A Community Approach to the Development and Applications of Environmental Decision Support Systems

Adel Hanna

The Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) center was established in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2001 to leverage the air quality modeling community’s knowledge with regard to air quality modeling and analyses in order to support policy maker decisions on air pollution control and regulation. CMAS center is hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. CMAS oversees the development, maintenance, training and support of publicly available and scientifically sound air quality modeling systems, as tools for decision support that are flexible and user-friendly. Building upon the one-atmosphere concept, the modeling systems are multi-scale, multi-pollutant with detailed descriptions of atmospheric processes. The modeling systems are used to simulate ambient air concentrations of pollutants such as ozone, particulate matter, and toxic air pollutants. We will introduce highlights of CMAS with particular emphasis on topics that are relevant to NCEP and WRF development. Among those are the use of satellite data for model evaluation; possible deployment of WRF-MM into various computational platforms, evaluations and model inter-comparisons, outreach to international and local community; and training. CMAS has a broad spectrum of users both national and international. Those include users from academic institutions, federal and state governments, private sector, Regional Program Offices (RPOs) and environmental consulting groups.