enhancing the user experience by representing the voice of the user community to the ARM Infrastructure Management Board (IMB). Recurring themes for the UEC have been data quality, uncertainty quantification, and improving communications.

Doing Fewer Things Really Well

On the data quality front, the UEC has noted that the ARM Facility may be trying to do too much, which can have a negative impact on data quality. They have suggested reviewing measurements and data products to determine what should be done continuously and what may be more appropriate on an episodic basis. The committee has also asked for a clearer structure for communication between a campaign’s science team and ARM operations staff as well as fewer campaigns with more time and resources to provide ample time for campaign preparation.

It’s All About Users

With regard to uncertainty quantification, the UEC has suggested that mentors and translators estimate random and systematic errors in each of the observations under their purview and make this information available through a database of these values. The committee also suggested that instrument handbooks include discussion of errors of various types.

Improvements in communications will center on the redesigned ARM website and closely coupling it with the ARM Data Archive Data Discovery Browser. A richer, more immediate user experience should be the result.

Changing of the Guard

At the beginning of fiscal year 2017 in early October, elections were held for six new UEC candidates, who will begin serving their terms in January. For the first time, an early career member will be included. As half the membership was up for re-election and a new type of representative was added, the Committee exemplifies both continuity and change.