GEM 2003 Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

June 27, 2003

Snowmass, CO



Friday June 27, 2003, 4 – 9 pm



Anthony Chan, Bob Strangeway, Brian Fraser (Australia), Christopher Russell, Dennis Gallagher, Ennio Sanchez, Eric Donovan (Canada), Frank Toffoletto (Workshop Coordinator), Gang Lu, Hideaki Kawano (Japan), Howard Singer (NOAA), Jimmy Raeder, Joachim Birn, Kile Baker (NSF), Larry Lyons, Mary K. Hudson, Mike Liehmohn (for Aaron Ridley), Peter Chi (for Mark Moldwin), Volodya Papitashvili (NSF), Jeff Hughes, Xochitl Blanco-Cano (Mexico), Yongli Wang (Student Rep.)


1.         Future workshop plans– Frank Toffoletto


The Fall 2003 AGU mini-workshop will meet in San Francisco on the Sunday before the fall AGU (Dec 7) followed by an evening steering committee meeting.


The Summer 2004 meeting will be in Snowmass the week of June 20-25.  SHINE is considering meeting in Snowmass at around the same time and have a tentative reservation with the Silvertree.  Future workshops will have a substantial reduction in the time allocated to traditional agency reports. The NSF agency report will be presented and other agencies will be given the opportunity to provide a viewgraph to that presentation that contains information relevant to the GEM community. Since CEDAR 2004 is to be held on the week of the 27th, the MI-coupling campaign sessions at GEM will be scheduled for the end of the week. Chris Russell, as the GEM representative for SHINE, reported on tentative plans for joint GEM-SHINE meetings in 2004. At least 2 of the new inner magnetosphere campaign events, May 1997 and April 2002, are also of interest to SHINE. Possible topics of joint interest are geoeffective solar magnetic structures of various size scales and killer electrons.


The summer 2005 meeting will be a joint meeting with CEDAR to be held in Santa Fe, NM during the week of June 27– July 1.  There was a suggestion that the CEDAR and GEM steering committee should perhaps meet in December to discuss logistics.


No decision for the location and dates for the 2006 meeting has yet been made.  The possibility of going back to Snowmass was considered.


2.         NSF report


Kile Baker pointed out that continued cooperation with CEDAR and SHINE is encouraged by NSF. Volodya Papitashvili requested that future GEM workshops have sessions or a tutorial related to the polar programs. He also mentioned that the office of polar programs will have 1-2 3-year postdoctoral positions available in magnetospheric physics. An announcement should come out during the next cycle of competition for 2004. Kile Baker mentioned that the CEDAR steering committee would like postdoc proposals to be due in January or February.


The ITR program will be replaced by ‘cyber-infrastructure’ with a reduced emphasis on cutting-edge computer science. The precise definition of this new program is still being developed.


4.         NOAA report


Howard Singer reported that there is an NRC opportunity in January at NOAA/SEC.  Space Weather Week will be April 13-16, 2004.


5.         Campaign reports – Coordinators


Anthony Chan reported for the IM/S campaign.  This year the campaign added a new working group (ULF waves).  The 2003 IM/S workshop consisted of 3 tutorials and 14 sessions. Planning for the end of the campaign has begun as well as continuing the science goals.  There are a couple of areas that they would like to continue work on, namely further defining the relation of the IM/S campaign to the GGCM and firming up plans to formulate a challenge.  Those topics will be discussed at the fall workshop. They would also like to work closely on the plasma sheet with the new campaign. IM/S plans to run for 2 more full years.


Jeff Hughes reported for the MIC campaign. They would also like to formulate a challenge.  The goal of the campaign is to validate the current state of models and develop an MIC module for the GGCM.  Discussion during this meeting led to the identification of some candidate events with a final selection of events to be made during the fall workshop.


Larry Lyons reported for the Tail/Substorm campaign. It was found that the there are several different types of important plasma sheet/auroral zone disturbance, not only substorms.  Each type was found to be a distinct type of disturbance and each reflect fundamentally different dynamical processes within the magnetosphere-ionosphere system.  This represented a major breakthrough in our understanding. Much was learned about each type of disturbance, though much remains to be understood. The SMC campaign is relatively new and may continue existence as part of another campaign.  It may have 2 sessions in 2004 as part of IM/S.


