2011 holiday party blends awards and memories

This is the last article published in Staff Notes. We've compiled a brief history of this print and online publication here.

For current staff news, please visit For Staff.

UCAR Drupal Users Group (UDUG) Meeting - October 2016

Are you interested in adding a UCAR/NCAR staff only role to your Drupal site?  If so, then come to the October UDUG meeting for a demo of the UCARAuth Role Drupal module, created by Stephen Geinosky.  Stephen will be:

  • Looking for user acceptance of the module
  • Looking for discussion/questions regarding the code and coding structure

Following Stephen's demo we will engage in an open Lean Coffee discussion of other Drupal related topics, questions and ideas.

Raising the visibility of women in IT

October 17, 2016 | To provide a boost to women working in information technology, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is helping to bring together a team of women who will help build and operate a high-capacity network at a major supercomputing conference.The Women in IT Networking at SC program, or WINS, is a collaboration among UCAR, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, and the Pennsylvania-based Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research. Following a national competition, WINS selected seven women who work in IT departments at universities and national labs around the country to help build and operate SCinet, the very high capacity network at the SC16 international supercomputing conference in Salt Lake City next month.For the second year in a row, UCAR will help bring together a team of women to provide technical support at SC, a leading supercomputing conference. UCAR's Marla Meehl (left) and ESnet's Jason Zuraski (second from left) are pictured at last year's conference, meeting with WINS team members. (Photo by Marijke Unger, NCAR.)"This provides the women with great exposure to the latest in technology, working with some of the top engineers who are out there," said Marla Meehl, manager of the Network Engineering and Telecommunications Section for UCAR and NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "It's an opportunity to learn and have exposure to things that they don't work with every day."Women are increasingly underrepresented in technological fields. A report last year by the American Association of University Women found that the number of U.S. women working in the computing and mathematical professions dropped from 35% in 1990 to just 26% in 2013.Meehl worked with several other IT experts to launch WINS last year and expand the number of women among the volunteers who design and deliver SCinet. Planning begins more than a year in advance and culminates in a high-intensity, around-the-clock installation in the days leading up to the conference."I’m grateful to be one of the WINS grant awardees and participate in SCinet," said Angie Asmus, IT security analyst at Colorado State University. "Because of WINS, I will be able to be mentored by and work with some of the brightest minds in IT. This is an amazing opportunity for me to gain hands-on experience and build important relationships that will be valuable to me as I progress in my career."Other participants are Denise Grayson, Sandia National Laboratories; Julie Locke, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Kali McLennan, University of Oklahoma: Amber Rasche, North Dakota State University; Jessica Shaffer, Georgia Institute of Technology; Julia Staats, CENIC; and, with separate funding, Indira Kassymkhanova of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.The WINS participants were chosen from 28 eligible applicants—a big jump from the 19 applications received the previous year. The selection team weighed a variety of factors, looking for applicants who had experience in networking; whose skillset matched their area of interest; whose participation was supported by their institution; and who added to the group’s diversity, whether geographically, institutionally or otherwise.The WINS awardee selection team, led by Wendy Huntoon of the Keystone Initiative, included Susan Lucas from ESnet, Linda Winkler from Argonne National Labs, Dave Jent from Indiana University, and Florence Hudson from Internet2.Meehl was able to secure funding from the National Science Foundation for participants from research and education organizations. The Department of Energy is supporting the women from its national laboratories.“Although there are more jobs in IT, there’s a massive shortage of workers, especially in the number of women in the field,” Meehl said. “It was really fulfilling this year to see a huge jump in the number of really qualified applicants. It was very hard to choose.”Writer/editor:David Hosansky, Manager of Media Relations

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.

