In Brief

Twenty years of postdoctoral progress on climate

A reunion for NOAA's C&GC program

6 May 2011  •  It’s been two decades since NOAA launched its Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Program.  The C&GC program was created in response to a lack of trained specialists in an burgeoning area—and it’s kept up with continued expansion in climate change study. Nearly half of the program’s 176 alumni gathered in Washington, D.C., for a 20th-anniversary reunion on 14–15 April. Emceed by Richard Somerville (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), the two days included lectures and panel discussions as well as science talks spanning the program’s 20 years.

“Most alumni of the program have gone on to become leaders in the field,” says Meg Austin, director of UCAR Visiting Scientist Programs, which administers the C&GC program for NOAA. Because many postdocs are also new parents, Austin’s group works to adjust the particulars of each appointment as needed.

Special events throughout the year bring alumni and current fellows together, Austin adds. “It’s become a model for the community to build a strongly bonded group of scientists.”

NOAA C&GC group portrait, 2011
Almost 100 alumni of the NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Program were on hand for the program's 20th anniversary reunion on 14-15 April 2011. A larger version of this photo is available. (Photo courtesy Mary Norell.)

 

Gavin Schmidt, Heidi Cullen, and Richard Somerville
At the closing panel of the 20th-anniversary reunion event, Gavin Schmidt (NASA) and Heidi Cullen (Climate Central) joined emcee Richard Somerville (Scripps Institution of Oceanography). (Photo courtesy Mary Norell.)