Research funding could get a major boost from a regional shopping center, the Mesomall at The Mesomall Gardens, opening later this year at the Marshall Field Site near Superior. NCAR concluded that the acres of open space that surround the site’s radar and other observing equipment could be leveraged by packing in as many revenue-raising activities as possible.

Marshall Field building Photoshopped onto NCAR's Marshall Field Site.

On August 29, staff converged on the Mesa Lab for the annual Up-the-Hill Race, sponsored by the Employee Activities Committee (EAC). This year’s theme was “Humans on the Moon,” to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. Relay teams competed to devise the most clever moon theme and carry a pseudo moon rock up the hill.

MMM staff flash peace sign

Coiffed, cool, and choreographed, the acts at this year’s Spring Fling harked back to the origins of the all-staff party’s 13-year-old lip sync contest. The theme was Motown, and the music from that Detroit-based hit factory of the 1960s provided plenty of snappy, soulful inspiration for five very diverse acts.

MMM staff

Change is in the air this winter, along with tough fiscal times. However, the consistently convivial all-staff holiday party—held on December 12 at Center Green and sponsored by the Employee Activities Committee—remained true to its upbeat self.

On September 12, for the first time in its storied 29-year history, the Up-the-Hill Race took place behind closed doors. Damp, chilly weather forced the cancellation of the bike and foot races just hours before the race was to start (though the atmosphere got the last laugh, as sunshine arrived by late afternoon).

Delaine Orendorff studies her cards.

The themes of peace and award-winning work took on added meaning at this year's holiday party, held on December 7 at Center Green. As always, the party was the setting for the annual Outstanding Accomplishment Awards, which went to 25 current and former staff in four categories.

UCAR president Rick Anthes noted that this year marked the 40th anniversary of the Outstanding Publication Award, which launched the annual honors.

Group of people at the Awards ceremony

It may be true that "life's a picnic," as claimed in the theme for the 28th annual Up-the-Hill Races and party. However, during the relay race, the mesa road was littered with reminders of how a nice meal outside can go awry. The F&A, SERE/ASP, and ESSL/CGD teams posed as ants, and several members of the ESSL/MMM team—including division director Greg Holland (see photo below)—dressed

Two women participating in relay race

The annual Spring Fling celebration on May 11 featured the introduction of "Center Green Idol," a twist on the hit TV show “American Idol.” In front of a packed auditorium at Center Green, staff contestants sang, danced, performed poetry, demonstrated tae kwon do, presented creative outcomes for the NCAR recompetition, and more.

Woman in traditional Jamaican dress holding basket

On December 8, staffers packed the Center Green auditorium for the annual holiday party and awards ceremony.

This year’s Outstanding Accomplishment Awards featured 17 nominations, comprising a record 138 individuals, including university collaborators. UCAR president Rick Anthes congratulated the winners and nominees, and thanked the jury members for their thoughtful deliberations.

Jeff Kiehl and Christine Shields

In honor of the party theme "Have a Ball," staffers converged at the Mesa Lab last Friday for the annual Up-the-Hill Races dressed in everything from frilly ball gowns to "ball-and-chain" jail uniforms, as well as functional Spandex bike shorts.

Woman running