Staff Notes Daily Announcements

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For more information, contact David Vance at ext. 1118,

Wed, 02/10/2016

Starting in March 2016, Contracts will be holding monthly lunch and learn sessions on a variety of relevant topics.  The one hour sessions will cover topics in both procurement and direct awards.  Below is a listing of some of the topics that may be addressed if sufficient interest exists.

General Topics:

  • Roles and responsibilities  (Direct Awards, Procurement)
  • Pre-spending / over-spending considerations
  • Contractual authority/committing the corporations

Procurement Topics:

  • Procurement process (PR through payment)
  • Contract types
  • Competitive process – RFI/RFQ/RFP
  • Sole sources
  • Statements of work
  • Subrecipient monitoring
  • P-card program

Direct Award Topics:

  • Various funding vehicle types (e.g., financial assistance, contracts, etc.)
  • Agency-specific requirements (e.g., NSF, NOAA, NASA)
  • OMB prior approval requirements
  • Post-award changes
  • Closeout process and requirements

Please provide feedback about your interest in any of the above topics as well as your interest in any additional topics to Alison Propes (Procurement)(, x8877) or Amy Smith (Direct Awards)(, x8872).

For more information, contact Alison Propes at ext. 8877,

Wed, 02/10/2016

This new NCAR TechNote will be displayed at each NCAR Library location for one week, first at FL Library and then at ML Library. If you have questions regarding the items or want to suggest additions to the library collection, please contact the NCAR Library at or ext. 8505.

in2extreames: Into the R Package extremes. Extreme Value Analysis for Weather and Climate Applications
Authors: Eric Gilleland and Richard W. Katz
Publisher: National Center for Atmospheric Research
Location: ML
Call Number: 03725

For more information, contact NCAR Library at ext. 8505,

Tue, 02/09/2016

 High-performance Geometric Multigrid (HPGMG) and quantification of performance versatility

Jed Brown

University of Colorado, Boulder

Many applications require flexibility in the problem complexity, target accuracy, and time and cost to solution.  This is exacerbated by new physical models, model coupling, and more sophisticated analysis

techniques such as optimization, data assimilation, and uncertainty quantification.  Moreover, as models become increasingly relevant, their execution is subjected to more external requirements (e.g., policy, weather, manufacturing, field studies, disaster response).  We need abstractions that render large regions near the {problem complexity, accuracy, time, cost}-Pareto front accessible with practical hardware resources and maintainable source code.  The HPGMG benchmarking effort attempts to quantify versatility (and variability) of machines so that practitioners can make informed decisions about the suitability of a given machine for their purposes.  This talk will discuss design choices and open problems for benchmarking to be representative of a broad range of applications run in diverse scientifically-relevant configurations.


Jed grew up in Alaska, earning BS degrees in Mathematics and Physics and an MS in Mathematics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, during which he was the principal author of the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM).  In 2011, he completed a Dr.Sc. at ETH Zürich, where he investigated computational methods for ice sheet and glacier dynamics.  He became an active PETSc developer during this time, leading to a postdoc and later Asst. Computational Mathematician appointment at Argonne National Lab. He is now Asst. Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.  His work has been recognized by the 2014 SIAG/SC Junior Scientist Prize and a 2014 IEEE TCSC Young Achiever Award, and as co-recipient of the 2015 SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

10:00 -11:00 am

Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room

For more information, contact S Gentile at ext. 2480,

Tue, 02/09/2016

We've had a request come in for volunteers to judge the District Science Fair, from 9:30-11:30 on Saturday Feb 20th at Ranum Middle School in Westminster. This should be a great event, as it's the elementary and middle school levels, which are frankly adorable. I had a great time with this age group last time, judging experiments with melted chocolate that included (re-solidified) judge-bribing samples, one girl who had attempted to influence the mood and thoughts of her friends using different kinds of music, and one rather tenacious young scientist who had licked around 50 tootsie rolls to figure out how many licks it took until she broke through to the chocolate middle, and whether this differed by flavour. Best of all, I only saw a single baking soda volcano.

If you're interested in volunteering for some science-related entertainment, all for a good cause, please fill out the Science Fair Judge Form to let them know.

If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Hurrell at and she'll be able to give you all the information.

For more information, contact Carolyn Brinkworth at ext. 1137,

Tue, 02/09/2016

UNEION (UCAR|NCAR Equity and InclusiON) Training Series Level 1 (Cohort 2)

Join a cohort of your colleagues from across NCAR|UCAR to share, learn and talk about topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion. This 4-part training series is an introduction to the ways in which gender and race can affect our experiences in society and the workplace. Together we will learn practical tools for intervening in problematic situations. Each session will focus on a different topic, with some required pre-readings and videos (about 2-3 hours' worth). We will participate in hands-on activities and shared discussions. Check your calendars, sign up now!

