NCAR, UCAR scientists win AMS honors

BOULDER, Colo. — Eight scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) have won special honors from the American Meteorological Society (AMS), garnering several of the most prestigious awards in the atmospheric sciences."The large number of award winners demonstrates the extent to which NCAR and UCAR are important leaders in our field," said NCAR Director James Hurrell. "Working with collaborators throughout the research community, these scientists are gaining new understanding of critical atmospheric processes in ways that will advance prediction and better protect society."The AMS, which has more than 13,000 members, is the nation's premier scientific and professional organization for the atmospheric and related sciences. It is presenting the awards to 74 individuals and five organizations. The winners will be recognized at a ceremony in January at the AMS annual meeting in Seattle.NCAR and UCAR honoreesPeggy LeMoneMargaret "Peggy" LeMone (Honorary Member of the AMS). LeMone, an NCAR senior scientist emerita and former AMS president, is being recognized by the society as a person of "acknowledged preeminence" in atmospheric science. An expert on storm structure and the interaction of the boundary layer with clouds and the surface, she served as chief scientist of the worldwide GLOBE science and education program and is the author or co-author of nearly 200 peer-reviewed papers.Richard RotunnoRichard Rotunno (Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal). Rotunno, an NCAR senior scientist, is a leading expert in tornadoes and other severe storms, usingtheory and computer modeling to develop the understanding needed to improve forecasts. He won the Rossby medal — the top AMS honor — for "elegant, rigorous work that has fundamentally increased our understanding of mesoscale and synoptic-scale dynamics, especially the role of vorticity in the atmosphere." Sergey SokolovskiySergey V. Sokolovskiy (Verner E. Suomi Award). Sokolovskiy is a scientist with the UCAR COSMIC program, which uses a satellite-based GPS technology known as radio occultation to measure atmospheric parameters for weather, climate, and space weather applications. He won "for exceptional theoretical and practical contributions to the science and application of radio occultation observations of Earth’s atmosphere." Jennifer KayJennifer Kay (Henry Houghton Award). Kay, a visiting NCAR scientist and University of Colorado Boulder professor, uses observations and computer models to better understand climate variability and change. She won the award "for the innovative use of observations and global climate models to better understand the rapidly evolving climate of the polar regions." Scott EllisScott Ellis (Editor's Award). NCAR scientist Scott Ellis is a radar specialist who focuses on field campaigns and data analysis. An associate editor of the "Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology," Ellis won "for consistently excellent reviews." Mary BarthMary Barth (AMS Fellow). AMS Fellows are recognized for "outstanding contributions" to the atmospheric or related sciences over several years. Barth, an NCAR senior scientist, focuses on interactions between clouds and atmospheric chemistry. Her research, which draws on atmospheric measurements and computer models, sheds light on the effect of storms on gases and particles in the atmosphere that can affect weather and climate. Robert SharmanRobert Sharman (AMS Fellow). Sharman is a veteran NCAR scientist who specializes in atmospheric turbulence and its effect on aircraft. His work, with the Federal Aviation Administration and the airline industry, seeks to better predict turbulence and safely guide aircraft away from it. Christine Wiedinmyer In addition, the AMS granted a special award to the Earth Science Women's Network. Co-founded by NCAR scientist Christine Wiedinmyer, the network is dedicated to career development, peer mentoring, and community building for women in the geosciences. The network, which has grown since its founding in 2002 to more than 2,900 members, won "for inspirational commitment to broadening the participation of women in the Earth sciences, providing a supportive environment for peer mentoring and professional development." "I commend the honorees for their leadership across a remarkable breadth of research," said UCAR President Antonio J Busalacchi. "Our organization is truly a nexus for the expertise and creativity needed to better understand and predict the Earth system and its impacts on society."American Meteorological Society (AMS)Founded in 1919, the AMS is the nation’s premier scientific and professional organization promoting and disseminating information about the atmospheric, oceanic, hydrologic sciences. Its more than 13,000 members include scientists, researchers, educators, broadcast meteorologists, students, weather enthusiasts, and other professionals in the fields of weather, water, and climate.

