David W. Jones


Professional Information

Current Position: Head, Environmental and Information Systems (EIS) Department, Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), University of Washington (UW)

Address: 1013 NE 40th St. Box 355640, Seattle, Washington 98105-6698

Contact information: dwjones@apl.washington.edu

Research Interests

The EIS department at APL-UW pursues a broad area of research and development, but its primary focus is on environmental information, from collection by in situ sensors, to signal processing and statistical analysis, and finally to fusion and visualization in decision support systems. In my own particular research area I enjoy working at the intersection between the earth sciences, computer science, and cognitive psychology. The research entails both investigating how people make decisions that are impacted by changes in the physical environment (e.g., winds or ocean currents) and then developing technologies that help people improve their decision-making and operations. Below are some examples of our current and past efforts.

Project Examples

Glider, Monitoring, Piloting & Communication (GLMPC)

Buoyancy driven ocean gliders spend most of their operational life under water collecting ocean observations. At the end of each dive, they return to the surface, use a satellite link to transmit the observations and vehicle data (such as battery level), and check to see if their operating instructions have changed. The Glider Consortium, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), has been charged with the creation of software systems for the purpose of a unified command and control interface for multiple ocean glider operations, including those employing gliders from the different manufacturers mentioned above. APL-UW is the technical lead in this effort, and the GLMPC system is the realization of the piloting interface for these multi-vendor glider systems. Given the number of gliders envisioned for operational use (up to as many as 50) and given that the three types of gliders operate differently, ONR recognized the need for a universal interface.

Boater Information System (BIS)

The Boater Information System (BIS) was a research effort to improve the communication of critical environmental information to Puget Sound boaters (sailors, power boaters, windsurfers, kayakers, and fishers). In order to get a full representation of the boaters in Puget Sound, we contacted local yacht clubs, marinas, marine supply stores and boat shows. We also conducted a survey over a four-month period (July-September, 2006) in which we contacted boaters in person or via the web and asked questions such as boating experience, boating frequency, and environmental information needs. BIS was supported by a NOAA/Washington Sea Grant.

University of Washington's Probability Forecasts (Probcast)

The initial intent was to provide newspaper-like weather graphics on a web page. The innovation was to add probability information in ways that would be useful to the general user. Psychological literature has shown that people often have difficulty comprehending probabilistic information. For example, most people do not need to know the confidence interval of a temperature forecast, but they may need to know the highest temperature possible for a particular day. Project investigators conducted controlled experiments on different ways to describe and visualize probabilistic information. The wording used to convey the information is important and was tested prior to deployment of the website. This project was funded by a Department of Defense of MURI: Integration and Visualization of Multi-Source Information for Mesoscale Meteorology: Statistical and Cognitive Approaches to Visualizing Uncertainty.

Environmental Visualization (EVIS)

The EVIS capability developed for the Department of Defense enables an authenticated user to securely access high-resolution meteorology and oceanography (METOC) information from a remote server, create tailored products for mission planning, publish the specific effects, and do this more efficiently than is possible with the currently available production tools.   EVIS provides portal and other Java-based access mechanisms to METOC data sources through a family of value-added web services that were developed to expose and process data for METOC impacts related to specific military mission parameters. Based on a matrix of mission effect rules that can be modified by the user, the EVIS Mission Effects Services (EMES) generates mission impact summaries and related map image overlays that are available and advertised throughout the networked enterprise. The project was supported via an Office of Naval Research, Future Naval Capability and the DoD Horizontal Fusion program.



Joslyn, S. and D. Jones, Strategies in Naturalistic Decision Making: A Cognitive Task Analysis of Naval Weather Forecasting (in press). In Schraagen, J.M.C., Militello, L., Ormerod, T., & Lipshitz, R. (Eds) Naturalistic Decision Making and Macrocognition . Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Jones, D and S. Maclean (2007). RCOOS and Ocean Information Tools for Decision Makers. Proceedings of the MTS/IEEE Oceans 2007 Conference, Vancouver, B.C., October 1-5, 2007

Joslyn, S., Pak, K., Jones, D., Pyles, J., and Hunt, E., (2007). The effect of probabilistic information on threshold forecasts.   Weather and Forecasting , 22, 10, 804-812

Olsonbaker, J., T. Tanner, and D. Jones (2007). Improved Decision Making with Boater Information System. Proceedings of the Georgia Basin Puget Sound Research Conference , Vancouver, B.C, March 26-29, 2007

Jones, D., K. Kerr, R. Carr, J. Olsonbaker, J. Cook, T. Tsui, D. Brown,J. Ballas, J. Stroup, K. Wauchope, & L. Aker (2005). Environmental Visualization and Horizontal Fusion. Proceedings of the Battlespace Atmospheric and Cloud Impacts on Military Operations (BACIMO) Conference, October12-14, Monterey, CA.

Jones, D. and J. Olsonbaker . (2005) Determining the information needs of Puget Sound boaters. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 49th Annual Meeting . September 26-30, Orlando, FL.

Joslyn, S., D. Jones, K. Schweitzer, J. Pyles, and P. Tewson. (2005). Designing Tools for Uncertainty Estimation in Naval Forecasting.   Proceedings of the Seventh International Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM) Conference (Ed. JMC Schraagen) Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 2005

Jones, D W., M. H. Miller, J. A. Ballas, and J. I. Olsonbaker, (2004). Analysis of Human-Computer Interaction in the Expeditionary Warfare Decision Support System (EDSS).   APL-UW Technical Report 0402 . Applied Physics Laboratory-University of Washington, September, pp 61.

Ballas, J., D. Jones, S. Kirschenbaum, T. Tsui, K. Kerr, J. Cook, B. Kirby, M. Gibson, R. Mantri, and R. Carr (2004). Improved Workflow, Environmental Effects Analysis and User Control for Tactical Weather Forecasting .   Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 48 th Annual Meeting . September 20-24, New Orleans, LA.

Jones, D. and S. Joslyn, (2004).   The MURI Uncertainty Monitor (MUM). Preprints of the 84 th American Meteorological Society Annual Conference , January 11-15, Seattle, Washington.

Jones, D. and T. Tsui, (2003).   The Environmental Visualization (EVIS) Project . Proceedings of the Battlespace Atmospheric and Cloud IMPRActs on Military Operations (BACIMO) Conference , September 9-11, Monterey, CA.

Jones, D., J. Ballas, R. Miyamoto, T. Tsiu, G. Trafton, and   S. Kirschenbaum, S. (2002). Human Systems Study on the Use of Meteorology and Oceanography Information in Support of the naval Air Strike Mission. APL-UW Technical Memorandum 8-02 . Applied Physics Laboratory-University of Washington, November, pp 146.

Jones, D. W., P. F. Moersdorf, and R. F Clancy,(1999): Toward a teraflop computing infrastructure at FNMOC . Proceedings of the Eighth ECMWF Workshop on the Use of Parallel Processors in Meteorology , Reading, U.K., 67-76.

Jones, D., M. Sestak, and M. A. Rennick, (1999): Operational ensemble forecast products and verification at FNMOC. Preprints of the American Meteorological Society 13th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction , Denver, CO, 250-253.