Because the subject matter builds on each session and we are creating a community, you must be able to attend ALL FOUR sessions.

Session Topics and Schedule:

Our place in society: Thursday, March 17, 1:00-3:00, ML Fleischmann Bldg, WOR Board Room

Unconscious bias, and an introduction to the idea of privilege and the many different types (e.g. gender, race, socioeconomic status, heterosexism)

Gender: Thursday, April 21, 1:00-3:00, ML Fleischmann Bldg, WOR Board Room

How people identify their gender, how gender can affect workplace experience, and gender-based and sexual harassment

Race: Wednesday, May 18, 1:00-3:00, ML Fleischmann Bldg, WOR Board Room

The idea of race as a social construct, microaggressions, the effect of society's attitudes towards race, and people of color's workplace experiences

Bystander Intervention: Thursday, June 23, 1:00-3:00, ML Fleischmann Bldg Board Room, WOR Board Room

Putting it into practice: hands-on training in "bystander intervention," or tools for how to interrupt a problematic situation and stand up for colleagues and friends in the moment

Sign up by Monday, February 29th via EOD Training Catalog: (UCAS login>EOD Training Catalog>Search: UNEION>Details>Enroll) or contact Marissa Miller. 


For more information, contact Marissa Miller at ext. 1738,

Tue, 02/09/2016

Date: February 17, 2016
Time: 3pm
Place: Foothills Laboratory Bldg 2 Room 1001
Speaker: Dr. Michael J.Peterson - Postdoctoral Research Associate
High Altitude Observatory (HAO)

Lightning, Electrified Clouds, and the Global Electric Circuit

The Global Electric Circuit (GEC) is an important component of the Earth’s electrical subsystem through which currents flow from the tops of storm clouds to the Ionosphere to maintain its electrical potential. Early 20th century expeditions by the research vessels Carnegie and Maud studied the diurnal cycle of the circuit by recording how fair-weather electric fields across the globe varied with Universal Time (the “Carnegie curve”). Modern satellite platforms make it possible to examine the circuit from a different perspective, that of its inputs: electrified shower clouds and thunderstorms. Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) lightning observations and retrievals of electric field strength are used to characterize electrified clouds across the tropics and discuss their importance to the global circuit in the context of the Carnegie results.

This seminar will be webcasted at

For more information, contact Marybeth Zarlingo at ext. 2751,

Tue, 02/09/2016

Date: February 18, 2016

Time: 11am

Place: Foothills Laboratory 2 Room 1001

Speaker: Flavia N. D. Ribeiro
Professor of Environmental Modeling at the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities
University of Sao Paulo - Brazil

The influence of sea-breeze in the planetary boundary layer of the Metropolitan Regio of Sao Paulo - Brazil

The Metropolitan Region of Sao Paulo (MRSP) is the largest in Brazil, with approximately 20 millions inhabitants (almost 10 % of the population of the country) and more than 6 millions vehicles. Urbanization and the growing vehicular fleet are main contributors to severe air quality problems, and yearly 9,700 deaths can be attributed to air pollution. Pollutants concentrations are highly dependent on meteorological conditions, particularly those processes that impact the planetary boundary layer (PBL) structures. The recent MCITY Brazil field campaign project provides an excellent opportunity to investigate factors impacting the PBL evolution in MRSP and to assess the WRF-Urban model’s capability to capture it. The impact of the sea-breeze circulation on the PBL development in Sao Paulo is analyzed using winter and summer MCITY observational data and numerical simulations. Even though it is located approximately 50 km inland and in an altitude of 700 m above sea level, sea-breeze fronts reach Sao Paulo almost 50% of the days of the year. The simulations considered interactions between urbanization, topography, and regional sea-breeze circulation. For instance, results reveal that the high terrains between the coast and the city accelerate the sea-breeze propagation, allowing the sea-breeze to reach the urban area. In fact, the sea breeze front brings colder and moister air to the urban area, creating a temperature inversion that causes the PBL height to decrease in the afternoon. Synoptic conditions are also important in determining whether the sea-breeze circulation will reach the city or not and the sea-breeze was more frequent during the summer than the winter campaign. An urban heat island circulation with deeper PBL over the city than over non-urban areas is responsible for delaying the

This will be webcasted -

For more information, contact Marybeth Zarlingo at ext. 2751,

Tue, 02/09/2016

Second cohort of successful diversity and inclusion series set to launch

The first-ever UNEION (UCAR|NCAR Equity and Inclusion) training series was such a success that the NCAR Office for Diversity, Education & Outreach is launching a second session this spring. The UNEION initiative was designed to help staff learn and talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion in a safe and interactive learning environment. The inaugural session—completed by 18 staff members last spring—was comprised of four intensive training sessions on topics spanning bias and privilege, race, gender, and how to create a workplace environment where everyone can thrive. (Story by Marissa Miller, read more here.)

