Staff Notes Daily Announcements

NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) join with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) on Earth Day to celebrate 20 years of international cooperation and collaboration to engage students, scientists, and teachers in 114 countries in the scientific exploration of Earth’s environments and climate. more

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

Thu, 04/23/2015

Did you know that NCAR/UCAR staff have borrowing privileges at the University of Colorado Libraries? The NCAR Library is affiliated with CU through their University Libraries Research Partners (ULRP) program. You can apply for borrowing privileges at the Main Norlin Circulation desk with your NCAR ID. More information about the program can be found on CU's ULRP program page.

Please note that these privileges DO NOT include remote access to databases. In order to access CU databases, you must be at one of their libraries or use the NCAR Library InterLibrary Loan service to acquire electronic materials not held by the NCAR Library.

For more information, contact Jennifer Phillips at ext. 1173,

Thu, 04/23/2015

At NCAR and UCAR every day is an opportunity to better understand the Earth’s atmosphere and related physical, biological and social systems.

Today, nationally recognized as Earth Day, is a time to acknowledge the importance of the work done here at NCAR and UCAR, and it is a time to celebrate the cumulative results of a daily commitment by staff to make our own impact on the Earth’s systems as positive as possible.

In honor of Earth Day, we created an infographic that gives a high-level overview of our sustainabiity achievements here at NCAR/UCAR.  

Please take a moment to click here and learn what you and your fellow staff members have accomplished.

Congratulations on being part of these significant efforts, and we look forward to supporting your continued excellent stewardship. 

~Your Sustainability Team

For more information, contact chelsea castellano at ext. 8549,

Wed, 04/22/2015

Milenda Powers will be retiring from her position as HESS Manager on May 1, 2015. Please join us in a celebration of her work at Boulder Beer (aka CG-5) on May 1, 2015 from 3-5 p.m. Thank you!

For more information, contact Kate Napp at ext. 1159,

Wed, 04/22/2015
May 14, 2015
12:00-1:30 pm
FL2-Main Auditorium
Presenter: Denny Kercher, DO Kercher Enterprises
Bring Own Refreshments

Planning, executing and dealing with change is not easy. When organizations or individuals experience unexpected changes, employees are faced with many uncertainties. As a result people often become confused, hurt, stressed and unproductive because coping mechanisms may not be working. Learn how to embrace change by using tools every day to become more calm, productive and less stressed. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to use techniques and tools to get through the difficult times, and help to regain enthusiasm and energy. This session is designed for all employees involved in a changing work environment.

Register at: EOD Training Catalog -

(UCAS login>Training Catalog>Search by class>Details>Enroll)
Ensure popups are allowed for the site in your browser.

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

Wed, 04/22/2015

These new acquisitions will be displayed at each NCAR Library location for one week, first at FL Library and then at ML Library. If you have questions regarding the items or want to suggest additions to the library collection, please contact the NCAR Library at or ext. 8505.

JIRA 6.x Administration Cookbook
Author: Patrick Li
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Call Number: QA76.76.D47 L384 2014
Location: ML Library

Nature's Third Cycle: A Story of Sunspots
Author: Arnab Rai Choudhuri
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Call Number: QB525 .C552 2015
Location: ML Library

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

Tue, 04/21/2015

Tuesday April 28, 2015 -  2pm - NCAR FL2-Main Auditorium
(NCAR Building FL2, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, Colorado)

The Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak
On the ground in Sierra Leone, 2014-2015

Dr. C. Ben Beard,   
Associate Director for Climate Change, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases
Chief, Bacterial Diseases Branch
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak that began in West Africa in early 2014 was the first outbreak of EVD in West Africa and the largest outbreak of this disease ever. It has been an unprecedented epidemic that to date has resulted in over 25,000 total cases and over 10,000 deaths primarily in three West African countries: Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Thousands of CDC staff members have taken time from their regular jobs over the last year to serve in a wide variety of deployments, including work in West Africa assisting in response efforts that involve surveillance, contact tracing, data management, laboratory testing, and health education. This presentation will discuss the background and current status of the EVD epidemic in Sierra Leone, response efforts, challenges, and successes, together with personal reflections from my own deployment in Sierra Leone during December of 2014 and January 2015.

Ben Beard is Associate Director for Climate Change and Chief of the Bacterial Diseases Branch of CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he coordinates CDC's programs on Lyme disease, plague, and tularemia. DVBD is part of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, within CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Dr. Beard has a BS degree (1980, Auburn University), an MS degree (1983, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, and a PhD degree (1987, University of Florida).

