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UCAR statement on nomination of Walter Copan to head NIST

BOULDER, Colo. — The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) congratulates Walter Copan on his nomination as undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).Copan, an expert in technology transfer and intellectual property, is president and CEO of Colorado-based Intellectual Property Engineering Group. He previously served at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and at Brookhaven National Laboratory, leading technology commercialization and R&D partnerships."Walt is a widely respected scientist, innovator, and administrator with extensive experience in moving research to the market where it can benefit society," said UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi. "His knowledge of weather, climate, and space weather will foster new areas of cooperation between NIST and the Earth system science community."NIST is a measurement standards laboratory that promotes innovation and industrial competitiveness. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides guidance to organizations on reducing cybersecurity risks.UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related sciences.

UCAR statement on nomination of Timothy Gallaudet

BOULDER, Colo. — The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) congratulates Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet, a former oceanographer of the Navy, on his nomination to assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. In that position, Gallaudet will serve as the second-in-command at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Gallaudet, who also served as commander of the Navy’s Meteorology and Oceanography Command, is a 32-year Navy veteran. He holds master's and doctoral degrees in oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography."Tim's mixture of operational expertise and scientific knowledge make him an ideal choice for this position," said UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi. "His understanding of the vital collaborations between NOAA, private forecasting companies, and the academic community can help foster the movement of research to operational forecasting and advance the nation's weather prediction capabilities. Furthermore, his knowledge of Earth system science and his ability to align that science with budget and programs will be essential to moving NOAA forward in the next few years."NOAA runs the National Weather Services, engages in weather and climate research, and operates weather satellites and a climate data center. The agency also works to better understand and protect the nation's coasts, oceans, and fisheries.UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related sciences.

Michael Farrar joins UCAR leadership

BOULDER, Colo. — The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has named Michael Farrar as its senior vice president/chief operating officer.In this newly created role, Farrar will be responsible for strengthening the organization's efforts in research, education, innovation, and outreach, ensuring that UCAR delivers the highest quality services to its staff and to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). UCAR manages NCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation."UCAR's primary mission is to be an exemplary steward of the National Science Foundation's investment in NCAR," said UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi. "Mike's leadership experience in the National Weather Service, the U.S. Air Force, the private sector, and beyond has equipped him with the skills we need to ensure that UCAR delivers on this mission. Mike is a highly respected leader in the weather community. His familiarity with NCAR and UCAR mean he can hit the ground running. I look forward to the contributions he will make to our organization."Michael Farrar. (Photo courtesy NOAA.)Farrar comes to the organization from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he has worked since 2012. He currently serves as the director of the Environmental Modeling Center at NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), where he oversees 175 staff and more than 20 environmental models that are foundational to NWS forecast operations. Prior NOAA appointments include acting deputy director of the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, director of the NWS Meteorological Development Lab, and chief of the Program Management Branch in the NWS Office of Science and Technology.Earlier in his career, Farrar served in the U.S. Air Force, where he commanded a 110-person unit responsible for 24/7 weather operations support. After completing the executive leadership program at the Department of Defense's National Defense University, he managed a DOD program charged with sponsoring basic and applied research, largely carried out at dozens of universities, in physical science, mathematics, engineering, and social science. He retired from the Air Force in 2010 with the rank of colonel.

UCAR to co-anchor Colorado's Innovation Corridor

BOULDER, Colo. — The Colorado Innovation Corridor, a new platform to connect premier, federally funded labs with private industry, will be co-anchored by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). The partnership is designed to foster economic development and job creation.UCAR and NREL will be linked to private companies through the global marketplace collaborations at FORMATIV's new World Trade Center (WTC) Denver Development in the city's River North neighborhood. FORMATIV is the Denver-based real estate development firm behind the WTC Denver Development.“The resources associated with these two labs are unlike anything else in the world," said Eric Drummond, president of global strategy and chief legal officer of FORMATIV. "We are absolutely thrilled to have them as founding partners of The Innovation Corridor."An artist's rendition of the World Trade Center Denver Development (Image courtesy FORMATIV.) UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of the National Science Foundation. It plays a central role in raising awareness of the value of continued federal investment in the lifesaving, economically critical work provided by the Earth systems science community, including improved forecasts of weather, water, climate, and solar storms.The Innovation Corridor will develop connections among the national labs, FORMATIV, and the private sector, providing scientists with an opportunity to demonstrate the newest technology and meet with potential business partners and investors."Private companies throughout the Front Range and beyond will now be able to harness breakthroughs by our scientists more effectively, thanks to this new partnership," said UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi. "The Innovation Corridor will leverage cutting-edge science in ways that will generate jobs, advance technologies needed to protect life and property, and boost U.S. competitiveness in the global economy."FORMATIV is a dynamic real estate and community development company that works to create transformative commercial and mixed-use projects. Its team focuses on building innovative business and community-based ecosystems in Denver and globally.The U.S. Department of Energy's NREL is the federal government's primary laboratory dedicated to research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.Writer:David Hosansky, Manager of Media Relations