For more information, contact Marissa Miller at ext. 1108,

Tue, 02/09/2016

Denver Boulder Chapter of the American Meteorological Society invites you to join NOAA Boulder on a grand tour of the...

Denver/Boulder National Weather Service!

Providing you with weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings.

Space Weather Prediction Center!

Providing space weather alerts and warnings to the nation and the world for disturbances that can affect people and equipment working in space and on Earth.

Science on a Sphere!

A room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a 6 foot diameter sphere!

Also featuring exhibits outside the Earth System Research Labs (ESRL), the National Center for Environmental Information, and the National Ocean Service.

When: Thursday, February 25, 2016

4:15‐5:00PM – Arrive at Visitors Center, security screen, get visitor badge

4:30‐5:00 PM – Lobby of David Skaggs Building, light refreshments served

5:00‐6:00 PM – Tour

Where:David Skaggs Research Center (main lobby), 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO How Do I Get There?

Driving Directions from Denver: ● Take US‐36 (Boulder Turnpike) West ● Exit US‐36 at Baseline Road. ● Keep left and turn left (West) onto Baseline. ● Keep left and turn left at the first light onto 27th Way. ● Stay in the middle lane and turn left onto Broadway. ● Take the second right at the light onto Rayleigh Rd. and bear right into the Visitors Center parking lot. RSVP by Monday, February 22nd to Elisabeth Cohen at Please include your full name and whether you have a valid Colorado Driver’s License

For more information, contact Elisbeth Cohen at ext. 8477,

Mon, 02/08/2016

Parent’s Night Out is a great opportunity for you and your significant other to go out to dinner and a movie!

Contact Stephanie Ivancic, Director of UCAR’s Child Care Center, to sign your child up from 6 pm - 8 pm ($30 for one child or $40 for two children) or 6 pm - 10 pm ($50 for one child and $60 for two children).

Children are welcome to wear their pajamas for a fun evening of movies and pizza! If your child has a video that he or she would like to share, bring it along! Please make sure it is labeled and let the fun begin! Siblings under the age of 7 are welcome, too.

We invite all UCAR employees to take advantage of this fun evening as your child does not need to be enrolled at the UCAR Child Care Center to partake! 

Mark your calendars for future dates:  March 4 and 18, April 1, 15, and 29, May 13 and 27, June 10 and 24 and July 8 and 22.

Please contact Stephanie Ivancic for enrollment as well as drop-in care rates.  Stephanie’s email address is and her phone number is 303-443-5595.

For more information, contact Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Mon, 02/08/2016

The weather patterns that typically bring moisture to the southwestern United States are becoming more rare, an indication that the region is sliding into the drier climate state predicted by global models, according to a new study. (Story by Science Writer and Public Information Officer Laura Snider. Read more here.)

For more information, contact Laura Snider at ext. 8605,

Fri, 02/05/2016


Rick Katz

Climate change poses several issues for the statistical modeling of extremes. One issue concerns how to introduce non-stationarity into extreme value distributions for extreme weather and climate variables. The most common approach entails using time as a covariate through one or more of the parameters of extreme value distributions. For precipitation (with an apparent heavy tail and high variation on small spatial and temporal scales), this approach is usually unable to detect trends when applied to single sites. Rather, borrowing strength across space (termed regional analysis in hydrology) will be necessary, but would require accounting for the spatial dependence of extremes.

Another issue concerns what is an appropriate measure of the risk of non-stationary extreme events (e.g., for use in engineering design). Under a stationary climate, the risk of extreme events is usually measured in terms of a return level with a specified return period (i.e., a high quantile such as the so-called "100-year flood"). Under nonstationarity, I advocate abandoning the concept of return level and, instead, using the Design Life Level, a measure based on a desired "risk of failure" over a specified design period. The Design Life Level corresponds to a high quantile of the distribution of the maximum of the variable over the design period. For illustrative purposes, two real-world examples are used, one involving peak streamflow and another precipitation extremes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
12:00-1:00 pm
Mesa Lab, Room 680, Tower B
(Please bring your lunch)

For more information, contact Kathy Peczkowicz at ext. 2431,

Fri, 02/05/2016

Location: FL2/1022

Presenter: Leigh Gene Orf

Affiliation(s): University of Wisconsin-Madison

Date & Time: Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 3:30pm

Tornadoes are among nature's most destructive forces. The most violent, long-lived tornadoes form within supercell thunderstorms. Tornadoes ranked EF4 and EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale that exhibit long paths are the least common but most damaging and deadly type of tornado.


