Staff Notes Daily Announcements

This workshop series is designed to help prepare the next generation of researchers and practitioners to work within, and contribute to, the data-rich era. Each workshop will bring together graduate students and senior scientists in environmental statistics and related fields to explore contemporary topics in applied environmental data modeling.

Across scientific fields, researchers face challenges coupling data with imperfect models to better understand variability in their system of interest. Inference garnered through these analyses support decisions with important economic, ecological, and social implications. Increasingly, the bottleneck for researchers is not access to data; rather, it is the need to identify and apply appropriate statistical methods using efficient software.

Workshop program and objectives

The workshop will consist of hands-on computing and modeling tutorials, presentations from graduate student participants, and invited talks from early career and established leaders in environmental data modeling. Tutorials and invited talks will address useful ideas and tools directly applicable to student participants' current and future research. 

Workshop participants will:

  • Develop new modeling and computing skills through hands-on analyses and lectures led by quantitative scientists
  • Share research findings and explore open questions within and at the interface of environmental, ecological, climatic, and statistical sciences
  • Learn about the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) data resources that can facilitate scientific discovery

Workshop participants will also have ample time to enjoy the mountains and downtown Boulder.

Workshop tutorials:

    Climate data analytics
Instructor: Doug Nychka, Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences, NCAR

    Introduction to Bayesian statistics and modeling for environmental and ecological data
Instructor: Alix Gitelman, Department of Statistics, Oregon State University

    Hierarchical models for spatio-temporal data analysis
Instructors:  Andrew Finley, Department of Forestry, Michigan State University

Application materials are due March 31 and notification will occur around April 4.

Please see for details.

Posted by Michelle Patton at ext. 1253,

Monday, February 20, 2017 to Friday, March 31, 2017

Oceanographic controls on the variability of ice-shelf basal melting and circulations of glacial meltwater in the Amundsen Sea of Ebayment

Toshi Kimura, Nansen Environ. Remote Sensing

Ice Shelves in the Amundsen Sea Embayment have thinned and accelerated the seaward flow of ice sheets upstream over recent decades. In particular, Pine Island Glacier (PIG) and its neighbour Thwaites Glacier have been highlighted as major drainage pathways for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The cause of such imbalance in ice sheets is due to change in ocean-driven melting of the ice shelves. We quantify the melting of ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea Embayment and oceanic conditions between 1991 and 2014 using a general circulation model. Observations and numerical models have shown that the ocean heat reaching to the ice shelves is sensitive to the depth of thermocline, which separates the cool, fresh surface waters from warm, salty deep waters.

Recent studies have argued that the convective deepening of the surface water at the calving front by polynya formations play a key role in changing the depth of the thermocline. We demonstrate that the seasonal cycle and interannual variabilities of ice-shelf basal melting are tightly coupled to the offshore zonal wind stress and the polynya formations only play a role when the offshore wind forcing is weak. The ocean driven ice-shelf melting is enhanced by an asymmetric response to changes in ocean heat transport anomalies at the continental shelf break: melting responds more rapidly to increase in ocean heat transport than decreases. This asymmetry is caused by the inland deepening of bathymetry under the ice shelf and the glacial meltwater circulation around the ice shelf.

Friday, 24 February 2017
11 a.m.
NCAR, 1850 Table Mesa Dr.
Mesa Lab, Main Seminar room

For more information, contact Barbara Ballard, email, phone: 303.497.1358

Posted by Gaylynn Potemkin at ext. 1618,

Monday, February 20, 2017 to Friday, February 24, 2017

Some numerical challenges in computatuional fluid dynamics
for atmospheric and ocean simulations

Simone Marras, Stanford University

The advent of inexpensive massively parallel computers in the past fifteen years has revolutionized the way numerical weather prediction and ocean modeling are handled today. In this talk, we will describe how this revolution happened, the reasons that drove it, and what challenges are still to be fully addressed and resolved.

 We will concentrate on the application of high-order element-based Galerkin methods as they are proving their mettle for solving the Euler and Navier-Stokes equations to model atmospheric and ocean motion. However, because of their susceptibility to Gibbs oscillations in the solution to non-linear problems, special attention will be given to understanding how their stabilization is still an active topic of research and how we are contributing towards its solution.

Wednesday, February 22
11 a.m.- 12p.m.
Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room

 For more information, contact Barbara Ballard, email, phone: 303.497.1358

Posted by Gaylynn Potemkin at ext. 1618,

Monday, February 20, 2017 to Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Parents’ 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:  Friday, March 17 and 31

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

Posted by Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Monday, February 20, 2017 to Friday, March 3, 2017

The Intermediate Complexity Atmospheric Research model (ICAR), developed by NCAR scientists, gives hydrologists increased accuracy simulating precipitation over mountainous terrain using only a fraction of the computing resources that would be necessary to run the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). (Story by Senior Science Writer Laura Snider. Read more here.)