UCAR/NCAR statement on the passing of Matthew J. Parker

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) join American Meteorological Society (AMS) colleagues and those in the broader meteorological community in mourning the passing of AMS President Matthew J. Parker, who died on March 15.This past January, Parker took over as AMS president during the society’s annual meeting in Seattle having been elected as president-elected in November 2015. He had spent much of his career, since 1989, at Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina. During that time, Parker rose through the ranks and was most recently senior fellow meteorologist in the Atmospheric Technologies Group.Matthew Parker (Photo courtesy of the American Meteorological Society.)“Matt was a true leader in the community who advocated for an analysis to show the value and return on investment in the weather enterprise,” said UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi. “Matt was a strong supporter of a more diverse and inclusive weather enterprise and while at the Department of Energy, worked to integrate all parts of the community, including the public, private, and academic sectors. This loss will be deeply felt.”NCAR Director James W. Hurrell expressed a similar sentiment, noting that Parker’s passing “is an enormous loss for the entire scientific community. Matt was a tremendous leader who was deeply committed to our field, and to AMS in particular. He will be sorely missed.”  William Mahoney, interim director of NCAR’s Research Applications Laboratory and Commissioner of AMS’s Commission on the Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise, added: “Matt understood that creating collaboration among government, private, and academic sectors could be a powerful and effective strategy for advancing our scientific and operational capabilities. We will miss Matt’s leadership but the Commission will continue to work on implementing his vision.”See AMS’s statement here.

