Staff Notes Daily Announcements

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which provides unique exhibits on weather and climate, has been accepted to join a leading group of national museum and cultural organizations as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The affiliation establishes a long-term collaborative partnership between the two institutions. more>

For more information, contact David Hosansky at ext. 8611,

Thu, 01/22/2015

Parents' Night Out (PNO) is a great opportunity for you and your significant other to get out to dinner and a movie!  By emailing the Center Director, Stephanie Ivancic (, you could sign your child up from 6pm-8pm ($30 for one child or $40 for two children) or 6pm-10pm ($50 for one child and $60 for two children).  Children are welcome to wear their pajamas for a fun evening of movies and pizza!  If your child has a video that he or she would like to share, bring it in. Please make sure that it is labeled with your contact info and let the fun begin!  Siblings under the age of seven are welcome as well.  We are inviting all UCAR employees to take advantage of this as your child does not need to be enrolled at the Center to participate!

Upcoming PNOs are:  January 23rd (this Friday), Feb 6th, Feb 20th, March 6th, March 20th, April 3rd and April 17th.   

Child Care Drop-in Opportunities at CCLC at UCAR

CCLC (Children's Creative Learning Center) is a child care center sponsored by UCAR.  UCAR employees receive a discount on tuition and priority on the waitlist. However, CCLC at UCAR is open to the community as well.  We would like to reach out and let you know that we are also available for drop-in care.  Our center is located near Valmont and Foothills Parkway in Boulder.  CCLC at UCAR provides a stimulating and caring environment designed to promote social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.  We strive to create programs to develop positive self images within children as well as respect for their individuality, intelligence, and creativity.  The teachers at our center are all highly trained, committed, and dedicated people who truly enjoy working in the field of early childhood education.  Please contact Stephanie Ivancic for more information on enrollment rates as well as drop-in rates.  We would be happy to schedule tours as well!

Stephanie Ivancic -

For more information, contact Susie Siders at ext. 1650,

Thu, 01/22/2015

Please join the UCAR Center for Science Education for a program about climate communication on Thursday January 29, 2015 from 10:30-11:30 in the ML Main Seminar Room. We'll share information about our new partnership with the Smithsonian Affiliations program, discuss how we're planning to collaborate with the Smithsonian Institution on the development of the new climate exhibit, and Jeff Kiehl will give a talk about climate communication. 

Link to Webcast:

For more information, contact Natalie Ponsford at ext. 2585,

Thu, 01/22/2015

Date:       February 2, 2015
Time:       3:30pm - 4:30pm
Place:       FL 2 - Room 1001

Speaker:  Joel Van Baelen, Laboratory for Meteorology Physics (LaMP), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)


In this presentation, I will first briefly introduce my home lab (Laboratory for Meteorology Physics: LaMP) and describe its research domains and expertise (aerosols and cloud microphysics, observation and modeling) before dwelling more onto my own research topics: precipitation studies with x and K band radars, as well as atmospheric water vapor 3-D field restitution with GPS tomography.

This later topic will be the main object my talk, and in particular the latest preliminary results from a recent campaign for high resolution 3-D water vapor retrieval through GPS tomography as well as soil moisture monitoring with GPS reflectometry in the framework of a project dedicated to improved agriculture practice.
Indeed, with new environmental regulations in force, it becomes crucial for agricultural practices to optimize plant watering for growth as well as more reasoned use of chemical treatment products for plant fungi development suppression. Hence with the use of GNSS signal analysis, new water vapor products should enhance the impact of Precision Meteorology for Agriculture as a major tool to help agriculture decisions.

In this project, after a first step of simulations to define the optimum set of GPS receiver network geometry and analysis parameters, we implemented a demonstration network in the region of Tarascon in southern France. Using GPS tomography with the entire network proved to be able to produce reasonable water vapor field retrievals with an horizontal resolution of about 2 km and 50 m in height. Within the network, one of the stations was dedicated to reflectometry, following the work of Larsons et al. The analysis of the reflected signals, when taking into account satellite as well as field and culture configuration, showed good promise for water vapor monitoring, while actual soil moisture estimation is still a question.  

We will then discuss these results and put them in perspective for future work.

This seminar will be Webcast - Ncast FL2_1001 (Small Auditorium) Webcast Link

For more information, contact Marybeth Zarlingo at ext. 2751,

Wed, 01/21/2015

Date:      February 5, 2015
Time:      3:30pm-4:30pm
Place:      FL 2 - Room 1001

Speaker:  Paul Lawson, SPEC Incorporated, Boulder, Colorado

The rapid glaciation of tropical cumulus clouds has been an enigma and debated in the literature for over 60 years.  Possible mechanisms responsible for the rapid freezing have been postulated, but until now, direct evidence has been lacking.  Recent high-speed photography of electro-statically suspended supercooled drops in the laboratory has shown that freezing events produce small secondary ice particles, via fracturing and from spicules that eject bubbles.  

