Curriculum Vitae

Sylvia Murphy


18 October 2016


        M.S. Management, Regis University, 2007

        M.S. Physical Oceanography, Florida State University, 1995

        B.A. Marine Science, Jacksonville University, 1987

Current Position

Technical Project Manager/Software Engineer for the Earth System CoG software project to develop a collaborative workspace that blends data archival with project collaboration services.  Responsibilities include requirement analysis, stakeholder communications, issue tracking, release coordination, testing, documentation, and development in Python, Django, and Javascript. Coordinated over 70 releases into a production environment. In 2014 CoG was chosen as the new user interface for the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF), an international federation of data nodes hosting global climate data. As such CoG is now installed and used at climate institutes worldwide.

Technical project manager for the international Earth System Documentation (ES-DOC) software project to develop a metadata standard and follow-on tools for the description of Earth system models. Responsibilities include facilitation of weekly meetings with developers based in the U.K., France, and the U.S., development of project milestones, testing plans, and issue tracking. Deeply involved in the local development of a web-based metadata Questionnaire including overall design, code and project reviews, release testing and announcements, and stakeholder communications. ES-DOC is gearing up to support the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6).

Software Engineer. Twenty years experience in web-based technologies including HTML, CSS, and JSON. Significant experience in Javascript, Python, the Django web framework, and relational databases including Postgresql and MySQL. Used to working with version control systems and web interface testing systems such as Selenium.  Experience in web server administration and Tomcat. Experienced in all aspects of the software development lifecycle.

Work History 


Technical Project Manager, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder


Associate Scientist, Software Engineer, Project Manager National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)


Oceanographer, Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center


  • Managed the integration of the Earth System CoG collaboration environment with the Earth System Grid Federation data archive. In one year coordinated thirteen software releases that completed the integration on time and with all required features. Significantly contributed to both the code base and front-end look and feel.
  • Developed a Javascript-based metadata data collection and display tool utilizing Google forms and spreadsheets as a lightweight database.
  • Managed the transition of the ES-DOC metadata Questionnaire to support several Earth system modeling projects with expanded metadata ontologies, including the Dynamical Core model Intercomparison Project and the Earth system bridge project. Acted as liaison with product owners, conducted code reviews, initiated new testing methodologies, and coordinated the release process.
  • Served as mentor for other software engineers, teaching them the entire software release process including how to prioritize development tasks, establish testing frameworks, debugging best practices, and the release process.
  • Served for 26 years in both the United States Navy and the Colorado Army National Guard. Career spanned such diverse fields as Surface Warfare, Oceanography, Army Communications and Computers, Military Police, Field Artillery, and Military to Civilian Affairs. Awarded the Legion of Merit. Retired at the rank of Colonel.
  • Managed the development of self-describing version of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and its integration into an operational web portal at Purdue University.
  • Managed the development a hydrological-atmospheric coupled modeling system bridging the personal computer - supercomputer interface through innovative web services.  
  • Managed the Earth System Curator software project using Agile project management. Curator developed a metadata standard for atmospheric dynamical cores and accompanying RDF/OWL framework for metadata exploration and display.
  • Developed an operational atmospheric tracer analysis package using Python and NCAR Command Language. Over 1600 daily images were created and made available via an interactive web portal on a self-managed web server.
  • Served as leader of NCAR’s Software Engineering Assembly, a representative body whose mission is to improve software engineering practices through greater professional development, mentorship, and the development of best practices.        
  • Served as leader of the Web Advisory Group at NCAR, a representative body investigating and recommending innovative web-based technologies.
  • Developed comprehensive online portal for the NCAR Command Language including the development of over 400 script examples, 800 separate images, and comprehensive users manuals. This portal is extensively used by government, university, and international researchers. Taught over 20 workshops on the language.

Selective Honors


Legion of Merit


Army Commendation Medal


Special Recognition Award, National Center for Atmospheric Research


Air Force Commendation Medal

2005, 2007

Army Meritorious Service Medal


Special Achievement Award, National Center for Atmospheric Research


Department of Commerce Certificate of Excellence for Public Environmental Support