Opening doors to a career in geoscience

March 8, 2017 | Michael Bell, recently honored as one of America's outstanding early-career scientists, took an unconventional path to becoming a top tropical cyclone researcher.Bell said he always had an interest in meteorology but the University of Florida, where he first attended, didn't have that major. "I started as a physics major, but I realized that high energy particle physics wasn't for me." So, because he had enjoyed his comparative religion classes, he wound up as a religion major.But since he already had taken many math and physics courses, it was relatively straightforward to go back to school and pursue a second bachelor's in mathematics and meteorology at Metropolitan State College (now Metropolitan State University) in Denver. There he had a professor, Anthony Rockwood, who had worked at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and encouraged Bell to apply for a student assistantship.Michael Montgomery, Michael Bell, and Wen-Chau Lee (left to right) during the THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign in Guam in 2008. Lee was Bell's mentor at NCAR and Montgomery, of the Naval Postgraduate School, was Bell's Ph.D. adviser. (Photo courtesy Wen-Chau Lee, NCAR.)The cliché is that the rest is history, and it fits in this case. Bell was so successful as a student assistant that he would spend another decade at NCAR before leaving for academia. In December 2016, President Obama honored Bell as one of America's outstanding early-career scientists. The Office of Naval Research nominated Bell for the award in recognition of his hurricane and typhoon research, much of which was done for the Navy."This is a career highlight for me, " Bell, wrote in an email to his mentor Wen-Chau Lee, an NCAR senior scientist, shortly after being notified of the honor. "I owe you a debt of gratitude for all of the opportunities you have provided me over the years.""NCAR taught me to think critically about data quality and the assumptions that go into data," Bell, now an associate professor at Colorado State University, said in a recent interview. "The field projects (which included flying close to hurricanes) taught me the importance of careful planning and execution, so when the weather you want to study occurs, you're ready to take advantage of it."Bell's enthusiasm and desire to learn impressed the NCAR hiring team, Lee recalled. "He said, 'I want this, I think I can do it.'""I have to invest a lot of time to train a student assistant," Lee said, "so I wasn't looking for a candidate with a ton of programming experiences who would stay a year and leave. I was looking for someone who could assist me over the relatively long term, and I had a feeling that Michael could do it."During his stint at NCAR, Bell was part of at least a half-dozen field campaigns, including RAINEX (Hurricane Rainband and Intensity Change Experiment) in 2005, and T-PARC (THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign) in 2008. He served as a principal investigator for PREDICT (Pre-Depression Investigation of Cloud Systems in the Tropics), which examined hurricane formation.Lee, Bell, and Paul Harasti of the Naval Research Laboratory also co-developed a tool called VORTRAC (Vortex Objective Radar Tracking and Circulation) that enabled hurricane specialists for the first time to continually monitor central pressure as a fast-changing storm nears land.A rich tradition of mentoringThe National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research have a tradition of helping develop the next generation of scientists.In fiscal 2016 alone, there were more than 400 examples of NCAR and UCAR scientists and engineers working with student-scientists on activities such as mentoring, advising, thesis review, and teaching."There's no shortage of channels available to get great students from prestigious organizations, but the kind of informal programs like student assistantships show how NCAR opens the door for people who otherwise wouldn't get the opportunity," said Senior Scientist Wen-Chau Lee of NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory.There are also several formal examples, including SOARS (Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research & Science), a UCAR program begun more than two decades ago to broaden participation in atmospheric sciences. In fiscal year 2016, about 65 student protégés either participated in SOARS internships or were supported through webinars and career advising.With mentoring opportunities from undergraduate internships through postdoctoral fellowships, NCAR|UCAR student-scientists have gone on to successful careers in government labs, academia, and the private sector, and many have taken on leadership roles. In the SOARS program alone, more than 100 students have earned a master's degree in science or engineering to date, and three dozen have gone on to get their Ph.D.s.While working at NCAR, Bell earned a master's degree in atmospheric science from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School. The Education Assistance program of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research paid tuition for his master's degree. (UCAR manages NCAR with sponsorship by the National Science Foundation.)"Michael always took advantage of the opportunities provided to him," Lee said. "There's an old saying of Confucius that to be a mentor or teacher is like being a big bell. The harder a student hits the bell, the greater the sound. If a student is eager to learn, I will put forward more from my end to challenge them."Graduate students at the University of Hawaii received radar training from Wen-Chau Lee (NCAR, far left) and Michael Bell (University of Hawaii, back row, second from left) in 2013 during an educational deployment of a Doppler on Wheels radar system that was sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Lee's participation was supported by the UCAR UVisit program. (Photo courtesy Wen-Chau Lee, NCAR.)Recalling Bell's early years, NCAR scientist Bob Rilling said: "Michael had a real curiosity and an analytical approach to problems. You could see his wheels turning. He wanted to make things work."The relationship between NCAR and Bell continued long after he moved on in his career.For example, in 2013, Bell invited Lee to the University of Hawaii as part of a UVisit program administered by UCAR. Lee gave lectures to Bell's radar class and helped Bell train graduate students during a Doppler on Wheels educational deployment as part of the Hawaiian Educational Radar Opportunity, a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation.Lee in turn asked Bell to become the principal investigator on a new project called the Lidar Radar Open Software Environment, or LROSE.LROSE aims to develop a unified open source software tool to handle the copious quantities of atmospheric data produced by radars and lidars. The collaboration won a competitive grant from the National Science Foundation Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation program, and a community workshop is planned for April at NCAR.Summing up NCAR's role in his professional life, Bell said, "I worked with a lot of good people, like Wen-Chau, and they really helped launch me into my current career."Writer/ContactJeff Smith, Science Writer and Public Information Officer  