Jimmy Reader reported for the GGCM campaign.  There were 2 tutorials this year, one from Ray Roble on his thermosphere modeling work and the other tutorial by Ludger Scherliess on data assimilation. New session topics included: data assimilation and the deficiencies of MHD. There was some discussion as to the role the of GGCM in light of recent developments in the field such as the CCMC, CISM and the Michigan effort (CSEM). It was pointed out that GGCM should redefine itself and establish its relationship to other campaigns and to the modeling centers.  A strategy meeting, to better formulate the CCGM campaign, will be held at Dartmouth sometime in the fall by a GGCM task force.


Chris Russell reported for the proposed new campaign, Solar Wind Interactions with the Magnetosphere (SWIM). The focus of this campaign would be move from the inner magnetosphere out to the solar wind interactions magnetosphere interaction region. He pointed out that this new campaign would attract new people to GEM and its utility would be that it would help in the understanding of the physics of the interactions at the outer boundary. The campaign would be divided into 2 workshops, one concentrating on a more global view and the other looking at the details of the interactions.


A proposed alternative campaign was presented by Joachim Birn on Geospace Transport (GT). This campaign would focus on physical processes that effect the plasma sheet such as transport, sources, and sinks. He pointed out that this campaign seeks to put more physics into our understanding so that we can go beyond the traditional MHD approach, identify and verify what is missing, and use the insight gained to develop new modules for the GGCM.


There was lengthy discussion of the various strengths and weaknesses of the 2 proposed campaigns focusing on their timeliness and relevance  and on the relation of the proposed campaigns to previous ones. In the end, the general consensus was that neither campaign is well enough defined at this point. It was felt that since GGCM is both unfinished and not well defined some effort should be given to get it under control before the new campaign is identified. It is likely that once a new campaign is eventually accepted it will take another couple of years to fully define it. It was decided that key people recruited from both proposed campaigns be asked to form a joint task force to define a new hybrid campaign. Several names were identified for this task force.


6.         International liaison reports


Brian Fraser reported on activities in Australia.  He reported on the successful launch of the FedSat satellite on Dec 14 in an 800 km polar obit. The satellite magnetometer has a sample rate of 10 samples/sec with a burst mode of 40 samples/sec.  Other experiments include a GPS for TEC measurements. It is expected FedSat will have a 2 year lifetime. He also reported that the AFOSR has provided funding for a TIGER radar in New Zealand to complement the currently operating radar in Tasmania.  It is hoped that this new radar will be operational in the next few years. A proposal has been submitted to host the IUGG general assembly in Melbourne in 2007 [Postscript: In June, the Council selected Perugia, Italy, as the site of the 2007 IUGG general assembly].


  Xochitl Blanco-Cano reported on activities in Mexico.  She indicated that

   there are not many people in Mexico who could fit under the GEM umbrella

   and that  there is a stronger connection to SHINE.


  Hideaki Kawano from Japan reported that Akebono has been in operation for   

14  years and that Geotail is still healthy and that the data is available from CDAWweb. ISAS will be merged with NASDA but the role and personnel of ISAS will not change.


Eric Donovan, representing Canada, described the Canadian geospace monitoring program ( that consists of several elements including: CANOPUS, CANMOS, the Canadian portion of SUPERDARN, CADI, and the F10.7 monitoring system. He also described the Canadian ground station contribution to the proposed THEMIS program as well as the proposed Ravens satellites.


7.         Student Report


Yongli Wang reported on the activities of the GEM students.  This year 55 students attended the meeting.  As in previous year, the students held tutorials on the Sunday before the meeting consisting of 4 sessions. This year the students filled out evaluations of the tutorials which will provide valuable feedback to the speakers. They also helped out in running the regular GEM sessions. The new student representative for 2004 is Michelle Reno of the University of Michigan.


8.         GEM communications


Chris Russell reported on the status of GEM communication.  He urged that people be added to the mailing list for the GEM Messenger or for the timely reports from the campaign coordinators after the GEM meeting. As in the past, tutorials for this year will be placed on web.


The meeting adjourned ~8:30 PM.


Minutes as recorded by Frank Toffoletto, GEM meeting coordinator, 9/10/03.