Webcast at:

For more information, contact Mary Hayden (

For more information, contact Mary Hayden at ext. 8116,

Mon, 04/20/2015

Date:       May 6, 2015
Time:       2pm
Place:       FL 2, Room 1001
Speaker:   Paul Roebber, Atmospheric Science Group and School of Freshwater Sciences
                University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211

Probabilistic and Deterministic Forecasting using Evolutionary Program Ensembles

Charles Darwin wrote: “Can it … be thought improbable … that other variations useful in some way to each being in the great and complex battle of life, should sometimes occur in the course of thousands of generations? If such do occur, can we doubt … that individuals having any advantage, however slight … would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their kind?” This is the conceptual basis of evolutionary programming (EP), a process in which simulated evolution is used to find solutions to problems as diverse as the sorting of numbers and forecasting minimum temperature. Despite a history in computer sciences dating back to the 1960s, the application of this idea to meteorological studies is relatively new. Recently, EP has been adapted to the weather domain in order to generate large member ensemble forecasts for minimum temperature, maximum temperature, wind power, and heavy rainfall (Roebber 2013; Roebber 2015abc). These studies have shown that the method can provide greater probabilistic and deterministic skill, particularly at the extremes, than post-processed numerical weather prediction (NWP) ensembles. Further research has shown that this skill advantage persists out to longer ranges, where the forecast signal is presumably weaker.

The method can be understood as follows. Suppose that we have a well-defined problem with a clear measure of success (e.g., root-mean-square-error), and for which we can construct solutions by performing various mathematical operations on a set of inputs. In this case, it is possible to develop a single computer program that generates algorithms which solve the defined problem by applying various operators and coefficients to the inputs. The level of success or "fitness" of a particular solution can then be measured. The idea of fitness invokes evolutionary principles and suggests that if one starts from a very large set of random initial algorithms and allows fit algorithms to propagate some portion of their components to the next generation, then it may be possible to produce improved algorithms over time. This culling of the population in favor of stronger individuals through maximizing fitness and the exchange of "genetic material" between fit algorithms drives the progress towards improved solutions. Since weather forecast problems are nonlinear with non-unique solutions, evolved programs are a new means for generating a set of skillful but independent solutions. The algorithms resemble multiple linear or nonlinear regression equations, but with conditionals that allow for special circumstances to be accounted for as a routine outcome of the data search (e.g., the impact of snow cover on temperature under conditions of clear skies and light winds; Roebber 2010).

In this talk, I will discuss the EP concept and its most recent meteorological forms, including examples from various applications of the method. Roebber (2015abc) modified the technique to incorporate various forms of genetic exchange, disease, mutation, and the training of solutions within ecological niches, and to produce an adaptive form that can account for changing local conditions (such as changing flow regimes) as well as improved forecast inputs – thus, once initial training is completed, the ensemble will adapt automatically as forecasts are produced. I will outline efforts to mitigate the tendency for EP ensembles to exhibit under dispersion as with NWP ensembles and the concept of balancing the minimization of root-mean-square error with the maximization of ensemble diversity. I will then conclude with a discussion of outstanding questions regarding the method and future research directions.

This seminar will be webcasted.

 UCAR Connect Link

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

Mon, 04/20/2015

The Advanced Study Program 2014-2015 Seminar Series finishes with a seminar presented by Michael Wiltberger of NCAR's High Altitude Observatory.

When: 11:00a.m. Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
Where: Center Green 1 Center Auditorium


As we advance in the technological age our risk exposure to the space weather, severe storms in the near-Earth space environment driven by the complex magnetic field interactions at the Sun, continues to increase. The alterations in the ionized portion of the upper atmosphere driven by interaction of the complicated plasma and magnetic field structures emitted by the Sun, aka CMEs, and the Earth’s magnetic field can lead to significant degradations on the availability and accuracy of global positioning system (GPS). This interaction can also impact high-frequency (HF) radio communications forcing airlines to divert aircraft from trans-polar routings to longer lower latitude routes at significant costs. The severe storms can also drive strong currents in the electric power grid, potentially leading to blackouts, and long-distance pipelines, contributing to enhanced corrosion. Aspects of our understanding of the basic science behind these affects are quite good, bu t work remains to be done to create a robust, reliable, and effective set of forecast tools.

Modern modeling of space weather is accomplished through coupling of regional models of the thermosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere that can be driven by solar wind conditions taken from satellite observations or by the results of models of solar wind driven by solar coronal simulations. These numerical simulations can provide forecast of the space environment and are beginning to be transitioned into operations at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) to provide information for government and industrial users. High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms allow simulations to be conducted at unprecedented resolution and over long simulation intervals. The large data sets produced by these simulations provide opportunities for novel discoveries through data mining. An excellent example of this discovery process is linkage of bursty bulk flows to magnetic reconnection in the mid-tail through high-resolution simulations. The future of space weather modeling includ es many challenges. Key among these are the is the ability to predict the magnetic field inside the CME, utilization of new modeling techniques such as hybrid methods within the magnetospheric simulations, and development of a robust whole geospace model.