Five new trustees join UCAR's board

BOULDER — Five new trustees are taking their seats this week on the board of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).The five new trustees are: Susan Avery, president emerita of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Raymond Ban, managing director of Ban & Associates; Shuyi Chen, professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami; Sherri Goodman, senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center; and Harlan Spence, director of the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. Each was elected by UCAR’s 110 member universities to a three-year term.The board, which determines UCAR's overall direction, elected a new chair: Everette Joseph, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the University at Albany-SUNY. Joseph is serving his second three-year term as a trustee.At this week's meeting, UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi and Joseph thanked outgoing Chair of the Board Eric Betterton for his outstanding leadership, dedication, and commitment to UCAR."Eric is a tough act to follow, but I am looking forward to working with the new and returning trustees to ensure that UCAR continues to be regarded as one of the world's leading resources in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences," Joseph said.Betterton, who has served as chair since 2015, said he was delighted to see Joseph assume the role. "Everette is exceptionally well placed to take over as chair, having served as vice chair since 2015. He has a deep understanding of UCAR, most recently evidenced by his leadership last spring of the successful search for a new UCAR president," Betterton said.Petra Klein from the University of Oklahoma will assume the vice chair role. She has served as a trustee since 2015.The UCAR member universities also re-elected two sitting trustees to additional terms: Betterton, also director of the University of Arizona's Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences; and Romy Olaisen, a vice president of enterprise ground solutions at Harris Corp. Eleven board members have continuing terms in a staggered-term system that assures continuity."I am excited to work with a board that has the depth of expertise from academia, government, and the private sector needed to help tackle the complex challenges facing Earth system science," Busalacchi said. "The work of NCAR, the UCAR university consortium, and our many partners working on weather, water, and climate has never been more important for protecting lives and property, growing the economy, and advancing national security."UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of 110 North American colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences. UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research with sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. UCAR's community programs offer a suite of innovative resources, tools, and services in support of the consortium's education and research goals.New UCAR chairEverette Joseph has been the director of the University at Albany-SUNY's Atmospheric Sciences Research Center since 2014. His current projects include research to improve extreme weather resiliency and the development and deployment of ground-based and satellite observing systems. In his prior position as director of the Howard University Program in Atmospheric Sciences, he helped Howard become a national leader in graduating African American and Hispanic Ph.D.s in atmospheric science. Read more about Joseph.  New UCAR trustees Susan Avery is an atmospheric physicist and president emerita of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where she served as president from 2008–2015. Prior to that, Avery was a professor at the University of Colorado and held various leadership positions, including director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). Avery also is a past president of the American Meteorological Society and a past chair of the UCAR Board of Trustees. Read more about Avery.  Raymond Ban is managing director of Ban & Associates, which provides consulting services to weather media companies. He also serves as a consultant to The Weather Channel, where he served as an executive vice president from 2002–2009. Read more about Ban.  Shuyi Chen is a professor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. She has also been an affiliate scientist at NCAR since 2006. She serves as vice chair of the National Academies Board of Atmospheric Science and Climate (BASC). A fellow of the American Meteorological Society, Chen is an expert in the prediction of extreme weather events, including tropical cyclones and winter storms. Read more about Chen. Sherri Goodman is a senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, affiliated with the center's Polar Initiative, Environmental Change and Security Program, and Global Women's Leadership Initiative. She is also a senior fellow at CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis organization, where she founded the CNA Military Advisory Board. Goodman is the former president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security). Read more about Goodman. Harlan Spence has been director of the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space since 2010. Prior to that, he was a professor of astronomy and department chair at Boston University. With expertise in solar research and the origins of space weather, he has worked closely with NCAR's High Altitude Observatory. He serves on several national committees providing advice to NASA and the National Science Foundation on potential space missions. Read more about Spence. 

