ACCESS Workshop 2023


UCAR’s COSMIC Program Office and AER are jointly organizing a workshop to introduce new and advanced-career scientists to research using cloud computing. The workshop will be held in Boulder, Colorado, at the NCAR Mesa Lab, from August 15–18, 2023. Cloud computing — in particular Amazon Web Services — will be introduced in the context of research using GNSS radio occultation data. Participants will spend a substantial amount of time in hands-on coding.


GNSS radio occultation (RO) data have recently been made available for free access and download in the Registry of Open Data of Amazon Web Services. RO research can now be easily performed by researchers anywhere in the world without the usual constraints of storage, bandwidth, and an inability to query and subset data. Any user can leverage this new service to great effect using cloud computing, but cloud computing remains elusive and obscure to many in the atmospheric research community. The goal of this workshop is to immerse beginners into cloud computing by way of simple but representative research exercises using the AWS repository of RO data.


The workshop will present four hands-on tutorial exercises. The first exercise will be querying, sub-setting, analyzing, and mapping distributions of RO soundings. The second will be an inter-comparison of RO retrieved profiles as produced by two independent processing centers. The third will be a full data assimilation experiment with FV3-JEDI using RO data along with nadir radiance sounder and standard in situ data. The fourth will be an atmospheric process study, namely analysis of the depth of the planetary boundary layer.

Expected Outcomes

Participants will gain exposure to the extraordinary opportunities and capabilities offered by cloud computing, enabling them to undertake research that was previously possible only by affiliation with major research or numerical weather prediction institutions. Upon their return home, they will be able to work with cloud computing IT specialists to configure cloud accounts and begin to work with cloud computing services to engage in research, even without access to large computing facilities at their home institutions.

Pre-Requisites and Registration

Familiarity with Python and Jupyter notebooks are desirable prerequisites. This includes familiarity with the Python packages matplotlib, numpy, scipy, and a package that handles NetCDF, such as netCDF4, xarray, or pandas. Users can register for the workshop here. There will be a registration fee of $110 to cover lunch for 4 days, refreshments, and an evening reception. A workshop agenda will be posted soon.

Workshop Agenda and Virtual Meeting Link

The workshop agenda is available here.

Remote attendees may join via Zoom using passcode #Nasa123.

Workshop Contents

The workshop contents are available here.

Workshop Committee and Presenters

Stephen Leroy and Amy McVey (AER); Jan-Peter Weiss and Hailing Zhang (UCAR); Kuo-Nung Wang and Chi Ao (JPL, Caltech).


The workshop is sponsored in part by the NASA Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS) 2019 Program and Amazon Web Services ®.