Staff Notes Daily Announcements

Five questions for NCAR's new director of HAO

As part of a series of interviews with new leaders at NCAR/UCAR, Staff News recently chatted with Scott McIntosh. We asked five questions to learn more about Scott, personally and professionally. more>

For more information, contact Rebecca Swisher at ext. 8609,

Thu, 02/26/2015

UCAR Communications is pleased to announce our new internally focused Google+ page - NCAR|UCAR StaffNet! The page has been developed to communicate timely news, photos, and announcements for staff. To visit StaffNet, search for “NCAR UCAR StaffNet” from your Google+ account. Once you get to StaffNet, please follow the page and we will add you to our circles so you can see the posts. 

You may also copy and paste the following link into your browser window:

If you haven’t activated your Google+ account, follow the instructions posted on the Google Support Site.

We know your time is precious, so our goal is to keep this Google+ page short, sweet, and up-to-date with the latest and greatest new stuff for staff.  

Feel free to send your photos and news items to if you have something you’d like to share with your colleagues. All items will be reviewed, moderated, and edited by the StaffNet publishers. Submissions must be timely, brief, and relevant to the general staff audience.   

Thanks for checking out StaffNet!  

For more information, contact Rebecca Swisher at ext. 8609,

Wed, 02/25/2015

Development of low-cost laser remote sensor for high vertical resolution and continuous measurements of atmospheric water vapor

Scott Spuler

Remote Sensing Facility
Earth Observing Laboratory

The distribution of water vapor influences dynamical and physical processes that drive weather phenomena, general circulation patterns, radiative transfer, and the global water cycle. Terrestrial boundary layers can be especially complex given the large amplitude of diurnal cycles and surface exchange complexities. A better understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of water vapor is required to support research, and to improve high impact weather forecasts of quantitative precipitation and damaging winds.

While surface observations abound, vertical profiles of water vapor are largely limited to radiosonde data, which are far too sparse, temporally and spatially, to adequately serve planetary boundary layer research. Laser remote sensing instruments are capable of high vertical resolution and continuous measurements; however, they are traditionally expensive devices to develop and operate. The instrument plus its operational cost is especially relevant since multiple devices – a network of profilers – are required to obtain adequate horizontal spatial resolution. Research applications generally require short term deployments of a regional scale network, whereas National Weather Service and related national forecasts require national networks. For example, in the continental USA, high-resolution vertical profiles of humidity at roughly 400 locations are required. Therefore, a new generation of ‘lower cost’ laser remote sensors – capable of safely, accurately, continuously, and autonomously measuring water vapor in the lower troposphere with high vertical resolution – are needed to lower the barrier to investment.

This seminar discusses the development and testing of a next generation laser remote profiler for water vapor which has the potential to enable a regional and national scale network. The electrically-pumped semiconductor-based laser transmitter is inherently low-maintenance, low-cost, and designed to be eye-safe at the exit port. It has the characteristics necessary for the differential absorption lidar technique; rapid frequency agility with good spectral purity, and when combined with ultra-narrowband multistage optical filters in the receiver, the system provides continuous profiles of water vapor with complete coverage – including periods of bright clouds – from 300 m above ground level to 4 km (or cloud base, whichever comes first) with 150 m nominal vertical resolution and 1 minute temporal resolution. Results from the initial field test in 2014, which includes inter-comparisons with radiosondes and an infrared radiometer, will be discussed. This ‘lower cost’ lidar design may be a significant step towards improving our understanding of the distribution of atmospheric water vapor.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015, 3:30PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2 Large Auditorium (Rm 1022)

Webcast Link:

For more information, contact Steve Oncley at ext. 8757,

Wed, 02/25/2015

Need to brush up on a foreign language?

Transparent Language Online is an online language learning application available to the NCAR/UCAR community through the NCAR Library. This product offers free remote access anytime from anywhere for over 80 languages. It provides personal progress tracking as well as audio pronunciation analysis and cultural resources.

Access is available through the NCAR library Your initial visit will require a one-time set-up process for your account. Once you have established your account, a mobile application is available.

See more at: Transparent Language Online.

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

Wed, 02/25/2015

The UCAR Center for Science Education is keen to gather a list of scientists and engineers who are willing to work with them to review educational materials for accuracy of their science and engineering content. NCAR|UCAR has a commitment to ensuring that all of our educational materials are 100% scientifically/(engineeringly?) accurate, and for that, we need your help!  

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, please drop me an email at with your subject area, and the kind of time commitment you'd be able to make, be it an hour here and there, or devoting time to a more intense project. Many thanks in advance! 


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

Wed, 02/25/2015

Please share this information with potentially interested high school students, their parents or educators.
We wanted to alert you to an opportunity this summer for high school Sophomores and Juniors (status at time of application). The Computational & Information Systems Lab for the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is presenting a “Data Analytics Bootcamp for High School Students.”
This is a FREE hands-on workshop on data analytics, essential for learning how to interpret large sets of data. Open to Sophomores or Juniors (at the time they fill out the application) attending high school in the Boulder Valley School District area, the program includes a field trip to NCAR’s supercomputing facility in Wyoming, and guest lectures from university professors.
What: Data Analytics Workshop for High School Students
Where: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
When: June 22-26, 2015
Learn More:
Application Deadline: March 16, 2015
If you have any questions please contact Dorit Hammerling:

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

Tue, 02/24/2015

Date/Time:    March 9, 10am-12pm                   
Location: FL1-EOL Atrium

What diversity efforts are going on in UCAR/NCAR?  What is the future of diversity at UCAR/NCAR?  Who are the groups involved in promoting diversity? Stop by to learn more. 