For more information, contact Scott Briggs at ext. 1607,

Mon, 04/13/2015

UCAR, NCAR, and NREL personnel and University of Colorado staff and computer science students are invited to attend a free, one-day training session on Intel’s Parallel Studio XE 2015 tool suite from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 7.

Intel staff members will provide the training in the Main Seminar Room at NCAR’s Mesa Lab in Boulder. Topics to be covered include the Intel MPI Library, Trace Analyzer and Collector, MPI benchmarks, compiler optimization, performance and threading analysis tools, and the Math Kernel Library.

A detailed agenda is available here.

Please register here to attend.

The training session will not be recorded or webcast.

For more information, contact B.J. Smith at ext. 1273,

Fri, 04/10/2015

The NCAR Community Art Program proudly presents two new exhibits:


Gay E. Lasher’s work combines digital photography, printing and computers and is expressed in the medium of textiles. As an artist, she is concerned with ideas of transformation and re-creation. Lasher is fascinated by the potential that even common photographs can be reborn in a new and completely different way. Using features of Adobe Photoshop, she transforms ordinary photographs into abstract images. Small areas are then greatly enlarged to produce the final composition which is printed on cotton. She then uses black thread and stitching to sharpen the image, create depth, and give the surface a sculptural quality. In this show Lasher is presenting selected works from her Transformations and Playing in Traffic series. Lasher's work will be on exhibit in the Community Art Gallery l of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab March 30, 2015 through May 30, 2015.


Over the past ten years, Michael “m.g.” Davis has explored the character of distinctly Western icons such as the horse and saddle, grain elevators, and Airstream trailers, and has sought to capture common Front Range landscapes in an uncommon style—Pointillism2. The style, employing gentle abstraction, allows Davis to recreate underappreciated objects and places which he injects with new energy through unexpected contexts and the use of vibrant color. Davis will feature two works in this show never before exhibited publicly. Davis's work will be on exhibit in the Community Art Gallery ll of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab March 30, 2015 through May 30, 2015.

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

Mon, 03/30/2015

The purpose of the Foothills Parkway (Diagonal Highway to Valmont Road) Operational Improvements Project is to reduce congestion and improve safety. The project will extend the third southbound lane on Foothills Parkway from the Diagonal Highway through the intersection of Valmont Road, and will make other bicycle and pedestrian system enhancements .

From late March through Junethere will be single lane closures in both directions of Foothills Parkway from Valmont Road to Diagonal Highway during weekday off-peak daytime hours:

 Southbound: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Northbound: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

More information can be found by following these links: for the latest construction and traffic updates.

For more information, contact Christy Fletcher at ext. 8557,

Mon, 03/30/2015

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 NCAR/CDC Workshop on Climate and Health. This workshop will focus on vector-borne diseases related to human health. The focus will be on a wide variety of vector-borne diseases, including dengue, Lyme, and plague, and their relationship to climate variability and change. The purpose of the workshop is to train health professionals and early career climate and health researchers (public health officials, graduate students,  post-docs and early career scientists and faculty) in the development of robust interdisciplinary research projects in the complex area of climate and health. The four-day workshop will include lectures on relevant topics in climate and climate change and in public health and human health, vulnerability studies, modeling climate and health, and special tools for analysis (e.g., GIS). There will be multiple opportunities for discussions with experts in the field in order to bring public health practitioners and climate scientists  together to examine the integration of epidemiology, ecology, behavioral science, modeling and atmospheric science.

Dates:  July 13-16, 2015 | NCAR Foothills Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

Applications accepted through April 30.

Participants will be notified in early May.

Sponsored By:

National Center for Atmospheric Research
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For more information, contact Mary Hayden at ext. 8116,

Thu, 03/26/2015

The Inclusive Astronomy 2015 Conference will take place on June 17th-19th in Nashville, TN.  The conference is designed to educate scientists in issues around diversity, equity and inclusion. While it is particularly aimed at the astronomy community, the lessons learned will be applicable to all sciences.  Attendees will share and be provided with tools and strategies to take back to their home institutions, and a compilation of Inclusive Astronomy recommendations will be prepared with community feedback and participation. 

The meeting is organized around four broad areas: barriers to access; creating inclusive climates; inclusion and access to leadership, power, and decision making; and establishing a community of inclusive practice. Each of these areas will address the inclusion of marginalized communities in the sciences, such as white women, people of color, LGBT scientists, and people with disabilities, by creating opportunities for understanding, along with strategies and tools for institutional and interpersonal improvement. The meeting will include a diverse set of speakers, including sociologists and other subject matter experts. The program is designed to engage participants at all levels, from students and early career scientists to established practitioners and policy makers with the ultimate goal of establishing meaningful conversations within and between career phases.

Financial aid is available for attendees, with an application deadline of May 1st. To register for the conference, or for more information, see

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

Tue, 03/17/2015

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