Posted by Laura Snider at ext. 8605,

Friday, February 17, 2017 to Friday, February 24, 2017

The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO): Past, present. and the future
Jadwiga (Yaga) Richter, NCAR/CGD

The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) is the primary mode of variability of the tropical lower stratosphere. The QBO has been observed for over 50 years, showing easterly and westerly wind regimes alternating with a period of 28 months on average - until year 2016. In 2016, a QBO interruption occurred, with an unprecedented formation of an easterly jet within the westerly QBO phase. Although the basic driving mechanism for the QBO has been understood for many years, only a handful of contemporary GCMs can reproduce it. Simulations of the QBO over the last 50 years, as well results of efforts to model the present QBO interruption using the newly developed 110-level Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) will be presented. As the QBO is driven by a combination of upward propagating equatorial planetary waves and small-scale gravity waves, it is tightly linked to the tropospheric climate. Possible changes to the QBO in a warming climate and under various climate engineering scenarios will be explored.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017
11:00 AM, refreshments at 10:45
Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room

Posted by Gaylynn Potemkin at ext. 1618,

Friday, February 17, 2017 to Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We are looking for a few new UCAR staff to join our group of Super Science Saturday Wizards! Individuals who have a willingness and the ability to engage with the general public, starting with children ages eight and higher can contact us for more information and training.

Working as a Wizard requires creativity in collaboratively developing simple, engaging ways to present basic science concepts and highlight NCAR/UCAR/UCP's research. Expressing the excitement of science is the Wizard's goal! We do not teach science, but rather interact with the audience, using different demos, to expose our audience members to a single scientific concept. The hope is to motivate them to learn more!

If you're interested in being a Wizard, please email Tim Barnes at He will follow up with you to discuss this opportunity. Depending on the number of people who respond, we may not be able to select everyone who expresses interest. However, are many ways to participate in Super Science Saturday, and other education and outreach activities, through UCAR SciEd. We would love to talk to you about these opportunities, too.

Posted by Tim Barnes at ext. 1169,

Friday, February 17, 2017 to Friday, February 24, 2017

NCAR researchers and computational scientists are encouraged to submit requests for NCAR Strategic Capability (NSC) projects to be run on the new 5.34-petaflops Cheyenne system.

The deadline for NSC submissions is March 30. NSC allocations target large-scale projects lasting one year to a few years that align with NCAR’s scientific priorities and strategic plans.

For more information, see the 2017 Call for Proposals from NCAR Researchers for NSC Resources.

Send questions to:

Posted by Michelle Smart at ext. 1226,

Friday, February 17, 2017 to Friday, March 3, 2017

Novel Ways to See More: Polarized Active Remote Sensing

Ryan R. Neely III
National Centre for Atmospheric Science and The School of Earth and Environment
University of Leeds, UK

Polarization is the phenomenon in which waves of electromagnetic radiation are restricted in direction of vibration. The only reason polarization state is worth contemplating is that two beams of radiation, otherwise identical, may interact differently with matter if their polarization states are different. Thus, observing the polarization of scattered light in the atmosphere provides a unique way to probe clouds, precipitation and aerosol. In this seminar we will review polarized active remote sensing and how these techniques may be used to explore the atmosphere in novel ways. We will then specifically discuss the application of polarized lidar to observe clouds over the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the use of NCAS's new Mobile Dual Polarization Doppler radar to observe mixed phased clouds and precipitation in Africa.

Friday, February 24, 2017
3:30 p.m
Refreshments 3:15 p.m.
NCAR Foothills Laboratory, FL2-1022, Large Auditorium

Posted by Caitlyn Quinn at ext. 1308,

Thursday, February 16, 2017 to Friday, February 24, 2017

Instructions for Adding UCAR Payroll Holidays to Your Google Calendar

Follow these instructions to add UCAR Payroll Holidays to your Google Calendar and to any other Calendars you manage. There are two options for how to display a Holiday in your Calendar.  You can select which one you prefer and can even use both if you want:

1. As a special configured all day “banner” at the top of the day.
2. As an “event” that goes from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm on the holiday.

I. First subscribe to the “UCAR Payroll Holidays” Calendar

1. In your  Google Calendar, copy and paste (ctrl-C for Copy and ctrl-V for Paste) this Calendar address within the “Other calendars” search box: then click Enter or hit Return.
2. Once selected, the Holidays in the Calendar will show up as a different color.

II. Browse to the first instance of each Holiday and Copy to your desired calendar(s)

Each Holiday has two entries, one is the banner and one shows on the entire day.  You can copy one or both of these to your Calendar(s) depending on your preference.

The Holiday entries are built as a series, repeating through 2019.

1. Click on the Holiday entry you want to put on your Calendar(s), making sure it is the UCAR Payroll Holiday version.
You can quick click on the Add to My Calendar Button and then Save.  This will add that Holiday to your calendar.  If you use this quick click method you will need to scroll to the next year to add the next instance of that holiday.  If you want to add the series of that holiday through 2019, (e.g. President’s Day Holidays through 2019) to your calendar then follow these instructions:
2. At the top of the detail view is a “More Actions” dropdown.
3. Click that box and select “Copy to..” the destination Calendar that you want.  This will make a copy of the Holiday entry that you now own.
4. You can change any of the details you want.
5. Be sure to check that the “Show me as: Busy” is checked.
6. Click “Save”.

You’ll now see the Holiday in your Calendar(s) through 2019.  Continue to the next Holiday and repeat until you see all Holidays in your Calendar(s). You can perform these steps for each Google Calendar you manage.

Due to observed versus actual Holidays, 12/26/2016, 1/2/2017, and 11/29/2019 will need to be added separately.

Note: UCAR Payroll Holidays will continue to be posted on the Payroll web site within the Payroll Schedule

These instructions and other UCAR Google User Support resources are available at the Google Apps Support Site.

Posted by Helen Moshak at ext. 1112,

Thursday, February 16, 2017 to Monday, February 20, 2017