Aircraft observations from the Ice in Clouds Experiment – Tropical (ICE-T), strongly suggest that the drop-freezing secondary ice production mechanism is operating in strong, tropical cumulus updrafts.  The result is production of small ice particles settling at a few tens of cm s-1 colliding with and freezing large supercooled drops falling rapidly at a few m s-1. The large drops freeze and produce more small ice, generating a cascading process that results in rapid glaciation of water drops in the updraft.  

Results are presented from data collected using state-of-the-art cloud particle probes during 54 Learjet penetrations of strong (5 to 20 m s-1) cumulus updrafts in a temperature range from +5 to –20 C.  Repeated Learjet penetrations of updrafts containing 3 to 5 g m-3 supercooled liquid show an order of magnitude decrease in liquid mass concentration 3 to 5 min later at an elevation 1 to 1.5 km higher in the cloud.  

The aircraft observations were simulated using a one-dimensional cloud model with explicit bin microphysics.  The model was initialized with drop and ice particle size distributions observed prior to rapid glaciation.  Simulations show that the model can explain the observed rapid glaciation by the drop-freezing secondary ice production process and subsequent "riming", which results when large supercooled drops collide with ice particles.   

This seminar will be Webcast - Ncast FL2_1001 (Small Auditorium) Webcast Link

For more information, contact Marybeth Zarlingo at ext. 2751,

Wed, 01/21/2015

Five Questions for UCAR’s new director of Human Resources

As part of a series of interviews with new leaders at NCAR/UCAR, Staff News recently chatted with Maria Isquierdo. We asked five questions to learn more about her, personally and professionally. more>

For more information, contact Rebecca Swisher at ext. 8609,

Wed, 01/21/2015

Mark your calendars for UCAR’s 2015 Pre-Health Fair Bloodwork sessions and Health & Benefits Fair, sponsored by the Wellness Advisory Committee (WAC).  These valuable wellness events are open to UCAR employees, retirees, their spouses/partners and dependent adult children 18-26 years of age. For more information, visit the UCAR Health Fair website.

Pre-Health Fair Bloodwork Registration Site
To participate in the pre-health fair bloodwork screenings, register to attend one of the following onsite sessions.  The standard full-blood chemistry screenings and PSA blood screening for men 50+ are FREE; optional, additional bloodwork screenings are also available upon request at participant cost. Each participant must register individually.

Pre-Health Fair Bloodwork Session Dates/Locations (Registration and 12-hour fast required; Light refreshments provided at each location)

  • FL:       January 28, 2015, 7:30-11:30 am, FL2-1003
  • ML:       February 5, 2015, 7:30-11:30 am, ML-Damon
  • CG:       February 10, 2015, 7:30-11:30 am, CG1-S Auditorium
  • NWSC:  February 12, 2015, 8:00-10:30 am, NWSC Conference Room
  • RAF:      February 19, 2015, 8:00-10:30 am, RAF Conf Room

Schedule a blood draw appointment through Health Promotions Management's external, secure registration site: Registration site requires account setup for each participant.

Confirmation emails will include additional instructions with links to all required forms:  bloodwork lab form and instructions, listing of optional blood test and costs (optional tests to be paid by participants), and consent and release forms for you download, complete and bring with you to your appointment.  You'll also receive appointment email reminders closer to your appointment date.  Please note, bloodwork screening results can be claimed at the Health Fair. To have a proxy claim your results, they must bring your signed Proxy Release Form to the Health & Benefits Fair.  All unclaimed results will be postal-mailed to participants.

For those who can't make any of the onsite sessions, click here for information, forms and instructions to have bloodwork done at a local Quest Lab location.  All Quest Lab appointments must be completed by March 1, 2015.  Results will be postal mailed to participants. 

UCAR FY15 Health & Benefits Fair
Friday, March 6, 2015
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
No registration required

Health Fair events include:  Blood Screening Results and Private Consultations; Blood Pressure Screening, Full Blood Chemistry, PSA Prostate Cancer Screening; Optional Blood Screening Screenings; Pulmonary Screening; Bone Density Screening; Body Mass Analysis; Skin Cancer Screening; Vision/Hearing Screening; Ergonomics; Child and Elder Care Resources; Benefits Information; Chair Massage; Health Information Booths, Refreshments, Giveaways; Prizes; and much, much more!

UCAR offers these events as a service and participation is voluntary.  UCAR does not recommend or endorse any products, services or resources associated with these events. For more information, visit UCAR's Health & Benefits Fair website.

