March 11, 2010 | On Saturday, June 5, UCAR/NCAR will open the doors of three campuses from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. for an open house in conjunction with the organization's 50th anniversary. People of all ages are invited to come by for a rare firsthand look at the people, instruments, and facilities that drive the atmospheric sciences. Staff will be on hand to share presentations, demonstrations, instruments, aircraft, and more.
The Mesa Lab, Foothills Lab, and Research Aviation Facility will take part in the open house, with each location offering a different experience for visitors.
At FL, which has never been open to the public before, the focus is "Hands on the Atmosphere: Instruments, Data, and Technology." Activities include weather balloon launches, a Doppler on Wheels demo, Unidata displays, an emissions testing station, hands-on science education for children, and much more. Visitors can tour the machine shop, watch ice crystals form, learn about smog and aerosols, and catch short presentations and demonstrations by NCAR scientists.
At RAF, where the theme is "Eyes in the Sky: Airborne Global Research," visitors will get a closer look at the Gulfstream V and C-130 and learn how the aircraft are equipped with observational tools and computers for each new field experiment. Scientists, pilots, and engineers will describe recent and upcoming field campaigns. Visitors can learn how to track the G-V's flights using Facebook and Google Earth.
And at ML, EO staff will dress in the style of each decade as they guide visitors through the past 50 years as part of "Voices of History: NCAR Through the Decades." Interpretative stations with stories and artifacts will show how atmospheric science has evolved and its importance to society today and into the future.
The open house planning committee is looking for staff volunteers for the event. "This will be an exciting opportunity for us all to welcome and guide people through our facilities while sharing our enthusiasm for our work, NCAR's history, and the importance of atmospheric and climate research to future generations," says EO's Susan Foster.