Food and drink will be provided at this special event.

Invited Speakers: 

Carolyn Brinkworth, NCAR Director of Diversity, Education and Outreach
Maria Isquierdo, UCAR Human Resources
Members of Comunidad LatinA de NCAR (CLAN)

Moderated by:

Astrid Maute/Women Organizing Research and Leading Science (WORLS)
Vidal Salazar/Comunidad LatinA de NCAR (CLAN)

Hosted by:  NCAR Diversity Committee, Asian Circle, WORLS, and CLAN

For more information, contact Astrid Maute at ext. 1539,

Tue, 02/24/2015

These new acquisitions 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.

Modeling Atmospheric and Oceanic Flows: Insights from Laboratory Experiments and Numerical Simulations
Editors: Thomas von Larcher, Paul D. Williams
Publisher: American Geophysical Union, John Wiley & Sons
Call Number: QC861.3 .M63 2015
Location: FL Library

An Overview of Hardware and Software Modifications to Improve the Eppley SMT-3 Solar Trackers
Authors: A. Jordan, E. Hall, J. Wendel, E. Dutton
Publisher: NOAA, Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research, Global Monitoring Division
Call Number: 102138
Location: ML Reports

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

Tue, 02/24/2015

Please, when communicating with the UCAR Payroll Office, for any and all reasons, send your request to not to any one person.

This will assure it is received by one of us, actually in the office, to handle the request.  Thank you.

For more information, contact Shelley Richards-Craig at ext. 8857,

Tue, 02/24/2015

Friday, March 6, 2015
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
No registration required

Sponsored by UCAR's Wellness Advisory Committee, this event is free and open to UCAR employees, retirees, their spouses/partners and dependent/adult children 18-26 years of age.  Health Fair events include:  Blood Screening Results and Private Consultations; Blood Pressure Screening, Full Blood Chemistry, PSA Prostate Cancer Screening; Optional Blood Screening Screenings; Pulmonary Screening; Bone Density Screening; Body Mass Analysis; Skin Cancer Screening; Vision/Hearing Screening; Ergonomics; Child and Elder Care Resources; Benefits Information; Chair Massage; Health Information Booths, Refreshments, Giveaways; Prizes; and much, much more!

Please note, pre-health fair bloodwork screening results can be claimed at the Health Fair. To have a proxy claim your results, they must bring your signed Proxy Release Form to the Health & Benefits Fair.  All unclaimed results will be postal-mailed to participants.

UCAR offers these events as a service and participation is voluntary.  UCAR does not recommend or endorse any products, services or resources associated with these events. For more information, visit UCAR's Health & Benefits Fair website.

Here's to your good health from your friends on the Wellness Advisory Committee (WAC).

For more information, contact Cheryl Cristanelli at ext. 8708,

Mon, 02/23/2015

On Monday, March 2, 2015, CG-1 will be closed from 6:30 PM -8:30 PM. We will be x-raying the floor, and no one will be allowed in the building because of safety concerns.

If you have any questions regarding this closure, please call Marion Hammond, x8899. Thanks for your cooperation.

For more information, contact Marion Hammond at ext. 8899,

Fri, 02/20/2015

To provide greater flexibility to NCAR scientists regarding timelines of project readiness and to allow the NCAR Strategic Capability (NSC) program to better support activities that arise during the course of the year, we have decided to divide the NSC proposal process into two opportunities during the year. We are still accepting requests for the March 2 submission deadline and May 1 start, and we will also be accepting requests approximately six months later this year.

A portion of the NSC's 100 million core-hours will be awarded at each submission opportunity; and projects that start in the fall would also have 12 months to complete. However, a project for the same or similar work can only receive an allocation once a year.

We strongly encourage potential submitters to consider applying to the opportunity that best aligns with their project's anticipated timetable and readiness. In most cases, a project should consider the opportunity that starts shortly *after* their planned start, so that preliminary and benchmarking results can be submitted as part of the NSC proposal.

To help balance the allocation of NSC core-hours, we would be interested in hearing from any potential NSC project leads who feels that a request for core-hours later this year may be a good fit for their expected activities. Please send a brief email to by March 2.

The original call for NSC requests follows and remains applicable, except for the addition of the fall opportunity:

NCAR computational scientists are encouraged to submit requests for the next round of NCAR Strategic Capability (NSC) projects to run on the Yellowstone system. The deadline for submissions is March 2, 2015.

NSC project allocations target large-scale activities that directly relate to one or more specific priorities in the new NCAR strategic plan. Requests that address the grand challenges in the Path Forward, including the development of global models with limited-area higher-resolution grids and the use of data assimilation techniques and statistics with model development and verification, are especially encouraged.