Here's to your good health from your friends on the Wellness Advisory Committee (WAC).

For more information, contact Cheryl Cristanelli at ext. 8708,

Tue, 01/20/2015

Join us for a webinar on Feb 04, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST.

Register now!

Dr. Rachel Cleetus, our webinar presenter, is lead climate economist with the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and represented UCS at last month’s United Nations climate talks in Peru. In this webinar, she will pick up where Lima left off, discussing key elements that could lead to a successful outcome in Paris this December. She will also focus on ways the U.S. climate and energy policy landscape is changing, providing promising opportunities as well as obvious significant challenges. Americans are increasingly grappling with the growing risks and costs of climate change, which requires rethinking how we respond to disasters so we can better prepare and protect communities. Meanwhile, solutions like renewable energy are becoming increasingly affordable and can be scaled up rapidly with appropriate incentives. Without being prescriptive, Dr. Cleetus will provide insights into specific policy opportunities at the national, state and regional levels, including EPA standards, carbon pricing, clean energy policies, and policies to help build resilience to the impacts of climate change. 

Dr. Cleetus is part of a multidisciplinary research team working on UCS’ climate impacts initiative, currently focusing on two major climate impacts: the growing risks and costs of sea level rise, coastal storms and flooding, and how communities can help protect themselves from these risks; and the growing risks of hotter, drier conditions to Rocky Mountain Forests, including wildfires. She has authored a UCS report, Overwhelming Risk: Rethinking Flood Insurance in a World of Rising Seas and coauthored Playing with Fire: How Climate Change and Development Patterns are Contributing to the Soaring Costs of Western Wildfires. She is also a power sector expert, and is doing research and analysis related to the EPA power plant carbon standards.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View System Requirements

For more information, contact Kristin Wegner at ext. 2630,

Tue, 01/20/2015

Financial & Pre-Retirement Planning Seminar Series 

Free seminar series presented by the Pre-Retirement Planning Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization specializing in financial planning and pre-retirement counseling services.  Combining elements of both financial planning and pre-retirement planning, the series is offered in five, mini-session modules. Participants can choose to attend one or all sessions depending on interest.  At the end of each session module, participants may request to schedule private, consultation services with the certified financial professionals (paid by participants).  Employee spouses/partners are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Each module session requires a minimum of 10 participants.  

Module 1: UCAR Benefits, TIAA-CREF Retirement Planning Resources
February 6, 2015
12:00-2:00 pm MST
Overview - Learn about UCAR's retirement benefits including the TIAA-CREF retirement program and how to maximize their value. 

Module 2: Financial Planning & Investments
February 13, 2015
12:00-2:00 pm MST
Overview - Discover the benefits of Financial Planning and different types of Investment options

Module 3: Long-Term Care & Social Security
February 20, 2015
12:00-2:00 pm MST
Overview - Review needs of Long-term Care and Social Security Benefits

Module 4:  Medicare Basics
February 27, 2015
12:00-2:00 pm MST
CG1-S Audit
Overview - Gain a better understanding of Medicare, what is/isn't covered, how to register, and review various plan options.

Module 5: Transitions & Long-Term Care
March 6, 2015
12:00-2:00 pm MST
Overview - Learn key elements of Estate Planning and what to expect in the work-to-retirement Transition

Register at EOD Training Catalog via Connect:

UCAS login>EOD Training Catalog>Search by course>Details>Enroll in desired session(s)

For more information, contact Cheryl Cristanelli at ext. 8708,

Tue, 01/20/2015

I'm happy to announce the creation of a new Google Group for any NCAR scientists (or, indeed, anyone) interested in education and outreach opportunities. I know a lot of people are keen to get involved in outreach events/teaching/student mentoring, but sometimes it's hard to know who you are and reach you all unless someone has worked with you before. We'd like to fix that and make sure that everyone who is interested in this kind of thing hears about it and has a chance to volunteer. If you're at all interested and want to be kept in the loop, please sign up. You can control your email delivery preferences from the group, so you only get emailed as often as you choose. We'll be posting everything from opportunities to mentor students, requests for public talks, ways to get involved with local teachers and classrooms, and requests for judges for science fairs, along with anything else that crosses our desks that would benefit from an NCAR scientist's expertise. We can also use the group to discuss best practices for mentorship, teaching, and how to engage and support students from kindergarten through to graduate school.

The link for signup is!forum/ncar-education

Hope to see you on there soon!


For more information, contact Carolyn Brinkworth at ext. 1137,

Wed, 01/14/2015

Do you need to find an article? Renew your books? Find out what Open Access is all about? Have questions about research databases?