UCAR president to be inducted into National Academy of Engineering

BOULDER, Colo. — Antonio "Tony" J. Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), will be inducted next week into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.Election to the NAE honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education. It is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer and those working at the intersection of science and engineering.Busalacchi was elected for his contributions to "understanding of tropical oceans in coupled climate systems via remotely sensed observations and for international leadership of climate prediction/projection research."UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Click here for a higher-resolution image. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)"I am deeply honored to be elected to this distinguished group," Busalacchi said. "As a nation we face a number of challenges in sustaining our ability to observe and predict weather, water, and climate. Despite such challenges, I am very optimistic about what the future holds at UCAR for our ability to predict the coupled Earth system to the ultimate betterment of society."UCAR is a consortium of more than 100 North American member colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences.Busalacchi joined UCAR as president in August. He was previously the director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center at the University of Maryland. Busalacchi is also a fellow of the American Meteorological Society (2005), the American Geophysical Union (2009), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2011)."The leadership and vision that Tony has brought to the Earth system science community — recognized by his numerous awards, including this induction into the distinguished National Academy of Engineering — are a tremendous asset to UCAR," said Eric Betterton, Chair of the UCAR Board of Trustees and a distinguished professor at the University of Arizona. "We are thrilled that Tony agreed to join UCAR and help set our direction as an interdisciplinary hub for researchers tackling some of the toughest scientific problems of our time."Busalacchi is one of 80 U.S. members and 22 foreign members who will be inducted into the NAE during its annual meeting on Oct. 9. He joins other past inductees from UCAR or the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which is managed by UCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation. Those academy members include C. Gordon Little (1974), Robert Serafin (1994), Margaret LeMone (1997), Robert Dickinson (2002), Warren Washington (2002), and Timothy Killeen (2007).The mission of NAE is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshaling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. The NAE is part of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Antonio Busalacchi named president of University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