In this talk, results from numerical simulations of supercells containing violent, long-track tornadoes will be presented, focusing primarily on a 30 meter simulation of a supercell modeled within the 24 May 2011 El Reno, OK supercell environment. Preliminary results from a recent 20 meter simulation of the 24 May 2011 storm will also be presented, including the entire life cycle of a multiple-vortex EF5 tornado which transitions from a single-celled tornado, to a two celled tornado, to a multiple vortex tornado before dissipating. The genesis, maintenance, and decay phases of the tornadoes will be explored using high quality visualization techniques designed to provide insight into the storm.

For more information, contact Caroline Haws at ext. 8189,

Fri, 02/05/2016

A free seminar series presented by the Pre-Retirement Planning Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization specializing in financial planning and pre-retirement counseling services will begin on February 12.  Combining elements of both financial planning and pre-retirement planning, the series is offered in five, mini-session modules. Participants can choose to attend one or all sessions depending on interest.  At the end of each session module, participants may request to schedule private, consultation services with the certified financial professionals (paid by participants).  Employee spouses/partners are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Each module session requires a minimum of 10 participants.

To enroll, access the Connect Employee Self-Service Web site using the link below, click on the "EOD Training Catalog" link.  To see all of these sessions at once, "Select Course Type" as "Informational" and click "Display".

PLEASE NOTE:  Four of the sessions listed below will be a live streaming Webcast (not recorded) to allow employees in all states to participate. You will still need to register for the course in order to receive the instrucations to access the Webcast.  The Financial Planning & Investments session cannot be Webcast due to state licensing issues. 

UCAR Benefits, TIAA-CREF Retirement Planning Resources
February 12, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST
FL1 – 2109 EOL Atrium and Webcast
Overview - Learn about UCAR's retirement benefits including the TIAA-CREF retirement program and how to maximize their value. 

Financial Planning & Investments
February 19, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST (no Webcast due to state licensing issues)
Overview - Discover the benefits of Financial Planning and different types of Investment options

Long-Term Care & Social Security
February 26, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST and Webcast
Overview - Review needs of Long-term Care and Social Security Benefits

Medicare Basics
March 4, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST and Webcast
FL2 – Large Auditorium
Overview - Gain a better understanding of Medicare, what is/isn't covered, how to register, and review various plan options.

Estate Planning and Housing/Transitions
March 11, 2016
12:00-2:00 pm MST and Webcast
Overview - Learn key elements of Estate Planning and what to expect in the work-to-retirement transition

For more information, contact Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Tue, 02/02/2016

New Hires and Departures as of Friday, January 29, 2016

For more information, contact Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Tue, 02/02/2016

The IRS says that individuals must file Form 8889 if they (or someone on their behalf, including their employer) made contributions to their HSA account.  Form 8889 must also be filed if individuals take funds out of an HSA, even if they do not make a contribution to the HSA that year. 

While UCAR cannot provide tax advice, we can provide some information concerning the W-2 you will receive for payroll deductions and how it applies to Form 8889.  If you need additional tax advice, please consult a qualified tax advisor or the IRS at

Please view the web page below for additional information including links to the form instructions, the form and a sample form.

Accessing the 1099-SA:

Log on to
Click on "Review My Coverage" tab
Click on "Health Savings Account (HSA)"
Locate the "Account Balance" heading in the gray box to the left of the screen then
Click on the "Visit your HSA bank to manage your account" link
Click on the "Statements & Notifications" tab
Locate the "HSA Tax Statements" section on the left side of the screen
Click on "1099-SA (2015)" to view your document

For more information, contact Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Tue, 02/02/2016

The UCAR Community Art Program proudly presents two new exhibits:

Pastel Paintings by Diane Wood 

Diane Wood’s journey into the art world began in 1999 when she moved to Colorado. Diane works in three mediums: oil and pastels and acrylics. While she admits that she has developed a particular love for pastels because they lend themselves to such vibrant colors, she says the most important thing is to enjoy creating art. Wood’s is a representational artist, inspired daily by what she sees. Whatever the scene, she intuitively transposes the mood and the feeling to her canvas to bring the image alive with color and excitement. She has a passion for life and tries to enjoy each day to the fullest, incorporating her love of gardening through the flowers she often chooses as subjects and infusing her work with the vitality of music. Wood’s work will be on exhibit in UCAR Gallery I of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) February 1, 2016 to April 1, 2016. 

