NCAS-M Data Management

Overview and Data Submission

NCAS-M is committed to NOAA’s data management plan ( All NCAS-M participants are research institutions in which a vast data are collected or produced (see NCAS-M Environmental Observations and Data Elements Table). To ensure that these large quantity of data, and data products in which without proper care can be lost, or worse, it can be store with dubious quality, we designed this data management plan. For instance, without proper storage and indexation, investigators would not know the existence or access of a particular data set. 

Data Sharing Plan 

NCAS-M data is freely available upon request. Persons requesting data are asked to inform the appropriate NCAS-M scientist(s) in writing (or e-mail) by indicating, in the metadata, how the data will be used including any publication plans. Persons requesting data are advised to contact the investigator to download the latest revision of the data. Data requestors are asked to acknowledge the data source as a citation or in the acknowledgments. To ensure the accuracy, reliability, and integrity of the NCAS-M information service, NCAS-M does not permit redistribution of our research data products through 3rd parties.

If the Principal Investigators (PIs) feel they should be acknowledged or offered participation as authors, they will inform the data requester. An agreement on this matter will be reached before publishing and/or the use of the data for publication. If the work directly competes with the PI’s analysis they may ask to submit their manuscript first. In addition, data requestors will be asked to acknowledge the agency that supported the research. All papers published using NCAS-M data should be submitted as reprints to the data archive at the NCAS-M web page.

Thus, environmental data generated, calculated, or produced that have been financed by NCAS-M is made available to the general public within two years of their collection and/or production, according to NOAA’s Administrative Order on the Management of Environmental Data Management.  Each individual institution is responsible to identify and for the submission of the data products within the required time.  Each PI should report if a specific NOAA funded dataset has some restrictions such as ethical, privacy, intellectual property, and copyright issues. NCAS-M identified three types of data from its participant institutions: direct observation, derived data from observations, and model outputs.  A dedicated computer hosts a web page for data display and archiving.

Data Description and Metadata

Data sets have defined descriptive file names, formats, units of measurements, and stable formats (e.g., ascii, netcdf).  For a new dataset submitted, a metadata will be generated.  This metadata file consists of relevant information, such as:

  • Data description, data type. Type of data (observation, derived, model outputs).
  • Origin:  Instrument’s) manufacturer(s) and model(s), model name.
  • Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) descriptions for observation and derived data.
  • Formulas & corrections made (Derived data) *
  • General formulation/Parameterization/Reference and modules used (Models). **
  • Data format (avoid proprietary formats that might not be readable in the future ***)
  • Contact person and/or acknowledgements.
  • References

(*) Source codes for derived data should be submitted (e.g. Fortran, matlab codes).

(**) If the data refers to a “custom” numerical model, the source code should be submitted.  (***) If the data format is binary, or it has proprietary formats, programs and codes to retrieve such data have to be provided.

Storage and Data Divulgation

NCAS-M has a dedicated computer for data storage at the Howard University D.C. campus.   A data manager has been assigned to supervise data submission. Researchers are able to upload and access the data stored there. To upload the data, a form must be filled in the web page to generate the metadata file. It will also have an anonymous account where anyone can download any summary data, such as 30 minute or hourly averages. Raw data and data that has a large size is available upon request. This dedicated computer also hosts the NCAS-M web page, where:

  • Online metadata form for data submission
  • Data policy sharing
  • Summary of data sets.
  • Data availability/Graphical data.
  • Metadata pages
  • Articles references (if possible a download link), and student thesis for display and download.

NCAS-M Environmental Observations and Data Elements

Institution Data Type
Jackson State University Air quality model output
Barnet Reservoir: Surface fluxes, Surface meteorology (fixed and mobile), Radiosonde, Ceilometer
Howard University Aerose Campaigns: Surface Aerosol, Surface Air gases, Surface Meteorology, Surface Radiation, Ceilometer, Radiosonde/Ozonesonde
Beltsville Monitoring Site: Surface Aerosol, Surface Air gases, Surface Meteorology/Micrometeorology, Surface Radiation, Ceilometer, Radiosondes/Ozonesondes/CFH, Raman Lidar, Microwave Radiometer
University at Albany, SUNYNew York State Mesonet: 125 standard sites with weather/meteorology station plus radiation, soil moisture and temperature (3 levels) 17 enhanced sites
Profiling microwave radiometer (Temp. and RH profiles), 3D scan Doppler lidar (wind and aerosol profiles), Sky imager and radiometer, Flux tower
University of Maryland, College Park CWRF Downscaling Model outputs: CFS seasonal-climate prediction, CMIP5 climate change projection, Extreme weather events
University of Puerto, Mayaguez Water Quality
University of Texas at El Paso Ceilometer
University of Maryland Baltimore County Ceilometer
Microwave Radiometer
Lidar Network (aerosol, PBL)
Doppler Lidar Wind profiles
San Jose State UniversitySurface weather station
Ozone, Monitor Labs 9800 series analyzer
LGR GHG Analyzer: CO2, CO, CH4, H2O
Ecotech Ozone Analyzer
Ecotech 2-wavelength Nephelometer