Staff Notes Daily Announcements

The cafeterias at Mesa Lab, Foothills Lab and Center Green will be closed on Monday, July 3,2017.

All cafeterias will open for full service on Wednesday, July 5,2017.

The Event Services staff would like to thank our customers for your continued support and please have a safe and fun Fourth of July Holiday!

Posted by Nancy Post van der Burg at ext. 1158,

Thursday, June 22, 2017 to Friday, June 23, 2017

There exists still a great uncertainty in understanding the magnitude and even the sign of the cirrus short wave radiative effect. Partly, this is due to the difficulties of modelling and parametrizing the radiative properties of usually non-spherical ice crystals that tend to be found in various shapes and sizes in the atmosphere. Furthermore, recent modelling and laboratory studies have given evidence that including microscale complexities, such as surface roughness, will further change the ice crystal light scattering properties. Although, satellite retrieval algorithms already take into account ice crystal complexity, direct in-situ measurements of the microscale structures of natural ice crystals and its influence to their light scattering properties are largely missing.

In this talk I will present laboratory and field measurements of ice crystal complexity based on analysis of single particle light scattering patterns. It was found in four airborne measurement campaigns, representing ice clouds from the tropics to arctic, that natural ice crystals are rarely pristine and that their high degree of crystal complexity leads to a similar low asymmetry parameter that appears to be unchanged independent of the measurement location. In the second half of the talk I will discuss the implications of the measured asymmetry parameter for global climate modelling and, at the end of my talk, I will touch the topic of what new possibilities the knowledge of the angular light scattering behaviour of natural ice crystals could have for improved measurements of ice concentrations in mixed-phase clouds.

Posted by Erin Fundalinski at ext. 8713,

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Comparison of methods for updating intensity-duration-frequency curves using regional climate data at multiple spatial and temporal resolutions

Lauren Cook
Carnegie Mellon University

Intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves are a common input to engineering design, and are used to represent extreme rainfall in region. As rainfall patterns shift into a non-stationary regime as a result of climate change, these curves will need to be updated with future projections of extreme precipitation. Many regions have begun to update these curves to reflect the trends from downscaled climate models; however, few studies have compared the methods for doing so, as well as the uncertainty that results from the selection of the climate model, and its native grid scale and temporal resolution. This study will examine the variability in updated IDF curves for three locations (Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Phoenix) when the method for creation of future IDF curves is altered, as well as the underlying resolution (spatial, temporal) of the climate ensemble. Additional analysis will compare results using two emissions scenarios (RCP 4.5 and 8.5), climate model data sources (e.g., NA-CORDEX and NARCCAP), and downscaling techniques (dynamical v. statistical). Metrics for comparison include the resulting intensity of precipitation, as well as the effort expended to create the IDF curve. Finally, the resulting intensities will be used to design a stormwater retention basin using the TR-55 method (24-hour duration) and 50-year return period, in order to determine how the basin size is altered as the methods, models, and native resolutions change. 

Thursday, July 6th, 2017
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Mesa Lab, Chapman Room
(Bring your lunch)


Posted by Michelle Patton at ext. 1253,

Thursday, June 22, 2017 to Thursday, July 6, 2017

Please welcome and congratulate Jeff on becoming our newest volunteer Ombuds. He recently joined Loretta Quinn and Marijke Unger in providing this important service to all of NCAR|UCAR.

An Ombuds is an independent, neutral person who offers informal assistance to employees and visitors to help resolve issues related to their employment or appointment.

Jeff has been at the Unidata Program Center since 1998 and is currently a project manager in the Community Services group there. A graduate of UCAR's 2006 Leadership Academy, he is a member of the International Ombuds Association and practices in accordance with its codes and practices.

Find out more about Jeff, Loretta, Marijke, and the UCAR Ombuds Office here:

Posted by Zhenya Gallon at ext. 8607,

Thursday, June 22, 2017 to Friday, July 7, 2017

Effective 3/28/17, a new version 5-7 Travel (Concur) Policy and Procedures is applicable for all travel processed using Concur.  Revisions to the existing 5-7 Travel Policy & Procedures have been made to reflect new federal regulations, signature authority revisions, general updates related to the new software capabilities of Concur and the issuance of the new UCAR Travel Card.

To view a roadmap of changes from the existing Policy 5-7 Travel to the new 5-7 Travel (Concur) please read the UCAR Travel Policy and Procedure Changes.  The existing 5-7 Travel Policy & Procedure will remain available on the UCAR website until all travel booked using the old Travel Application has been completed and expensed.


