UCAR President's Office

Congressional briefing on wildland fires

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Scientists and fire experts are making landmark progress in developing new tools to improve the management and prediction of wildland fires, a panel of experts said at a congressional briefing today. The developments offer the potential of better protecting vulnerable residents and property from these extreme events, as well as reducing their costs. The briefing, sponsored by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), highlighted the development of new observing tools and advanced computer models to better understand wildland fires. "We're at a turning point where new technologies and advances in basic research are enabling us to tackle a major real-world problem," said UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi. "Federal and state agencies, firefighters, and scientists are all working together to develop a new generation of tools that will keep firefighters safer, reduce the costs of these massive conflagrations, and better safeguard lives and property."Bureau of Land Management firefighter near Burns, Oregon, in September 2011. (Photo by Dave Toney, BLM Oregon.)UCAR is a consortium of 110 universities that manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of the National Science Foundation. NCAR's wildland fire research includes working with Colorado on an advanced prediction system.Toll of wildland fires The costs of forest, grass, and other types of wildland fires are increasing dramatically. In 2016 alone, more than 67,000 wildfires consumed 5.5 million acres across the nation. The U.S. Forest Service spends more than $2.5 billion annually on fire management, an increase of more than 60 percent over the last decade. The total losses can run many times higher: Last year's Chimney Tops 2 fire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, left 14 people dead and destroyed more than 2,400 structures at a cost of $500 million. "The money spent by the federal government on suppressing the fires is only a fraction of the overall costs, such as the destruction of houses and other property," said Michael Gollner, assistant professor at the University of Maryland's Department of Fire Protection Engineering. "There are more large-scale fires than there used to be, and those are the most dangerous blazes that are particularly expensive and destructive." Donald Falk, assistant professor of the University of Arizona's School of Natural Resources and the Environment, warned that decades of fire suppression coupled with drier and warmer temperatures in some regions will lead to longer fire seasons and more major fires. "The problem is not going away," he said. "It's going to get bigger, and we're going to have to live with it without breaking the bank." Wildland fires are extremely difficult to predict because they are influenced by local topography and vegetation, as well as by atmospheric conditions that, in turn, are affected by a blaze's heat and smoke. To better anticipate fire risk as well as predict a fire once it has started, scientists are harnessing new technologies. These include specialized satellite instruments and unmanned aerial vehicles to observe the blazes, as well as specialized computer models that incorporate weather-fire interactions, the density and condition of vegetation, landscape features such as elevation and topography, and the physics of fires. The researchers are working with federal and state agencies, emergency managers, and firefighters to adapt the new capabilities for real-time decision support. "Practitioners and scientists are bringing their expertise and knowledge to the table in order to create new evolutions of technology that will result in safer and more effective firefighting, enhance how we predict events and their potential impacts, and better plan for ways to prevent those wildfires we consider harmful," said Todd Richardson, state fire management officer of the Bureau of Land Management's Colorado office. "Having better guidance prior to planning your fire operations can provide critical information to the tactical operations and fire management," said William Mahoney, interim director of NCAR's Research Applications Laboratory. "Taking advantage of these important data sources and integrating these research areas provides tremendous opportunities to advance wildland fire management." The event is the latest in a series of UCAR congressional briefings that draw on expertise from the university consortium and public-private partnerships to provide insights into 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, potential impacts of El Niño, and new advances in water forecasting.