UCAR breakfast honors AGU Fellows

December 19, 2016 | UCAR cemented a new tradition at the fall conference of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco last week by hosting its second annual AGU Fellows breakfast. The event honors newly elected Fellows from NCAR and UCAR member universities as well as those elected in the past."I am delighted to recognize and congratulate you on your exceptional scientific contributions and the recognition of your standing in the Earth and space sciences," UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi told the Fellows.Only one in 1,000 AGU members are elected Fellows in any given year. About 40 percent of this year's Fellows are from NCAR and the 110 member colleges and universities of UCAR.Inez Fung and Antonio Busalacchi (©UCAR. Photo by David Hosansky. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)Inez Fung, professor of atmospheric science at the University of California, Berkeley, and an AGU Fellow, delivered the keynote address at the breakfast. Fung was appointed by President Obama to the National Science Board in 2012, and she focused her remarks on the board.The National Science Board, which includes the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and establishes the policies of the agency, is apolitical and independent. Fung explained that, in addition to providing the president and Congress with major reports about research in the United States, the board's 25 members are putting more emphasis on building strong relationships with members of Congress."Because we represent a wide area of expertise, are spread across the country, and serve on the board for six-year terms, we are well positioned to invest in building professional relationships on Capitol Hill," Fung said. "Our focus has been on relevant congressional committee chairs as well as our own congressional delegations. We have found these meetings very worthwhile and are continuing to cultivate congressional relationships."Fung also spoke about a personal highlight of her board membership: her trip to Antarctica three years ago. Board members are invited to visit Antarctica because of the importance of the U.S. Antarctic Program, which is funded and managed by NSF."I came away from that trip totally in awe of Antarctica—of the scientists working there to understand the geology, atmosphere, ocean, ice and biology of the place and of the men and women who make the science happen in such a faraway and challenging environment," she said.During a question-and-answer session following her remarks, Fung emphasized the importance of basic research for the United States, as well as Congress's support for research."Basic science is the engine of the economy; it is the engine of innovation," she said.  "This is very important for American leadership in the world."Writer/contact:David Hosansky, Manager of Media Relations

James Hurrell elected to AGU position

BOULDER, Colo. —James W. Hurrell, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), has been elected incoming president of the Atmospheric Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He will be formally installed as president-elect at the AGU's annual meeting in December."It is a great honor to be elected by peers throughout the atmospheric sciences community," Hurrell said. "This is a critical time for the atmospheric sciences as we seek to advance our knowledge of climate change, extreme weather events, air quality, and other issues that pose significant challenges to our society."NCAR Director James Hurrell. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)The Atmospheric Sciences Section studies the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of the atmosphere, particularly the two layers closest to Earth’s surface: the stratosphere and troposphere. These layers are crucial to life because they regulate planetary surface temperature, play an integral role in the world’s water cycle, and screen the planet from high-energy radiation. Much of the research focuses on global climate change, as well as monitoring fluctuations in the ozone layer and better understanding and predicting weather events and the effects of emissions from human activities."New ideas and approaches to AGU’s strategic challenges can be found in the collective wisdom of the organization's diverse membership," Hurrell said. "As president-elect, I am committed to eliciting those ideas and finding effective methods to further develop and implement the best of them." An NCAR senior scientist, Hurrell was named director of the center in 2013. He has contributed to numerous national and international science planning initiatives, including extensive involvement in the World Climate Research Programme, as well as the assessment activities of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He also has served on several National Academy of Sciences panels, and he has provided briefings and testimonies to Congress on climate change science.Hurrell is a Fellow of the AGU, as well as of the American Meteorological Society and the Royal Meteorological Society. His personal research has centered on empirical and modeling studies and diagnostic analyses to better understand climate, climate variability, and climate change."Jim's vision and energy, along with his skill at drawing on insights from across the atmospheric sciences community, will enable him to make substantial contributions to AGU," said Antonio J. Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). "The UCAR community is excited over Jim's election and looks forward to his leadership in this important position."

UCAR/NCAR statement on the passing of Ralph J. Cicerone

Ralph Cicerone pictured at NCAR in the 1980s. (©UCAR. Photo by Ginger Hein. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) join colleagues in the Earth system science community and beyond in mourning the loss of renowned atmospheric scientist Ralph J. Cicerone, who died on Nov. 5.Dr. Cicerone left his job as a research chemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1980 to join NCAR, where he led the Atmospheric Chemistry Division. In 1989, Dr. Cicerone took on a new challenge, accepting an offer to build an interdisciplinary department of geosciences at the University of California, Irvine.  "Ralph was a pioneer in thinking about the Earth as a connected system," said UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi. "His willingness to work across disciplines in pursuit of a deeper understanding of how the pieces of the Earth system fit together set an example for atmospheric scientists and helped set the research direction for our community as well as the whole of the National Academy of Sciences. His loss will be deeply felt at NCAR, UCAR, and far beyond."Read Dr. Cicerone's full obituary at the National Academy of Sciences webpage. 

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