Plein Air Pastel Painting by Sandra Haberkorn 

With plein air pastel painting, Sandra Haberkorn has discovered a medium through which to share the captivating beauty of the world around her. From sweeping landscapes to intricate details, she is continually inspired by the beauty of nature. Sandra enjoys getting lost in the artistic recreations of the colors and scenery that catch her eye, but also appreciates the relationships that this form of art has allowed her to build. She believes that, through art, people can express themselves in a way that forges connections with others. Personally, Sandra finds inspiration and support through her marriage of 35 years, her three children, and her work as a Catholic school art teacher. She is grateful for the opportunities she has been given to cultivate her passion for art. Haberkorn’s work will be on exhibit in UCAR Gallery II of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) February 1, 2016 to April 1, 2016.

For more information, contact Audrey Lewis at ext. 2570,

Mon, 02/01/2016

CISL is excited to announce a new series of short courses coordinated by the Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences:  “Beyond P-values”.  This series is aimed at  NCAR  staff and visitors with an interest in acquiring more advanced statistical and data analysis skills. 

Each course will provide a targeted selection of topics in a  specific statistical subject taught by experts in that area. The instruction will be data-driven and will include hands-on teaching of statistical software tools.  The courses will last two to three days and will be limited to a small number of participants to provide high quality one-on-one support by the instructors and additional coaches.  The first course in the series is on the Statistics of Extremes and will take place March 28th through March 30th.  Details on the course agenda and registration can be found here.

For more information, contact Dorit Hammerling at ext. 1222,

Fri, 01/29/2016

The TIAA-CREF Individual Counseling Sessions for February 2016 have been scheduled. The TIAA-CREF representative will be at:

Center Green 1, Room 2503. Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 9:00am - 4:00pm

Foothills Lab 2, Room 1003. Thursday, February 25, 2016, 9:00am – 4:00pm


To schedule a counseling session, please call their Scheduling and Service Group phone reservation center at 1-800-732-8353.

These sessions are in high demand, so if you have to miss your appointment, be sure to contact TIAA-CREF as soon as possible so they can fill your time slot.

For more information, contact Irena Haimsky at ext. 8706,

Wed, 01/27/2016

Parent’s Night Out is a great opportunity for you and your significant other to go out to dinner and a movie!

Contact Stephanie Ivancic, Director of UCAR’s Child Care Center, to sign your child up from 6 pm - 8 pm ($30 for one child or $40 for two children) or 6 pm - 10 pm ($50 for one child and $60 for two children).

Children are welcome to wear their pajamas for a fun evening of movies and pizza! If your child has a video that he or she would like to share, bring it along! Please make sure it is labeled and let the fun begin! Siblings under the age of 7 are welcome, too.

We invite all UCAR employees to take advantage of this fun evening as your child does not need to be enrolled at the UCAR Child Care Center to partake! 

Mark your calendars for future dates:  March 4 and 18, April 1, 15, and 29, May 13 and 27, June 10 and 24 and July 8 and 22.

Please contact Stephanie Ivancic for enrollment as well as drop-in care rates.  Stephanie’s email address is and her phone number is 303-443-5595.

The UCAR Child Care Center is a service of UCAR Human Resources Dependent Care Assistance:

For more information, contact Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Mon, 01/25/2016

Per the previous Heads Up announcement, Contracts issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit a vendor for the next office supply Non-Encumbered Blanket Purchase Order (NBPO).  This process is now complete.  Faison Office Products was the successful vendor in this RFP.  Thanks to all those who participated in the evaluation process!

If your lab/program wants to purchase office supplies through this NBPO, please submit a Purchase Requisition (PR) to Contracts at  The account key series for the lab/program should be used on the PR with the exception of account keys in 30xxxx, 31xxxx, or 32xxxx.  Also, the person(s) authorizing the PR must have at least $5,000 in signature authority for the account key series included on the PR.   Please utilize the NBPO Purchase Requisition form found on the Contracts webpage under Contract Forms.

Please submit the PRs for this NBPO to Contracts no later than Friday July 17, 2015. 

Please direct any questions regarding this NBPO or the ordering process to Justin Lee at or 303-497-2069

For more information, contact Justin Lee at ext. 2069,

Wed, 07/15/2015