UCAR praises passage of Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act

Update: April 18, 2017Today President Donald Trump signed H.R. 353, the "Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017," into law.BOULDER, Colo. — With the unanimous passage of legislation to improve weather research and prediction, Congress has taken a major step today toward strengthening the nation's resilience to severe weather and boosting U.S. economic competitiveness."This landmark legislation will save lives and property while providing business leaders with critical intelligence," said Antonio J. Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). "Today's bipartisan vote underscores the enduring value of scientific research to our nation."The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act is the first major weather legislation since the early 1990s. It calls for more research into subseasonal to seasonal prediction, a priority for business and community leaders who need more reliable predictions of weather patterns weeks to months in advance. The bill also will strengthen short-term weather forecasts and smooth the way for research findings to be adopted by forecasters and commercial weather companies.Antonio J. Busalacchi. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)Improved short- and long-term weather predictions have major implications for public safety and the economy. The nation experienced 15 weather and climate disasters last year that cost $1 billion dollars or more, including tornadoes and widespread flooding that left dozens dead. Even routine weather events can affect transportation, supply chain management, consumer purchasing, and other sectors, with a collective impact of hundreds of billions of dollars on the U.S. economy.Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is managed by UCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation, have estimated that weather forecasts provide an annual benefit to the American public of more than $30 billion, compared with about $5 billion spent on generating U.S. weather forecasts."Research into the atmosphere provides an enormous return on investment," Busalacchi said. "Weather affects all of us, and being able to make plans based on forecasts of likely weather conditions is literally worth many billions of dollars to households and businesses."Decades of investments by federal agencies in weather research, observing systems, computer models, and supercomputing resources are dramatically advancing our understanding of how our atmosphere works. Five-day weather forecasts now are as reliable as two-day forecasts used to be, hurricane forecasts will soon extend out to seven days, and scientists are starting to find ways to project certain events, such as droughts and heat waves, a month or longer in advance.The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act is designed to strengthen:forecasts of tornadoes, hurricanes, and other severe stormslong-range prediction of weather patterns, from two weeks to two years aheadcommunication of forecasts, which influences subsequent decisions by public safety officials, businesses, and the publictsunami warningsthe process of moving research into operations and commercializationThe legislation (HR 353) was introduced by Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma and Sen. John Thune of South Dakota. Co-sponsors include Sen. Brian Schatz and Reps. Jim Bridenstine, Lamar Smith, Dana Rohrabacher, Chris Stewart, Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, and Suzanne Bonamici.The bipartisan bill authorizes spending increases at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for weather research focused on observations, models, and more powerful computing resources. It authorizes spending for COSMIC-2 an innovative suite of micro-satellites that will provide critical atmospheric observations, with multiagency support provided by UCAR, NOAA, the U.S. Air Force, the National Science Foundation, and Taiwan's National Space Organization. The legislation also expands commercial opportunities to provide weather data while increasing the efficiency of NOAA's weather satellite programs."We are very appreciative of the work by Senator Thune, Representative Lucas, and the many co-sponsors in the House and Senate," Busalacchi said."As the United States faces an increasingly competitive global marketplace, it needs more accurate and longer-term weather forecasts," he added. "At UCAR we look forward to working with NOAA, the Department of Defense, and the other federal agencies; the private sector; and the university community to build off of the National Science Foundation investment in basic research in this essential area."

NWSC benefits Wyoming with jobs and education

UCAR President Antonio J. Busalacchi co-wrote this perspective about the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center with Randy Bruns (CEO of the Cheyenne-Laramie County Corporation for Economic Development) and William A. Gern (vice president for research and economic development at the University of Wyoming). The Cheyenne Tribune Eagle on March 28 published it as a guest column (subscription required).March 27, 2017 | With the recent news that the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) has acquired a new supercomputer that is three times faster than its predecessor, this is a good time to consider how much the center has contributed to Wyoming.The NWSC opened its doors in Cheyenne in October 2012 as one of the premier facilities for science in the United States. Operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), its key goals included accelerating scientific discovery nationwide, powering economic development in the Cheyenne area, expanding research and computing expertise at the University of Wyoming and improving technology education across the state.The new Cheyenne supercomputer at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)We're pleased to report major progress on all these fronts.The incredible power of the center's supercomputers enables scientists to glean new insights about our planet in ways that support its mission of saving lives, increasing U.S. economic competitiveness, and strengthening national security. One of the more exciting developments, for example, is how researchers at NCAR and partners from research universities, federal labs, and the private sector are using it to improve the prediction of weather patterns months in advance. That's the kind of intelligence that is vital to farmers, energy producers, shipping companies, and other planners in nearly every economic sector.In addition to its role in national research, the NWSC is producing at least three significant benefits here in Wyoming.First, it has emerged as a catalyst for economic development projects. After the NWSC opened, Microsoft committed to a significant data center complex next door, and EchoStar and Green House Data expanded their operations in Cheyenne. A small network of IT support companies has sprung up around them. The result: hundreds of new, high-paying jobs that have helped to insulate the region from the ups and downs of the energy industry.Second, the NWSC has helped propel UW into the upper ranks of research universities. The university has added cutting-edge science and technology classes and attracted top-flight professors from across the country. UW professors and students have priority access to the supercomputer, and they are conducting landmark research into such important topics as traditional and renewable energy, earthquakes, and wildfires.Third, it has improved technology education around the state. UW and NCAR have trained close to 100 Wyoming high school teachers to create lessons based on inexpensive miniature computers. Their students use them to write innovative software and run science experiments. Building on this success, UW is now embarking on a statewide initiative to help teachers in every high school get certified in computer science. Related efforts are also reaching adults, such as mid-career workers who need IT skills to make sure they remain competitive in the ever-changing job market.Well before the state's recent economy downturn, Wyoming began using technology to make inroads in diversifying its economy, aided by the presence of the NWSC. Thanks to access to world-class computing resources and increasingly sophisticated training, Wyoming is expanding technological opportunities for our youth within the state, starting with thousands of schoolchildren as young as first graders who have gotten their initial taste of supercomputing by touring the NWSC.The benefits have gone both ways. Designed for high-performance computing from the ground up, the NWSC provides NCAR with a reliable and energy-efficient home for systems that include high-speed data transfer, visualization, and storage. Scientists at NCAR and more than 100 university partners across the country have engaged in research that was never before possible, such as generating high-resolution simulations of the Sun that will help society better predict "space weather" — the powerful solar storms that periodically threaten orbiting satellites, global communications, and even the nation's electrical grid.When the NWSC opened, its flagship Yellowstone supercomputer ranked among the fastest in the world, capable of performing about 1.5 quadrillion calculations per second. This incredible computing power helped scientists across the country answer key questions about energy production and improve predictions of tornadoes, droughts, floods, and other natural hazards.Now the new NWSC supercomputer, named Cheyenne, more than triples that supercomputing capability. Ranked as the 20th fastest supercomputer in the world—and the fastest in the Mountain West—it will enable researchers to further expand the frontier of scientific knowledge.The NWSC was born from an innovative, public-private partnership that included the state of Wyoming; University of Wyoming; Cheyenne LEADS; Black Hills Energy; NCAR; the National Science Foundation, which sponsors NCAR; and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which manages NCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation. In less than five years of operation, it has already demonstrated the wisdom of that partnership.We are proud that the NWSC has spurred economic and educational benefits throughout Wyoming, while accelerating research across the United States. The NWSC has established itself as one of the leading supercomputing centers in the world, and we look forward to many more years of exciting research, education, and economic opportunity for the state of Wyoming and the nation.