BOULDER—Dr. Antonio (Tony) J. Busalacchi was named the next president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) today, following an extensive international search. He joins UCAR from the University of Maryland, where he is professor of atmospheric and oceanic science and director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center. Busalacchi will join UCAR on Aug. 1. “Tony Busalacchi is an exceptional scientist and leader with a breadth of experience that will be especially important as UCAR extends its role as a leader and advocate for Earth system science,” said Dr. Eric Betterton of the University of Arizona, who chairs the UCAR Board of Trustees. UCAR is a nonprofit consortium made up of more than 100 member colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences. UCAR’s primary activity is managing the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor. UCAR also oversees a variety of education and scientific support activities under the umbrella of the UCAR Community Programs. Research at UCAR/NCAR advances understanding of severe weather, climate, geomagnetic storms, and other environmental factors that have significant impacts on society in the United States and overseas, including the global economy. This work helps to improve prediction of these phenomena and strengthen national and global resilience to them. Antonio Busalacchi has been named as the next president of UCAR. Click here for a higher-resolution image. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.) “It’s an absolute honor and privilege to be selected to lead UCAR,” Busalacchi said. “Building on a long history of weather, water, and climate research, UCAR/NCAR has enormous potential to be the world’s leading institution in Earth system science across basic research, education and training, and science in support of society. I’m excited to lead the organization into a new era in partnership with NCAR Director James Hurrell and our university member community.” In his current position at the University of Maryland, Busalacchi leads an interdisciplinary research center encompassing meteorology, oceanography, geology, and geography to investigate how the land, oceans, and atmosphere react with and influence one another. Busalacchi has held numerous scientific leadership positions over the last three decades. He has chaired or co-chaired many committees for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and its National Research Council (NRC) as well as the World Climate Research Programme. He has served on the NAS Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) since 2003 and led BASC as chair from 2009–2014. He has extensive knowledge and experience working with the key government science agencies in Washington, D.C., and he has a comprehensive understanding of the federal funding environment. He has also frequently testified before Congress regarding the value of weather, water, and climate research. “The search committee for the new UCAR president was extremely impressed with the high caliber of applicants for the position, despite the great challenge this presented us in making a selection,” said UCAR Trustee Dr. Everette Joseph, director of the Atmospheric Science Research Center at SUNY Albany and chair of the search committee. “Tony’s broad experience in leading interdisciplinary organizations that span fundamental and applied research as well as demonstrating leadership in our community, experience in Washington, and vision for the future of UCAR and Earth system sciences, are all an excellent fit for UCAR going forward.” “Throughout his career, Tony has demonstrated superb leadership and management of scientific programs,” Hurrell said. “I’ve had the privilege of interacting with Tony in his capacity as a trustee on the UCAR board since 2014 and through his service to NCAR while serving on advisory and review panels, as well as on several national and international science planning efforts. Now I look forward to working closely with him to advance the mission of NCAR.” Prior to joining the University of Maryland faculty in 2000, Busalacchi led the Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (1991–2000) and the laboratory's Oceans and Ice Branch (1988-1990). Busalacchi is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Earlier this year, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He earned his master's and Ph.D. in oceanography and bachelor of science in physics from Florida State University. He is author or co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed papers related to atmosphere-ocean interactions.  Busalacchi will take the helm from NCAR Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Michael Thompson, who has served as interim president of UCAR since July 2015. Previously Dr. Thomas Bogdan served as president from 2012 to 2015. External comments on the selection of Busalacchi Dr. Mark Abbott, President and Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution:“Tony has long been an acknowledged leader in Earth system science. He will bring a new level of energy and insight to UCAR. His extensive experience in all facets of our science, and his ability to work across the diverse membership of UCAR will be a significant asset. I am very pleased to work with Tony as we advance Earth system science for UCAR." Dr. Waleed Abdalati, Director, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences:"Tony has long been a thoughtful and visionary leader of atmospheric and oceanic research, and I am delighted he will be joining the Boulder community. The scientific expertise he brings to the position, coupled with his understanding and organizational leadership in the national and international arenas, will serve UCAR well. I very much look forward to working with him on advancing our nation’s environmental research capabilities." Dr. Gilbert Brunet, Director, Meteorological Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Former Chair of the World Weather Research Programme Scientific Steering Committee, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):“It is with great pleasure I congratulate Tony for his selection as next UCAR President. I met Tony for the first time when he was  chair of the World Climate Research Programme. Together we have valued, developed, and continuously supported the close links needed between the weather and climate communities to face the growing number of joint Earth-system prediction challenges. From these sustained efforts important international research activities bridging the weather and climate communities have been initiated like the WMO Subseasonal to Seasonal and Polar Prediction Project initiatives. Tony’s vision of seamless weather-climate science will put on a solid basis UCAR future and contribution to society.” Dr. Rita Colwell, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, College Park; and Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; Former Director, National Science Foundation:"Tony and I have been friends and colleagues for a long time. He is kind, generous, and a brilliant scientist. We have published together and his insights and sharp intellect have always brought clarity and focus to the research. Tony Busalacchi is a splendid leader and will serve UCAR very well. I am delighted for him in this new recognition and responsibility and will look forward to his newest successes. Congratulations, Tony! Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Vice President for Research, University of Oklahoma:“Tony brings to the UCAR presidency a wealth of experience; strong community engagement; and a broad, international perspective on Earth system sciences research and education. I am pleased he accepted this wonderful opportunity to serve and look forward to working with him.” David Grimes, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Meteorological Service of Canada; President of the World Meteorological Organization:"I was pleased to hear of Dr. Busalacchi’s appointment as UCAR President. As an international partner, I have always valued the relationship with UCAR, particularly the COMET program, which is an excellent distance training program from which many meteorologists around the world have benefitted. I also look forward to furthering our cooperation with NCAR over the coming years under his leadership. Tony’s excellent academic credentials and international experience give me great confidence that he will serve the meteorological community well. I look forward to working closely with Tony in his new position." Dr. Thomas Karl, Director, NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction:"My first reaction, when I learned that UCAR had selected Professor Tony Busalacchi as President, was that UCAR surely had a wise search and selection process. Tony has been a national and international leader in ocean and atmospheric science for many years.  I have seen his dedication to work well-beyond institution boundaries at the National Academies, the World Climate Research Programme, agency advisory committees and more. UCAR has selected a brilliant leader, and we all will benefit immensely." Vice Admiral (retired) Conrad Lautenbacher Jr., former U.S. Department of Commerce Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere and former Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:"I was thrilled to learn that Tony was selected as the next president of UCAR. He is an exceptional talent, combining proven leadership skills with scientific excellence and management successes in a variety of relevant settings from university lecture halls to the halls of government." Dr. Margaret Leinen, Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences, University of California San Diego; Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography:“Tony is an incredible scientist and community leader. He has demonstrated a unique ability to seamlessly traverse academic and governmental arenas to advance science. He comes to UCAR at a critical time, and I look forward to working with him to encourage closer collaboration among ocean, earth and atmospheric scientists." Robert S. Marshall, Founder & CEO, Earth Networks, Inc.:“For many years, Tony has been instrumental in facilitating and promoting the development of strong collaborative research and development activities among the academic and commercial weather sectors.  He is the right choice to lead UCAR into the future and we eagerly anticipate working with both he and the distinguished member institutions he represents to advance technology infusion into our nation’s economy through a vibrant and expanding public-private partnership.” Dr. Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief, Science journals; President-elect, National Academy of Sciences:“Tony Busalacchi is an inspired choice to lead UCAR at this critical juncture. His distinguished career of service through committees of the National Academy of Sciences and long list of relevant publications in Science and top journals of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society are testimony to his understanding of the issues at the interface of science and policy. He has a reputation for strategically building institutions and guiding programs. UCAR is fortunate to have leadership of his caliber at a time when strong science voices are needed to guide sound decisions that affect everyone on the planet.” Dr. Berrien Moore III, Dean, College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences, University of Oklahoma; Vice President, Weather & Climate Programs; Director, National Weather Center:“We are delighted by the selection of Professor Anthony Busalacchi to lead UCAR as the next president into the future. Tony has the scientific, intellectual, and encompassing vision and strength of person that are necessary to chart and execute the voyage, which will meet the challenges facing our society and our planet. Well Done!" Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Seventh District, Colorado:"I am pleased Dr. Busalacchi agreed to lead UCAR at such an important time for our weather enterprise.  Tony brings with him the experience necessary to capitalize on the best government, industry, and academia can offer to improve our scientific capabilities and understanding. I look forward to UCAR’s continued success under Tony’s leadership." Congressman Jared Polis, Second District, Colorado:“Congratulations to Dr. Busalacchi on his recent appointment to be President of UCAR. Not only are we excited to have such a bright leader at the helm of UCAR, but also look forward to the contribution he’ll make to our community.” Robert Ryan, Past President, American Meteorological Society:"My heartfelt congratulations to Tony as the next President of UCAR. He is the perfect person to lead UCAR at such a critical time for our atmospheric sciences and the importance of support for understanding science, critical funding for the sciences and science education. I know everyone and every segment of the atmospheric, oceanic and hydrological sciences will benefit under his leadership of UCAR." Dr. Christopher Scolese, Director, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:"Tony is an inspirational leader and great scientist who will be a fantastic president of UCAR. All of us at Goddard look forward to working with Dr. Busalacchi in his new position and continuing our productive relationship with UCAR." Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere; Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration"Tony is an excellent choice to lead UCAR. He has deep understanding of the critical scientific issues of the day and he's an astute leader. Tony's awareness of the community dynamics and his excellent relationship with other leaders will serve UCAR and the broader environmental scientific community very effectively. I'm sure we will all benefit greatly from the insights, knowledge and perspectives he will bring." Rear Admiral (retired) David Titley, Professor of Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University; Founding Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk:“Dr. Busalacchi is an outstanding choice as the next UCAR President. His combination of strategic vision, superb academic credentials, and deep knowledge of how Washington works will serve the weather enterprise well in this dynamic time.  I look forward to working with Tony in his new position.” Dr. Louis Uccellini, Director, National Weather Service:"Tony Busalacchi has throughout his career covered the entire spectrum of Earth System Sciences and also has  worked tirelessly to engage the larger community in important reviews of the research and research to operations enterprise. The NWS is excited and looks forward to continuing our partnership with UCAR under Tony's leadership as we work to build a Weather Ready Nation." Rear Admiral Jonathan White, U.S. Navy Oceanographer and Navigator; Director, Space and Maritime Domain Awareness:“Given his diverse background and unparalleled expertise, I can’t imagine there is a better individual anywhere to take on this important leadership position.  To better understand and address the challenges that face our planet’s changing ocean, atmosphere, and climate, the scientific communities that represent these interrelated earth systems must closely collaborate in the days ahead. Tony is the perfect person to help lead that collaboration, and I look forward to working with him to that end.” Dr. John Zillman, former President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and former President of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS):“Tony Busalacchi’s appointment as UCAR President is great news for international meteorology and for the  broader reaches of  Earth system science. As Chair of the WMO-IOC-ICSU World Climate Research Programme, he provided outstanding international leadership of climate research and, in my time with the Global Climate Observing System  and Global Framework for Climate Services, his energy, wisdom and commitment to collaboration made the international climate science scene a genuine  model  of international cooperation. I am sure that, under his presidency, UCAR will continue to provide outstanding international leadership in our field."  

