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Planning an iEMSs conference: a to-do list by Dan Ames

Dan Ames is the co-convenor of iEMSs 2014 together with Nigel Quinn and he’s sharing with us some of his experience in getting things done. This is an excerpt from a mail he wrote to the organisers of iEMSs 2016. I am publishing it here for future reference.

Andrea

 

0) You and a very small group form the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) now. For example, in my case it was me and Nigel and Andrea. (3 people only to keep it simple)

 
1) You should have your hotel and conference and events venues booked now!
 
2) LOC should create a rough draft schedule for the conference now. You should also create a web site now with all the information about the conference. This is important to do AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! 
 
3) By June 1, LOC should release a “Call for Sessions and Workshops”. Send this to the iEMSs board and members mailing list. Set a one month deadline. Attached is our Call for Sessions and Workshops from last year. You can revise it as you see fit. Please feel free to include me and Andrea in these revisions if it helps you.
 
4) Collect the proposed sessions and workshops and select the ones you want to include in the conference. We chose 39 sessions and workshops. Be careful which ones you choose. Some people will propose a workshop or a session but will do no work! I can give you some warnings.
 
5) The people who proposed the sessions and workshops are your “Scientific Committee”. Make a group mailing list and email them and let them know they are your committee now. Remind them that they are responsible for conducting the abstract and paper reviews for their session. Remind them of the difference between a workshop and a session (see the attached document)
 
6) On October 1 release the Call for Abstracts. This should list all of the sessions and people must specify which session when they submit their abstract.  Give one month for abstracts. Send lots of email to lots of mailing lists to get the abstracts.
 
7) In November, the scientific committee must choose the abstracts to invite for full papers. Really there are three choices for each abstract: Invite for Full Paper and Oral Presentation; Invite for Oral Presentation Only; Invite for Poster Only. (Also REJECT is an option – But we don’t reject many.)
 
8) In December notify all of the Abstract authors of the result (Full Paper + Oral Presentation; or Oral Presentation Only: or Poster Only; or REJECT). Send a COMMITMENT FORM. They must sign and return the commitment form that says that they agree with the result and they will come to the conference and give the Oral Presentation (or the Poster).
 
9) Now contact all of the people who were selected for full papers. Give them a deadline to submit the full paper. Perhaps Jan 31. 
 
10) Next the Scientific committee must review all the papers. Remember, they were ALREADY Accepted. So now the reviewers must simply work with the authors through a review process to make the papers of the highest quality possible. The review process for papers is not “Accept/Reject” it is “Improve, improve, improve”. 
 
11) Next, in February, you can organize the detailed schedule and post it online. People need to see the detailed schedule so that they can buy their airplane tickets, etc.
 
12) In Oct-Dec of this year, you should find your key note speakers. That is for the LOC to decide. You can invite the Scientific Committee for recommendations.
 
13) In March you can post the final schedule with all key note speakers, etc.You can also start emailing people to register for the conference. You will have to send lots of emails to different mailing lists to get people to start registering. 
 
14) In April – June you will update your conference venue people about number of people for food, etc. 
 
15) In July is the conference!

Research position on multidisciplinary water and environmental engineering at the University of Bristol, UK

The Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol (UK) is looking to appoint an exceptional individual to enhance its strength in multidisciplinary water and environmental engineering (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/jobs/). This position is part of an expanding water research community in both the department and across the University. We seek a candidate with international leadership potential in the broader field of water resources to complement existing strengths in water and environmental engineering. Candidates with expertise in integrated water resource management; water resources systems analysis and groundwater modelling are especially welcome. You will be expected to contribute to research, knowledge transfer and teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 

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Holger Maier talks about evolutionary algorithms and other metaheuristics in water resources: a video presentation

Following up the recent publication of the EMS Position Paper Evolutionary algorithms and other metaheuristics in water resources: Current status, research challenges and future directions Holger Maier has delivered a seminar which you can watch on Vimeo. This is the firs of hopefully many other video seminars that MSSANZ and the iEMSs hope to be able to bring to you.

 

US EPA is looking for a computer scientist/engineer

 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research & Development (ORD), National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL), Ecosystems Research Division (ERD), Athens, Georgia, is in need of a computer scientist/engineer and have begun advertising for the position. 

 

Duties include serving as a software engineer/scientist within a multi-disciplinary team designing software systems; developing integrated computer systems using computer software concepts; serving as an expert in matters of system architecture, computer languages, implementation hardware issues, and technologies for model distribution and documentation via web sites; and evaluating, developing, and designing real-time control systems and related software applications using computer languages, hardware, and software development tools, and computer industry practices.