Please visit the Concur User Support Resources site for details on how to utilize our new cloud hosted web-based travel system (Concur) and for a detailed list of FAQs.  For additional guidance, please contact the Travel Office at or call the Concur help desk at ext. 2121.

Posted by Patty Leslie at ext. 8570,

Thursday, June 22, 2017 to Friday, July 21, 2017

Bike to Work Day is just one week away!! Help our organization lead the pack in the annual Business Challenge by taking two minutes to register here. We are competing against close to 1,000 Colorado companies, including NOAA and NIST! Last year, we ranked #15 out of 780 companies. Register now and you will be leading us in our first steps (or pedals) toward the Top 10!

Registering also makes you eligible to win some seriously awesome prizes, such as an electric bike or a two-person trip to Croatia!

Over 200 complimentary breakfast stations will be serving participants free delicious breakfast between 6:30am-9:00am on Bike to Work Day. Check out this map of breakfast stations and see how many you can conveniently stop at along your commute.

Your participation goes a long way. By registering for and participating in Bike to Work Day you are sending a message to our local and statewide decision makers about the importance of bike-friendly infrastructure and policies.

Bike to Work Day is Wednesday, June 28th. Thank you for being a part of this effort! 


Posted by Chelsea Castellano at ext. 8549,

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 to Friday, June 23, 2017

The summary of the May 22, 2017 President's Council meeting can be found here.

Posted by Peggy Stevens at ext. 8601,

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 to Friday, June 30, 2017

Clarifying the Role of Service Animals at Work: Policy Update 

In response to questions from staff regarding animals at work, the President's Council reviewed UCAR policy 4-3 on Facility Use at its May 22, 2017 meeting. The previous policy stated, “Canine companions for people with disabilities are permitted at all facilities; all other animals are banned.” At the meeting, the PC approved a modification to the policy that recognizes the role of service animals other than canines and includes the ADA definition of service animals as those trained to perform specific tasks for a person with a disability. The PC also discussed the pros and cons of broadening the policy to allow non-service animals in our facilities. However, federal guidelines for government-owned facilities (in Boulder, this includes Mesa Lab, Marshall Field Site and the Research Aviation Facility) are specific and follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, including the definition for service animals. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals per the ADA definition. The updated policy that includes the ADA definition of service animals will ensure the policy is applied equitably to all UCAR and NSF facilities. For questions or concerns, please contact Melissa D. Miller, Vice President for Finance and Administration @ x8575 or e-mail at

Posted by Denise Moulton at ext. 8575,

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 to Thursday, July 20, 2017

Posted by Annette Lampert at ext. 8719,

Monday, June 19, 2017 to Friday, June 30, 2017

RAL/HAP Seminar - Combining a large sample of catchments and a flexible hydrological modeling framework: benefits and challenge  Note - now at 2:30 pm
Nans Addor,  Post-doctoral scientist in RAL/HAP
22 June 2017, 2:30 pm, FL2-1001


In hydrological studies, the formulation of generally valid conclusions is often impeded by the small number of catchments and hydrological models involved. Many studies at the catchment scale rely on a handful of catchments, so it is usually unclear to which extent their conclusions apply to catchments in other locations. Similarly, when modeling is involved, the number of models is typically low, so one may wonder whether the modeling results are generally valid, or if they are conditional on the modeling setup. To progress on these two fronts, I am co-developing and using a large sample of catchments (CAMELS) and a flexible hydrological modeling framework (FUSE). CAMELS is a new data set involving 671 catchments in the contiguous USA (CONUS). It consists of i) daily atmospheric forcing and discharge time series and ii) a wide range of catchment attributes describing the topography, vegetation, soil, geology and network characteristics of each catchment. I will show how CAMELS can be used to assess the information content of hydrological signatures (indices characterizing hydrologic behavior) and to explore how well those signatures can be predicted using catchment attributes. I will summarize these findings by introducing a ranking of hydrological signatures, useful for the evaluation, calibration and selection of hydrological models. FUSE is a flexible hydrological modeling framework enabling the construction of conceptual models piece by piece. I adapted the original FUSE model and produced a new version optimized for parallel computing and that can be run either at the catchment scale or on a grid. I used FUSE to explore whether a flexible modeling framework can replace a small ensemble of hydrological models typically used for impact modeling. I ran different FUSE instances over the CONUS using 10 CMIP5 climate projections over 1980-2100. FUSE simulations are realistic and compare well with simulations from the hydrological models VIC and PRMS. I will discuss the potential of flexible modeling frameworks to provide more reliable and more tractable estimates of the uncertainty in hydrological projections.


Posted by Andrew Newman at ext. 8456,

Monday, June 19, 2017 to Thursday, June 22, 2017