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Earth Month is celebrated throughout the month of April every year, and provides ample opportunity to demonstrate support for environmental protection. RIVA is a steadfast advocate of environmental protection and sustainability. Recently we organized a park cleanup of the Potomac Overlook Regional Park as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility program, RIVAKarma, which has been supporting local and nationwide charities and initiatives for the past 12 years.

In addition to RIVAKarma one of our key contracts involves partnership with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA, plays a crucial role in documenting and responding to various environmental changes and conservation efforts. As proud NOAA  partners for the past 29 years,  RIVA has a team of exceptional people on the ground at NOAA sites across the nation who create innovative solutions blending science and technology. Get to know three of our NOAA all-star teammates: Tyler Gorman, Paul Black, and Heng Gu.

Tyler Gorman 

Tyler is the program manager for NOAA Systems Engineering and Technical Services (SETS). He manages a team of engineers tasked with providing program management support, system engineering support, and technical support for the development and sustainment of the Environmental Satellite Processing and Distribution Services (ESPDS) for NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS).

Get to know Tyler>> 

Have you worked on any past projects that have had a positive impact upon the environment? 

I was the lead Certifier and Auditor for all of NESDIS’s annual Security Control Assessments and Penetration Testing for five years.  Through my team’s work, we strengthened the security posture of our nations’ weather satellite systems, which is relied upon for scientific research and lifesaving early warning systems worldwide.

How does your current program/contract make any positive impacts upon the environment? 

ESPDS plays a vital role in producing environmental products and parameters such as vertical atmospheric measurements (soundings), low-level wind vectors, and sea-surface temperatures. The final products are various types of weather data, including sea-surface temperature, ocean surface winds, ocean color, rain rate, total precipitable water, cloud liquid water, falling snow, snow cover, snow water equivalent, sea ice concentration, ice water path, emissivity, and land surface temperature. Each level of data has several data structures associated with it. These products and parameters are critical inputs to the National Weather Service (NWS) analyses and forecast models. ESPDS data provides vital support for predicting weather-related disasters. ESPDS products are also used to support protection, restoration, and sustainable use of coastal and oceanic ecosystems.

The ESPDS system provides enterprise services in support of product generation, data distribution, and transmission. ESPDS consists of Product Distribution and Access (PDA/Advance Data Retrieval System (ADRS), High-Rate Information Transmission (HRIT)/Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN), National Polar-orbiting Partnership Data Exploitation (NDE 2.0), and is a FISMA High government-owned Major Application.

Heng Gu 

Heng is a  program manager and senior scientist of NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch. He leads the CoastWatch/OceanWatch contract team who generate and distribute satellite ocean products, in-situ data and model data to NOAA internal and public users. They currently generate and distribute over 100TB of data products from 20 plus US and international environmental satellites each day, the products include all common oceanographic parameters, i.e. ocean color, sea surface temperature, sea surface wind, sea level anomaly, sea ice, sea surface salinity.

Get to know Heng>> 

What projects have you worked on that had a positive impact upon the environment? 

The satellite ocean products that we generate and distribute are used for understanding, managing and protecting ocean and coastal resources and for assessing impacts of environmental change in ecosystems, weather, and climate.  For example, we have been generating MODIS/VIIRS chlorophyll anomaly products for NOAA Gulf of Mexico and Southern Florida coast Harmful Algae Bloom (HAB) forecast. We also generate satellite turbidity products for Chesapeake Bay water quality monitoring.

Paul Black 

Paul is a Chief Systems Engineer & Deputy Program Manager for NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) and Systems Engineering and Technical Services (SETS). His goal is to empower our team’s Environmental Satellite Processing and Distribution System (ESPDS) Program Management Office (PMO), engineering and project management resources while providing progressive Subject Matter Expert support to team members for individual program/professional growth. Additionally, he collaborates with NOAA division chiefs, organizational directors and satellite program stakeholders to provide decision analysis and resolution, cost, schedule/and analysis, perform project risks and mitigations, and generate recommendations.

Get to know Paul>> 

Have you worked on any past projects that have had a positive impact upon the environment?  

The completion of the NOAA Project Management Office and Engineering Management Services (POEMS) contract meant our team finalized the Product Distribution and Access (PDA) system into its full on-premise operational capacity. This development required the product generation capability for NOAA Data Exploitation (NDE) 2.0, Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), and other research to integrate additional program stakeholder satellite missions. We were responsible for the execution of development, installation, configuration, testing, transition, and delivery of all hardware and software that comprised the Environmental Satellite Processing and Distribution System (ESPDS) OPS, Consolidated Back-Up (CBU), Integration & Test (I&T), and Development (DEV) environments in support of ESPDS ingest, product generation, and product distribution functions. This ultimately led to the finalization of the memorandum of formal acceptance in June of 2020 between Office of Satellite Ground Services (OSGS) and the Office of Satellite and Product Operations’ (OSPO) of ESPDS into operations. This milestone was the official completion of the development for the United States Government’s next-generation high level product weather system and a huge win for Team RIVA.

How does your current program/contract make any positive impacts upon the environment?

On the SETS task, the ESPDS Program’s Product Generation (PG) Integrated Product Team (IPT) is responsible for the continuous development, testing, integration, successful deployment of NOAA’s NDE Delivered Algorithm Packages (DAP) products. Government, commercial, and research institutions and organizations use these products as input for numerical weather prediction models, weather and water observations, fishery management, detection of harmful weather patterns, and other environmental monitoring applications. NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) manages an archive of these products received via the Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS) interface with ESPDS.  

Among those products is the Active Fires (AF) product, which is based on the detection and analysis of the radiative signature of natural or anthropogenic surface fires as received by the sensor. The product is able to highly detect fires through outputs of the geolocation and Fire Radiative Power (FRP) of pixels. Early detection is achieved through the use of a two-dimensional array of values representing the fire and other relevant thematic classes such as the clouds. If this product does not exist, fire-related disaster, resource management, and smoke emission monitoring/forecasting is not possible. This product was an essential direct resource for our country across the board as our west coast was hit hard by the forest fires of 2020.  

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