 

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Input Variable Selection for Environmental Modelling: we need your contributions

Dear iEMSs members,

A group of iEMSs members has just launched a new initiative called IVS4EM (Input Variable Selection for Environmental Modelling), the aim of which is to support a comprehensive and open framework for the testing and evaluation of IVS algorithms, through the sharing of algorithms (open source code), datasets, and evaluation criteria. 

There is a dedicated website, where we have already uploaded 4 IVS algorithms, 26 datasets, and several evaluation metrics. There is also a link where anyone interested can share their own tools and data. Finally, a paper on the initiative has also just been published in EMS:

Galelli S., Humphrey G.B., Maier H.R., Castelletti A., Dandy G.C. and Gibbs M.S. An evaluation framework for input variable selection algorithms for environmental data-driven models, Environmental Modelling and Software, 62, 33-51, DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.08.015.

We hope to receive many contributions. 

 

Innovative Techniques for Quantitative Scenarios in Energy and Environmental Research

Call For PapersInnovative Techniques for Quantitative Scenarios in Energy and Environmental Research

We are launching a new Thematic Issue of the Environmental Modelling & Software journal. The guest editors are: 

  • Celine Guivarch (CIRED, France) 
  • Evelina Trutnevyte (UCL Energy Institute, UK & ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Robert Lempert (RAND Corporation, USA)

They will also be assisted and guided by one of the Editors of EM&S, namely Alexey Voinov.

Quantitative scenarios form the core of the future analysis in energy, climate and environmental research. A growing number of researchers worldwide have started using innovative techniques for developing, analyzing and choosing quantitative scenarios. Some of these techniques involve a large number of scenarios. Different rationales motivate these researchers: better system understanding, uncertainty analysis, development of robust strategies, selection of a small set of scenarios, ability to link storylines with quantitative scenarios. These techniques are tools to provide both novel research insights and policy- relevant scenario exercises. In this light, this TI aims to synthesize the state-of- the-art research with innovative techniques for quantitative scenarios, gather these state-of-the-art techniques into a toolbox, identify knowledge gaps and draw avenues for future research.

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iEMSs 2018 – Call for hosting

The next iEMSs conference will be held in Toulouse, July 2016. The conference location was selected after a long evaluation process, where different candidate locations competed to host iEMSs 2016.

We are now looking for a city to host iEMSs 2018, and the bidding process is open. The whole procedure is explained in detail in the link document: iEMSs 2018 – call for hosting 

The iEMSs Conference Committee, chaired by our VP Dan Ames,  is in charge of evaluating the bids and to make a decision. 

Featured Article: Benefits and requirements of grid computing for climate applications. An example with the community atmospheric model

Benefits and requirements of grid computing for climate applications. An example with the community atmospheric model

V. Fernández-Quiruelasa, , J. Fernándeza, A.S. Cofiñoa, L. Fitaa, J.M. Gutiérrezb

DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.03.006

Abstract

Grid computing is nowadays an established technology in fields such as High Energy Physics and Biomedicine, offering an alternative to traditional HPC for several problems; however, it is still an emerging discipline for the climate community and only a few climate applications have been adapted to the Grid to solve particular problems. In this paper we present an up-to-date description of the advantages and limitations of the Grid for climate applications (in particular global circulation models), analyzing the requirements and the new challenges posed to the Grid. In particular, we focus on production-like problems such as sensitivity analysis or ensemble prediction, where a single model is run several times with different parameters, forcing and/or initial conditions. As an illustrative example, we consider the Community Atmospheric Model (CAM) and analyze the advantages and shortcomings of the Grid to perform a sensitivity study of precipitation with SST perturbations in El Niño area, reporting the results obtained with traditional (local cluster) and Grid infrastructures. We conclude that new specific middleware (execution workflow managers) is needed to meet the particular requirements of climate applications (long simulations, checkpointing, etc.). This requires the side-by-side collaboration of IT and climate groups to deploy fully ported applications, such as the CAM for Grid (CAM4G) introduced in this paper.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364815211000818

Featured Article on EMS: The Netherlands Hydrological Instrument

A new Featured Article has been published on Environmental Modelling & Software. The full title is:

An operational, multi-scale, multi-model system for consensus-based, integrated water management and policy analysis: The Netherlands Hydrological Instrument

and it is authored by Willem De Lange et al.

The paper is available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364815214001406

All featured articles are available here: http://www.iemss.org/society/index.php/featured-articles

New Impact Factor for Environmental Modelling & Software is out

Thomson Reuters has released the Impact Factors for all Journals for 2013. Environmental Modelling & Software has gone up from 3.476 (2012) to 4.538 (2013). It is an impressive result, but it has to be put in the larger context of a general increasing trend for all IFs. In any case, this is clear sign that authors value the quality of the papers appearing on the journal and the iEMSs community is definitely contributing to the success of the journal Environmental Modelling & Software

Elsevier’s press release is available here: http://goo.gl/Veuftm