UCAR congressional briefing highlights flood, drought prediction

WASHINGTON — The nation is poised to make major advances in "water intelligence" with more detailed forecasts of floods, streamflow, and potential drought conditions, a panel of experts said at a congressional briefing today.The briefing, sponsored by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), highlighted the new National Water Model, a comprehensive system for forecasting water resources from coast to coast. The technology underpinning the model, launched last month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its collaborators at universities, the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies, and the private sector."The new forecast model is really a quantum leap forward and will help safeguard Americans from major floods and other precipitation events," said UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi, who introduced the panel. "It bridges the gap between research and operations, generating real-time forecasts to help vulnerable communities and protect lives and property."UCAR manages NCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation."Through a series of partnerships, it's possible to provide consistent, high-resolution, integrated water analyses, predictions, and data to address critical unmet information and service gaps," said Edward Clark, director of the Geo-Intelligence Office of Water Prediction at the NOAA National Water Center.Scientists generated this inundation forecast during Houston-area flooding earlier this year in a demonstration of  advanced computer modeling technology. (©UCAR. Image by David Gochis, NCAR. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)Unlike past streamflow models, which provided forecasts every few hours and only for specific points along major river systems, the new system continuously simulates conditions at 2.7 million locations along rivers, streams, and their tributaries across the contiguous United States. It paves the way for the biggest improvement in flood forecasting in the nation's history."The National Water Model provides a different way of thinking about continental hydrology by providing a view of a connected plumbing network from the mountains to the ocean," said panelist Richard Hooper, executive director of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI). "Previously, hydrologists had considered river basins as discrete units rather than this river-continuum approach. This change in view opens up new areas of research that will improve our ability to predict not just floods but other aspects of water resources, including water quality and the impacts of droughts."Thanks to ongoing research, the National Water Model is expected to provide increasingly detailed street-level forecasts, inundation maps, and additional features such as water quality forecasts. Scientists are working on incorporating more processes, such as soil saturation and the amount of water drawn up by vegetation."By dramatically increasing the geographic coverage as well as the lead times for forecasts, the National Water Model is ushering in a new era in flood and flash flood forecasting," said John McHenry, chief scientist of advanced meteorological systems for Baron Services. "Business, industry, and the general public will benefit through reduction in lost lives and property."The panelists emphasized the importance of water resources to the major sectors of the U.S. economy. They warned that the nation is facing myriad water-related challenges ranging from growing demand to increasingly costly floods and droughts. Meeting those challenges will require continued coordination among research organizations, universities, the private sector, and federal, state, and local agencies."Beyond developing a new computer model, we're building a community by sharing resources, tools, and ideas," said NCAR scientist David Gochis. "The scientists are engaging with practitioners and decision makers to make the system as usable as possible."The development team at NCAR worked with scientists at NOAA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and universities to adapt WRF-Hydro to serve as the first version of the National Water Model.The panelists also discussed the need for better water intelligence among diverse communities across the country. For example, Ryan Emanuel, associate professor at North Carolina State University's Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, noted that indigenous tribes across the nation are particularly vulnerable to drought and flooding for a range of cultural, historical, and economic reasons."Indigenous peoples across the United States are diverse, but one common theme is that water is sacred," said Emanuel, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. "It's not only critical for life, but it is life itself. Beyond the tools, the models, and the management lies the knowledge of the original inhabitants of this nation that water binds us all to a common fate."The event is the latest in a series of UCAR congressional briefings about critical topics in the Earth system sciences. Past briefings have focused on predicting space weather, aviation weather safety, the state of the Arctic, hurricane prediction, and potential impacts of El Niño.

Today! Intellectual Property Protection for the Lab

Intellectual Property Protection for the Lab - a presentation by the UCAR Office of General Counsel.

Learn the difference between copyrights, trademarks and patents.  Understand how to protect your intellectual property and where to get help.

TODAY!  Tuesday, August 30, 2016 1:30 - 2:30pm.  Center Green 1, South Auditorium-1210 (CG1-1210-South).

UCAR Community Art Program Opening Art Reception

The UCAR Community Art Program cordially invites you to an opening art reception for Photographer Norman Koren in Gallery ll. The reception is Saturday August 13th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the NCAR Mesa Lab cafeteria 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO. Enjoy music, small appetizers and non-alcohol drinks. Come meet the artist and be inspired by his beautiful artwork! Hope to see you there!

UCAR maintains A+ long-term credit rating

BOULDER — The A+ long-term bond rating for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has been affirmed by the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P).The A+ rating reflects UCAR's role as a leading organization supporting atmospheric and earth-system science, and its ability to increase its financial strength, S&P stated in the report last month.UCAR, a consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities, manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The organization has an annual budget of more than $200 million.The Anthes Building in Boulder houses UCAR's administrative staff. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)In its report, S&P cited a number of UCAR's strengths: financial flexibility, stable membership, longstanding relationship with NSF, manageable debt, and solid operating performance.Melissa Miller, UCAR vice president of finance and administration, said the organization works hard to maintain a high credit rating, which translates into lower costs for its funders.Bonds have been issued over the years to procure and equip facilities."UCAR is vigilant in taking the necessary steps to ensure continued sound fiscal management amid a frequently changing financial landscape," Miller said.

July UCAR Drupal Users Group (UDUG) Meeting

The UCAR Drupal User's Group (UDUG) is a community of web developers and contributors who meet once a month to explore various Drupal topics and discuss best practices.

The next meeting will be held:

Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am
Location: FL3, Room 2072

Agenda items will include:

Proposal Writing Training - June 15th

The Write Source: Proposal Writing Training

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM / Location: FL2-1022-Large Auditorium

Open to employees new to proposal writing & those needing to refresh skills

Course Description: The session outlines the foundation for increasing your success rate for obtaining funding. 

Topics for discussion include:


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