Seven NCAR scientists named AMS Fellows

BOULDER – Seven scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have been elected Fellows of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) for making outstanding contributions to the atmospheric sciences or related fields for a substantial period of time. "Such recognition highlights the invaluable research contributions by these scientists,” said NCAR Director James Hurrell. “Their work is leading to new understanding of some of the most pressing problems in Sun-Earth system science, which is helping to make our society more resilient.”  The seven honorees are among 29 experts nationwide selected as fellows this year by the AMS, which has more than 13,000 members. They will be recognized at a ceremony in January at the AMS annual meeting in New Orleans. NCAR’s new AMS Fellows are: Jeffrey Anderson, a senior scientist who has worked for more than two decades to improve predictions of Earth’s climate system. He is an expert in ensemble data assimilation, a technique that is used to combine observations with computer models in order to make forecasts and improve both models and observing systems. Christopher Davis, director of NCAR’s Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Lab and an expert in hurricanes and other cyclones. His work focuses on using computer simulations and detailed observations to better understand and predict hurricanes and other mesoscale (intermediate-size) weather systems. Rolando Garcia, a senior scientist who specializes in the middle and upper atmosphere. His work has advanced understanding of the ozone layer, the influence of higher regions of the atmosphere on global climate, and atmospheric waves that propagate from just above Earth’s surface to the upper atmosphere. James Moore, a veteran project manager who has managed some of the most significant atmospheric science field projects of recent decades to better understand weather and climate. He is helping develop a new airborne phased-array radar that will take unprecedented measurements of storms, leading to improved predictions of dangerous rain and snow events. Bette Otto-Bliesner, deputy director of NCAR’s climate lab and a specialist in using computer-based models of Earth's climate system to study past environmental change. One of the world’s top climate modelers, she has contributed as a lead author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Chris Snyder, a senior scientist who leads NCAR's Data Assimilation Program. He has contributed to ensemble data assimilation, improvements in the prediction of severe weather, understanding of winter storms, and theories regarding which atmospheric motions can or cannot be predicted at certain lead times. Jothiram Vivekanandan, a senior scientist who is among a handful of international researchers who have mastered the theory, modeling, and observational aspects of measuring the atmosphere with remote sensing instruments such as advanced radars and radiometers. His work on radars has led to the National Weather Service adopting polarization radar techniques that produce better measurements of storms and forecasts, and he is now working with lidars and cloud radars to help climate scientists better understand cloud processes.   Click here for more on this year’s AMS Fellows and other award winners.

Three new members join UCAR Board of Trustees

BOULDER – Members of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) recently elected three new trustees: Kristie Boering of the University of California, Berkeley; Michael Morgan of the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Kathleen Ritzman of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. The member universities also voted to re-elect three sitting trustees to additional terms: current Chair of the Board Eric Betterton of the University of Arizona; Rafael Bras of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Kelly Fox of the University of Colorado Boulder. "I am delighted to welcome the new members of our board," said Betterton. "They join a group that is extremely engaged in ensuring the continued availability of world-class resources for research, education, and technology transfer in the atmospheric and related Earth sciences." "I look forward to working with the new and returning board members," said UCAR Interim President Michael Thompson. "The board's breadth of expertise reflects the wide range of activities we focus on to address crucial questions in weather, water, and climate through the National Center for Atmospheric Research, our UCAR Community Programs, and our university consortium." The UCAR board, which determines UCAR's overall direction, has 18 trustees who each serve three-year terms. They are elected by UCAR’s 109 member universities. Kristie Boering, a professor of chemistry and of Earth and planetary science at UC Berkeley, studies chemistry and mass transport in the atmosphere using experiments in the laboratory, numerical modeling, and observations from high-altitude aircraft and balloons. more about Boering Michael Morgan, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at UW-Madison, works on the analysis, diagnosis, and predictability of mid-latitude and tropical weather systems. more about Morgan Kathleen Ritzman, assistant director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, oversees institutional planning, government relations, and strategic partnership development. She is an expert on science and technology policy issues and on federal environment, energy, and defense research funding. more about Ritzman   UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of 109 North American colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences. Members set directions and priorities for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which UCAR manages 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.