NCAR Library staff provide a variety of research support services and are available in person, via email, or on the phone. Visit the Mesa Lab Library or Foothills Library to talk to a librarian, send us an email at , or give us a call at x8505 or x1180.

Support and Services including tutorials are available online if you cannot make it in to the library.

For more information, contact NCAR Library at ext. 8505,

Wed, 01/14/2015

Folks, we’ve had a request from the 2015 Colorado Science and Engineering Fair, looking for scientists to act as judges from 9am - 5:30pm on Thursday, April 9th at Colorado State University (see below for the full request from the coordinator). If you’ve never judged a science fair before, I highly recommend it, as it’s a ton of fun - the kids are smart and motivated, and occasionally have some rather “creative” ideas for projects (my particular favorite was the kid who decided to test the speed of sound in different air temperatures by sticking his head in a lit oven. He had some great sources of uncertainty and, miraculously, still had his eyebrows).

If you are interested in volunteering for this, please sign up or contact the coordinator directly (details below), but please also cc me ( so I know you’re going, and can report numbers to the NSF.

Thank you!!


The 2015 Colorado Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF) will be held April 9-11, 2015 is the 60th Anniversary of the CSEF!  Judging for the CSEF will take place from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9th.  The fair will be held in the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University.

The success of the CSEF depends in a huge part on the quality of the judges who volunteer to judge the approximately 400 projects from the 6th-12th grades (Junior Division is grades 6-8 and Senior Division is grades 9-12) in 12 different categories.  A description of the categories can be found at You participation is greatly appreciated.

To view the Grand Awards Judge Information page, please go to and to register as a Grand Awards Judge, please visit  The importance of your assistance as a Grand Awards Judge at the CSEF cannot be estimated enough.  These students come from all over the state of Colorado to compete at the CSEF.  For grades 9-12, many of these students will get the opportunity to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  ALL of the students gain the experience of presenting a project to the judges (both visually and verbally), meet potential contacts who will help them on their road to college and in some cases includes internships, gain the experience of creating or designing a project from start to finish, and will have the opportunity to receive scholarships to state higher education.  To view some of the past CSEF successes, please see

Please join us for the 2015 CSEF!  If you have any question, please feel free to contact me.
Warm regards,

Nancy Glissmann
GrandAwards Judging Coordinator
Colorado Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF)
3835 Birchwood Drive, Boulder, CO  80304-1428
303.817.4271 (cell) 303-413-8505 (home)

For more information, contact Carolyn Brinkworth at ext. 1137,

Thu, 12/04/2014

UCAR Community Art Program proudly presents two new exhibits:

Paintings by Cynthia Marsh Featured at NCAR

THE ART IS IN THE ACT OF BECOMING… to let go of control and attachment to outcome… and enjoy the process as it unfolds in the moment. –Cynthia Marsh. Cynthia Marsh balances the inclination to control, with the necessity to participate, stepping out of her comfort zone into an area of experimentation. With fluid dynamics, (the same physics that naturally occur in large-scale flows on Earth, other planets and in space), Marsh explores how different viscosities and densities of paint interact. Marsh’s work will be on exhibit in Gallery I of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab Dec 1, 2014 to Jan 30, 2015.

Photography For A Change Group Exhibit Featured at NCAR

PFAC is an organization which displays exquisite photographs of our natural and human environment, both online and in physical venues, with proceeds from print sales going to support two carefully selected local non-profit organizations—Attention Homes and Western Resource Advocates. In this UCAR show, we feature four excellent local photographers who have donated their images to the cause: Dana Bove, Bryce Bradford, Maria Rosa Fusté, and Daniel Joder, each with a unique vision of the world we think you will enjoy. A significant portion of sales from this show (50% at a minimum) will go to support the above-mentioned non-profits. PFAC group exhibit will be on display in Gallery II of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab Dec 1, 2014 to Jan 30, 2015.

For more information, contact Audrey Lewis at ext. 2570,

Mon, 12/01/2014

January 20-23, 2015
June 9-12, 2015
Corporate Technical Training Center
Center Green campus, 3085 Center Green Drive (CG-2)

These 3.5 day workshops are geared towards new users of NCL, and will be taught by both an associate scientist and a software engineer. The workshops include a combination of introductory lectures and hands-on labs.

During the labs, the instructors work with students to help them write NCL programs for analyzing their own data.

Limited travel funds are available for eligible students or faculty members at minority serving institutions in the United States, or from universities in EPSCoR states.

Registration is free and limited to 16 students per class, so be sure to register as soon as possible.

See the link below for information on registering for the workshop and/or applying for travel funds.

For more information, contact Mary Haley at ext. 1254,

Fri, 10/10/2014