It is a great honor for me to have been selected as the new Director of Data Services for IRIS. It is not often that one is given the opportunity to take over a well-managed world-renowned facility with a fantastic staff, and credit is due to Tim Ahern whose vision and management built the Data Management Center (DMC) into what it is today. Tim is owed a debt of gratitude that is impossible to overestimate, not only for his DMC accomplishments, but also for his contributions to IRIS as an organization. I am humbled.
So, who is this new Director of Data Services? My career has largely been devoted to nuclear test ban issues, first as a researcher and later managing teams of scientists and engineers working to remove the technical hurdles to a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). My first data center experiences trace back to the 1980’s at the Center for Seismic Studies, which later became the Center for Monitoring Research. Building and improving systems to collect, validate, archive, curate, process and distribute seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasonic and radionuclide data and products was our mission and these experiences led me to a position in Vienna at the CTBTO Preparatory Commission where I served for almost a dozen years as a senior staff member and management team member of the International Data Centre (IDC) division. During that time I contributed to the strategic planning of the IDC; worked with the Member States (184 have signed the CTBT to date) to develop technically sound operational manuals for the IDC; led the effort to advance the progressive commissioning of the IDC and International Monitoring System (IMS) division (which installs the stations and communications systems that provide the data to the IDC); spearheaded performance monitoring and testing to improve the quality of data, products and services; and managed technical training for station operators and National Data Centre staff (among other duties and responsibilities such as reviewing budgets and managing projects).
I am delighted to bring my experience to the DMC and look forward to the challenges ahead. Building upon the solid foundation of the Data Services directorate and with the expertise of the DMC staff, I am confident that these challenges will be met and that the DMC will not only continue its legacy as a world-class provider of services for seismology and related sciences, but also build upon it.
by Jerry Carter (IRIS)