UCAR trustee Busalacchi to co-chair decadal survey for Earth observations

BOULDER – University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) trustee Antonio Busalacchi has accepted appointment as co-chair of the National Research Council’s Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space. Busalacchi is a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Maryland. The survey committee will develop priorities for NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey to bolster observations of Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces with a new generation of U.S. satellites as well as supporting activities during the 2018-27 decade. It will also assess the progress that has been made in addressing the major scientific and application challenges outlined in the Earth Science Decadal Survey completed in 2007, which was co-chaired by then-UCAR President Richard Anthes. Antonio Busalacchi will co-chair the Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space. (Photo courtesy Antonio Busalacchi.) Satellites and other Earth-observing instruments are critical for safeguarding society from natural disasters. They are needed for issuing accurate weather forecasts, monitoring the effects of a changing climate, and assessing the impacts of solar storms. "Tony is a perfect choice to co-chair this landmark survey, thanks to his expertise on Earth observations and his extensive experience on National Research Council committees," said UCAR Interim President Michael Thompson. "His leadership will ensure that the academic community will have effective input on future satellite missions for observing Earth from space." Busalacchi is director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center at the University of Maryland, as well as chair of the university’s Council on the Environment. An oceanographer and climate expert, his extensive National Research Council service includes terms as chair of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the BASC Climate Research Committee; chair of the Panel on Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft; and co-chair of the Committee on National Security Implications of Climate Change on U.S. Naval Forces. Busalacchi has served on the UCAR Board of Trustees since 2014. "This study comes at a critical time for Earth system science across NASA, NOAA, and the USGS, as the efforts of the past few decades have ushered in a golden era of Earth remote sensing, but we have yet to determine how best to sustain this enterprise across basic research, applied research, applications, and operations," Busalacchi said. "A prime example of this challenge is space-based observations in support of weather monitoring and prediction." UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of 105 colleges and universities providing research and education in the atmospheric and related sciences. It manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research on behalf of the National Science Foundation.

Three NCAR scientists named AGU Fellows

BOULDER – Three senior scientists with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have been named Fellows of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for advancing Earth science and related fields. The three honorees are Bette Otto-Bliesner, William Randel, and Michael Thompson. Thompson is currently serving as interim president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages NCAR under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation. Michael Thompson Bette Otto-Bliesner Bill Randel The three are among 60 individuals from across the United States and overseas selected as Fellows this year of the AGU, which has almost 60,000 members worldwide. The honor recognizes those who have made exceptional scientific contributions and attained acknowledged eminence in the fields of Earth and space sciences. “This is outstanding recognition for our science,” said NCAR Director James Hurrell. “It is a well-deserved honor for these three dedicated researchers who have advanced our understanding of the atmosphere and the Sun.” Of the 60 Fellows, more than half come from UCAR’s 105 member colleges and universities. The Fellows will be recognized during a ceremony on Dec. 16 during the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Thompson is an internationally recognized solar physicist with expertise in the structure and dynamics of the interior of the Sun and of other stars. He has worked extensively on analysis of scientific data from several space missions and ground-based observing networks to advance understanding of the physics of the Sun. Otto-Bliesner, one of the world's leading climate modelers, specializes in using computer-based models of Earth's climate system to study past environmental change. She has contributed as a lead author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Randel is one of the world’s foremost experts on ozone depletion in the stratosphere, including the so-called ozone hole. He focuses on the chemistry of the atmosphere, and has played a leading role with such international science organizations as the IPCC and the World Meteorological Organization. The three join 25 other NCAR scientists who were named AGU Fellows in past years. The AGU is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. It is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing members in 139 countries.