Peggy Stevens

Communications OfficeCommunications Staff Administrative Assistant IIIpeggys@ucar.edu | 303-497-8601I support Rachael Drummond and the rest of the Communications Office for NCAR and UCAR, which is responsible for corporate and internal communications, media relations, and public affairs. UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of universities that manages the federally funded NCAR and provides additional research and education services through UCAR's community programs.My backgroundI have lived in the Boulder area for more than 30 years and joined NCAR & UCAR Communications in 2016. I have worked as an administrative assistant, technical services coordinator, customer service representative and office manager for nonprofits in the higher education and medical sectors. I have experience with Drupal, Project Management, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, contracts and business processes. I have an associate's degree in Secretarial Technology with Administrative Emphasis from Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. I enjoy learning new software platforms!

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.

UCAR statement on President Trump's first budget proposal

BOULDER, Colo. — The budget process for fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct. 1, is now under way with this morning's release of President Trump's proposed budget blueprint. This proposal will be more fully developed in coming months, with the administration providing more detail and then the plan undergoing revisions during negotiations with Congress. The administration’s blueprint would increase spending for defense by $54 billion, with corresponding reductions in domestic spending, including scientific research.StatementAntonio J. Busalacchi, the president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), issued the following statement today on the administration’s plan:It is vital that the government continue to invest in crucial scientific endeavors that save lives and property, ensure our continued economic competitiveness, and strengthen our national security.Last year alone, our country experienced 15 weather-related disasters that each reached or exceeded $1 billion in costs, including tornadoes, drought, and widespread flooding that, combined, left dozens dead. Even routine weather events affect transportation, supply chain management, consumer purchasing, and other sectors in every state, with a collective impact of hundreds of billions of dollars on the U.S. economy. Higher up in our atmosphere, space weather events pose a multibillion-dollar threat to GPS systems, communications networks, power grids, and other technologies that are essential for the functioning of our nation.Strategic and necessary collaborations among government agencies, academia, and the private sector are resulting in landmark progress in short- and long-term forecasts. Scientists are gaining revolutionary new insights into the entire Earth system in ways that will lead to predictions of weather patterns and other events weeks, months, or even more than a year in advance, providing needed intelligence to political, military, and business leaders.UCAR is concerned that the proposed funding cuts to Earth system science research would derail the nation’s progress toward improved prediction and weaken the position of the United States in the world. Earth system science is an international endeavor, prioritized by both U.S. allies and competitors. Any significant cuts to science funding in the U.S. budget would threaten our preeminence, undercutting efforts to keep the public safe and our economy and military strong.As the months-long budget process moves forward, we will work with policy makers to ensure that the nation continues its robust support of essential Earth system science research.

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 letter on immigration order

Dear UCAR Community,As many of you are aware, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday temporarily banning citizens of seven countries -- Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen -- from entering the United States. This ban is counter to our organization’s mission and values, and I would like to reaffirm, in the strongest possible terms, our commitment and support for members of our community who may be impacted by this executive order.UCAR and NCAR are devoted to hiring, working with, and welcoming the best employees and visiting staff in the world, regardless of their country of citizenship, religion, or personal characteristics. We understand that diverse perspectives are critical for finding solutions to the complex scientific problems we are tackling today. Further, the impact of our research is global in scale, stretching beyond the boundary of our own country and it is imperative that we are able to collaborate with our colleagues around the world.While it is not yet clear how this executive order -- parts of which have been stayed by multiple federal judges -- will be implemented, UCAR is carefully monitoring the possible impacts on our staff and community members. Among these impacts will surely be an emotional toll, and I would ask that all of us at UCAR’s 110 member institutions and beyond work to support each other during this difficult and uncertain time.Sincerely,Antonio Busalacchi, UCAR President

The New Administration, the Federal Budget Process, and the Road Ahead

Wednesday, February 8
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Center Green Auditorium

The UCAR President and the NCAR Director invite all interested staff to attend this Q&A session on the new administration, the federal budget process, and the road ahead. We will be joined by the head of UCAR Government Relations for expertise on the federal budget authorization and appropriations process.

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