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WASHINGTON, D.C.—For the first time in its 53-year history, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has opened a full-time office in Washington. The new office, which begins operations today, will advocate on behalf of its 104 member universities that study the atmosphere and work to improve weather forecasting.
It will also pursue business development opportunities with private sector businesses and foundations that have an interest in atmospheric research.
“UCAR will advocate for the nation’s entire weather enterprise out of this office,” says UCAR president Thomas Bogdan. “Having representation in Washington, where decision makers and most of our funders are located, is critical as we work toward improving the nation’s forecasting capabilities.”
UCAR, based in Boulder, Colorado, is a consortium of 104 universities, most of which grant doctoral degrees in the atmospheric sciences. It helps set priorities for the nation’s research into weather, climate change, air quality, and other topics in the atmospheric sciences. UCAR also manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a leading laboratory sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
The new office, at 1201 New York Avenue NW, is co-located with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. UCAR will coordinate with the consortium, as well as with other leading science organizations such as the American Geophysical Union, to educate policy makers about the nation’s research priorities.
Michael Henry will oversee government relations in the office. He previously advanced UCAR’s government affairs agenda as a legislative specialist in the organization’s Boulder headquarters for four years. Before that, he worked in the Washington office of Sen. Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, focusing on energy and environmental issues.
“I’m looking forward to using my Washington experience and contacts to make sure that UCAR interests are well represented,” Henry says. “This is a great opportunity for the atmospheric sciences community to ensure that weather and climate are high on the nation’s agenda.”
Ari Gerstman will join the office on April 8 to lead UCAR's business development program. An expert in creating new opportunities with a wide range of companies, Gerstman focused on business development at Earth Resources Technology.
“I am thrilled to be joining the UCAR team in Washington, leveraging my network in the private sector to enhance UCAR's research capabilities,” Gerstman says.
Bogdan adds, “It’s essential to have this level of business expertise in the nation’s capital as we explore new funding streams.”
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.