UCAR Foundation board targets commercialization of new research

BOULDER – Accelerating its focus on commercializing new research technologies, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Foundation is welcoming a new chair and two new members to its board of directors. New board member Steve Berens is founder of Boulder-based companies Clear Comfort Water and Energized Strategy and a veteran manager of high-technology start-ups. Eric Drummond joins the board with experience as partner in the Denver-based law firm of Fairfield and Woods and expertise in alternative energy, health IT, and other emerging technology issues. Board member Vivian Dullien, a Boulder-based entrepreneur with experience in commercializing medical products, is the newly elected board chair. “We have a great team in place whose members each bring unique business experience to the foundation, along with the ability to drive new technologies in atmospheric observing and forecasting to the marketplace,” said UCAR president Thomas Bogdan. “Our board members have their fingers on the pulse of groups across the country that will be interested in weather and climate technologies." The UCAR Foundation works to commercialize knowledge and technology developed at UCAR and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which UCAR manages on behalf of the National Science Foundation. Examples of past commercialization of UCAR and NCAR research include: a wind energy forecasting system that has saved Xcel Energy ratepayers close to $40 million, specialized instrument packages known as dropsondes, which are released from aircraft to provide targeted, high-resolution soundings near storms or in remote regions. a software platform known as E-Hub, developed in conjunction with the University of Colorado Boulder, that enables on-demand creation of customizable curricula to individualize instruction in science and other subject areas. Dullien, who has served on the board for nine years, is an expert at bringing new technologies to market. A principal at Dullien Associates, she specializes in helping start-up medical companies commercialize their products. She also is principal advisor to several commercialization programs through Los Angeles-based Larta Institute. “I’m looking forward to guiding the board as we bring critical weather and climate science out of the lab and into the marketplace,” Dullien said. “Eric and Steve bring fresh perspectives and extensive networks as we move ahead.” Berens has more than 20 years of experience in strategy, marketing, sales and engineering. Before launching Clear Comfort Water and Energized Strategy, he co-founded and helped lead Power Tagging, a smart energy solutions company. “UCAR and NCAR are widely known for their scientific reputations,” said Berens. “Their expertise and the technologies they produce hold great relevance and deliver an incredible positive impact for future technology adoption.” Drummond has practiced business law and complex administrative litigation for more than 20 years, focusing his practice in emerging technology, digital health and sciences, and conventional and alternative energy issues. He has represented electric transmission developers; Smart grid, solar, biofuel, wind, and energy efficiency companies; as well as Health IT and major financial institutions. “UCAR and NCAR are crown jewels in America’s research portfolio,” Drummond said. “I’m excited to support their work furthering the atmospheric and Earth sciences and to help their research scientists translate their cutting-edge work into commercial enterprises.” The mission of the UCAR Foundation is to accelerate science in the service of society by commercializing UCAR and NCAR knowledge and technology, thereby amplifying the benefits of publicly supported science and creating an independent stream of revenue for UCAR. The UCAR Foundation's board roster can be found here.

