Report: 2023 ACCESS Community Workshop

November 22, 2023

The 2023 ACCESS Community Workshop was held over 5-6 September 2023 online and in Canberra, ACT on Ngunnawal and Ngambri country.

Download the full Report

The workshop aims were to:

  • Bring together people across the ACCESS community to present and discuss current and emerging topics (both technical and scientific)
  • Provide updates on ACCESS-NRI activities and plan
  • Support the community Working Groups and foster new and existing community-wide collaborations
  • Provide a forum for community feedback on ACCESS-NRI activities and priorities
  • Deliver training on ACCESS-related software, data, and tools

ACCESS-NRI also hosted several related pre- and post-workshop events. The week kicked off with ACCESS-NRI’s first user training day (4 September) and concluded with 6 Community Working Group workshops held over 7-8 September.

We had 190 registrations for the workshop (120 in person, 70 virtual) from Australian universities, National scientific organisations, Government representatives, International universities and scientific institutions. The pre- and post-workshop events included 59 registered attendees for the training day and 222 (141 in-person, 81 virtual) for the Community Working Group workshops.

The workshop included 15 science and technical talks, 22 lightning presentations and 50 posters from the ACCESS community as well as 3 invited keynote speakers.


Program and links to the recorded sessions

Day 1 of the workshop focused on Updates across the community (science, technical, and infrastructure.

Bob Hallberg (NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Princeton University) opened the workshop with his keynote talk on “NOAA’s Interconnected Suite of MOM6-based Coupled Models for Research, Climate Projections and Operational Forecasts” followed by a session of invited science talks from each of the ACCESS Community Working Groups (WGs).

The day also included presentations on NCI, ACCESS-NRI, ARC Centre of Excellence for the Weather of the 21st Century and CMIP7 updates as well as lightning and poster presentations. As part of the lightning talks session, the community WGs provided updates on current work, interests and priorities. Colin Jones (UK Met Office) closed Day 1 with his keynote presentation on “Initial plans in the UK for CMIP7 and the physical (HadGEM3) and Earth system (UKESM2) models intended for CMIP7”.

Day 2 focused on Gaps and future challenges with Isla Simpson (UCAR) opening with her keynote talk on “A global discrepancy in atmospheric water vapor trends between models and observations.” The session continued with ACCESS science talks on machine learning, high-resolution modelling, paleoclimate and planning for an ACCESS CMIP7 submissions.

Breakout sessions were the focus for the remainder of Day 2 and included 6 discussion topics:

  1. Next ACCESS models (including CMIP7)
  2. ACCESS Model Evaluation – forecasting/high-resolution modelling focus
  3. Machine learning and new techniques
  4. ACCESS Model Evaluation – climate models focus
  5. High-resolution modelling (including regional/coastal modelling)
  6. Paleoclimate and ice sheet modelling

The topics were selected to bring together people with shared interests across the diverse community. The discussion included sharing the status of current work, capturing future ACCESS community needs and identifying areas in need of support. Detailed summaries of the individual discussion groups can be found in the Appendix 2.

The workshop closed with the presentation of the best poster awards, which attendees voted on through the online poster gallery. They winners included:


A major focus of the 2023 workshop was continued community building and support for the community Working Groups (WGs). The opening invited science talks from each WG helped showcase ACCESS science across the community. After a busy year of recruitment and establishment, the workshop also provided an opportunity for ACCESS-NRI to present highlights of work ramping up across the teams and to receive community feedback. In addition to the Director’s update, ACCESS-NRI had 17 presentations (2 talks, 6 lightning and 9 posters).

Breakout sessions included constructive discussion on cross-cutting community topics. In the case of the Next ACCESS models breakout group, the timing of the workshop allowed the community to provide feedback on the proposed development pathways for an ACCESS CMIP7 submission. For many of the other groups, the breakouts raised awareness of shared areas of interest, current work occurring across the community and areas for future collaboration. The breakout discussions also captured current and future science and infrastructure requirements, including where ACCESS-NRI can provide support.

Priority areas included:

  • CMIP7
    • Model development for ACCESS contribution to CMIP7
    • CMIP7 champion in each of the ACCESS-NRI working groups
    • ESMValTool support
      • Webinar training
      • Integration of new agreed-upon metrics to support CMIP7 model development
  • Model development
    • Potential for a set of idealised experiments
    • Ability to customise regional and/or nested models
    • Improving software tools for ancillary files and working with restart files
    • Coupling of ice sheets into ACCESS
  • Model evaluation and data management
    • Develop an evaluation framework for regional models
    • Curate, store, and manage reference datasets to support released experiments, model evaluation and machine learning (e.g., observations, reanalyses)
    • Data wrangling and post-processing tools – including output sharing

The workshop received very positive feedback with 99% of survey responses[1] finding this year’s workshop valuable and 95% reporting that the workshop aims were met. The most valuable aspects reported included bringing people together and learning about the latest developments across the diverse community. Collaboration, networking and the range of science and technical talks, including the international keynote speakers, were also commonly noted favourably in the responses. We also received many helpful suggestions that will help improve future workshops, including the online/hybrid experience, venue requirements, program timing and the balance of session types. Planning for the 2024 workshop is already underway and the ACCESS-NRI team looks forward to working with the community and incorporating this feedback into next year’s event.


Thank you to our partners, ACCESS-NRI team and members of the ACCESS community for their contributions throughout the workshop and related events. We also thank the Program Committee (Natalia Bateman, Claire Carouge, Edward Doddridge, Kelsey Druken, Nathan Eizenberg, Ben Evans, Ian Harman, Yi Huang, Debbie Hudson, Wilma Huneke, David Hutchinson, Andrew Kiss, Felicity McCormack, Adele Morrison, Kim Reid, Paul Spence, Anna Ukkola, Matthew Woodhouse) for their valuable contributions, time and help making this a successful workshop. Finally thanks to Harshula Jayasuriya and Davide Marchegiani for the photography and videography during the workshop.

[1] Workshop survey received 68 responses.

Download the full report, including outcomes from breakout sessions





News and updates

Subscribe to our contact list and receive our latest news and updates directly to your inbox.