Kathryn Schmoll named to NASA Advisory Council

BOULDER—Kathryn Schmoll, vice president for finance and administration at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), has been named to the NASA Advisory Council. The council advises NASA's senior leadership on challenges and solutions facing the agency as it embarks on a new era of exploration. “I look forward to serving on the NASA Advisory Council during these challenging but exciting times of space exploration,” Schmoll said. Schmoll has deep roots at NASA. She worked at the agency for 16 years on the Hubble Space Telescope and other major science projects, and she served as assistant associate administrator in the NASA Headquarters Office of Space Science and Applications.  She then served as the comptroller of the Environmental Protection Agency, overseeing a multibillion-dollar budget, before joining UCAR in 1997. The first meeting of the restructured NASA Advisory Council took place on April 16-17, 2014, at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Standing left to right are: Kenneth Bowersox, Thomas Young, Miles O’Brien, Wanda Austin, Charles Bolden (NASA Administrator), Marion Blakey, Gen. Lester Lyles (Ex Officio), John Holdren (President’s Science Advisor and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House), David McComas, Steven Squyres (Chair), Charles Kennel (Ex Officio), William Ballhaus, Wayne Hale, Kathryn Schmoll, and Diane Rausch (Executive Director). (Photo courtesy NASA.) The NASA Advisory Council and its members are assisting the agency on its path to Mars. This consists of a stepping stone approach to exploration that encompasses successful expansion from commercial cargo services to commercial crews, full utilization of the International Space Station until at least 2024, and development of new technologies, including the Orion Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System to travel to an asteroid and the Red Planet. “This is an exciting opportunity for Katy to share her expertise on these critical issues,” said UCAR President Tom Bogdan. “This appointment further strengthens UCAR’s far-ranging bonds with the scientific community.” NASA announced five other new members to its council. They are Wanda Austin, president and chief executive officer of The Aerospace Corporation; Wayne Hale, consultant for Special Aerospace Services of Boulder; Scott Hubbard, a consulting professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University; Miles O'Brien, veteran independent journalist; and Thomas Young, who served as executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Corporation. UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 North American colleges and universities with programs in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences.

NCAR scientists receive major honors

BOULDER—The American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced this week that it is granting top honors to two senior scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NCAR’s Raymond Roble has been awarded the William Bowie Medal, AGU’s highest honor, for his pioneering research into Earth’s upper atmosphere. NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth is receiving the prestigious Climate Communication Prize for his dedication and skill at communicating climate change to broad audiences. Both awards will be formally bestowed at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting in December, held in San Francisco. The American Geophysical Union, with 62,000 members from 144 countries, is one of the world’s leading scientific organizations. “We are deeply grateful that NCAR’s groundbreaking work is receiving such a high level of international recognition,” says Thomas Bogdan, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which manages NCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF). “Basic research into the atmosphere, as well as the communication of scientific results, provide critical benefits for society.” William Bowie Medal Raymond Roble. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.) The Bowie Medal, established in 1939 in honor of AGU’s founding president, is awarded to individuals for outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research. Roble has been a leader in the development of computer models that simulate the interrelationships among the outer atmospheric regions known as the thermosphere, ionosphere, and mesosphere. These models have been used to analyze data gathered from many NSF observing programs and NASA satellites, and they have been adapted to study the upper atmospheres of other planets, including Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. Roble led the first analyses of the potential effects of human-produced greenhouse gases on the upper atmosphere, which were later confirmed by observations of the effects of atmospheric drag on satellite orbits. He also produced the first three-dimensional model of the global electric circuit, which revealed the electrical interactions between upper and lower atmosphere driven by thunderstorms. Roble has been a senior scientist in NCAR’s High Altitude Observatory since 1984. His work is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is NCAR’s sponsor, as well as by NASA. Climate Communication Prize Kevin Trenberth. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.) Trenberth is the third recipient of the AGU Climate Communication Prize, established in 2011. It honors AGU member scientists for their work in communicating climate science to broad audiences. The prize recognizes Trenberth’s longstanding work in explaining climate to the media and public, and his dedication to education and outreach. Trenberth, a senior scientist in NCAR’s Earth System Laboratory since 1986 and an internationally recognized climate expert, has given numerous talks for public audiences about climate change and its potential consequences. He is frequently quoted in television and radio broadcasts and newspaper articles. In addition, Trenberth has testified before Congress about climate change and discussed the issue with leading policy makers. A participant in many national and international research committees, Trenberth was a lead author in the last three major assessments from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His recent work has emphasized changes in the global cycles of energy and water, including the role of oceans in storing heat trapped by human-produced greenhouse gases. Much of his research is funded by the NSF. AGU Fellows Two other senior scientists from NCAR’s Earth System Laboratory have been named AGU Fellows: Gordon Bonan and Warren Washington. Bonan focuses on critical interactions between the land surface and Earth’s climate system. Washington is a pioneer of global climate models that have enabled scientists to simulate Earth’s climate system. AGU Fellows are recognized for attaining acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences. In any given year, fewer than 1 out of 1,000 AGU members receives the designation.


Subscribe to People