NSC projects must be technically ready to begin production runs starting May 1, 2015, and should be completed within 12 months in most cases. NSC projects requiring more than one year’s allocation must submit continuation requests each year to report progress toward the project’s objectives. An estimated 100 million core-hours will be available for the 2015 projects.

For more information and how to apply, see the NSC allocations documentation at

Because of the competitive nature of these allocations, labs may have chosen to coordinate submissions from each lab. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact their lab's or division's allocation representative prior to submitting a request.

Please send any questions to

For more information, contact David Hart at ext. 1234,

Fri, 02/20/2015

Interested in learning more about proposing for NCAR Diversity Funding? We changed the requirements and goals so even if you've proposed or been awarded funds in previous years, you are eligible to propose again. See the recorded Principal Investigator Orientation meeting at

Also check out the proposal guidelines and other information at the
NCAR Diversity Committee web page

Important Dates are:

  • Initial Proposals Due: February 27
  • Final Proposals Due: March 13

For more information, contact Helen Moshak at ext. 1112,

Wed, 02/18/2015

If you are expecting a new addition to your family (birth or adoption of a child), you are eligible for up to 12 weeks of continuous leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Per UCAR policy, you may use PTO, Vacation, Sick Leave, or unpaid leave for the first 10 work days after which you will be placed on Salary Continuation Pay (SCP) for the period of time your physician authorizes.

Eligibility for SCP requires certification from your physician. Please contact Irena Haimsky 30 days prior to the anticipated event date to begin the process and complete the necessary paperwork. You will be given the “Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition” form for your physician to complete and return. While on SCP, you will continue to receive full pay and benefits, and you continue to accrue PTO or Vacation/Sick leave.

As a reminder, lactation rooms are available in some campuses. Please refer to the lactation room link below.

Fathers of a newborn or an adopted child are eligible for 12 weeks of FMLA leave. Family Sick Leave, PTO or Vacation leave may be used during FMLA leave. To request FMLA leave, please contact Irena Haimsky.

Additional FMLA and SCP information is located below:

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

Wed, 02/18/2015

Speaker:    Jenny Sun, Scientist, RAL, HAP
Date:        March 11, 2015    
Time:        3:30pm
Place:        FL 2 – Rm 1022


The great Colorado flood that occurred during the second week of September 2013 was an unprecedented event causing loss of life and significant property damage. While the rainfall and flooding covered a large area of northern Colorado over a one-week period, three episodes of heavy rainfall deluged the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains with the most intense episode centered in Boulder County the night of 11 September. The large-scale event brought abundant moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, which is believed to be the source of the record amount of rainfall. Locally heavy rainfall, however, was driven by mesoscale processes.  This study will examine the formation mechanisms of these processes on the night of 11 September using high-resolution analyses from the Variational Doppler Radar Analysis System (VDRAS). VDRAS performs fine-scale analyses by assimilating observations from several WSR-88D radars along the Front Range region and surface networks using a 4-dimensional data assimilation technique. Results suggest that, in addition to the large-scale forcing over the Rocky Mountains, the terrain of the Palmer Divide south of Denver and the Cheyenne Ridge north of Boulder played an important role in the formation of the mesoscale heavy rainfall system.

This seminar will be Webcast & Recorded - Webcast link

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

Tue, 02/17/2015

Through the efforts of the Visiting Scientist Programs (VSP) and NOAA, the large visualization sphere known as Science on a Sphere will be gracing the Center Green campus with its presence in mid April. Interested divisions and/or programs that would like to reserve the Sphere for a special event and showing for internal or external audiences are encouraged to do so. There is scheduling availability on the dates of April 14th and 16th at the present time.

Additionally, any staff that would like training from NOAA to operate and display visualizations on Science on a Sphere are invited to one or both of the scheduled trainings on March 4th and April 1st from 2-4pm at NOAA. There will be a few staff showings scheduled as well. We will be looking for staff who would be interested in presenting and interpreting the science visualizations. Interested individuals should contact Teri Eastburn in the UCAR Center for Science Education for more information, to schedule, and to RSVP for NOAA training. Thank you! 

For more information, contact Teri Eastburn at ext. 1152,

Fri, 02/13/2015

The L’Oréal For Women in Science program recognizes and rewards the contributions women make in STEM fields and identifies exceptional women researchers committed to serving as role models for younger generations.  More than 2,000 women scientists in over 100 countries have been recognized since the program began in 1998. 

The L’Oréal USA For Women In Science fellowship program will award five post‐doctoral women scientists in the United States this year with grants of up to $60,000 each. Applicants are welcome from a variety of fields, including the life and physical/material sciences, technology (including computer science), engineering, and mathematics.

The application and more information on the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science program can be found at Applications are due on Friday, March 20, 2015

Personal note from Carolyn: This kind of requirement for self-promotion is just about the pinnacle of doubt for imposter syndrome. If you are hesitating about whether to apply for this, stop thinking about it and just do it. Don't let imposter syndrome get in the way of a chance of $60,000 of research funding! Come and talk to me if you have any questions or concerns, or just need a pep talk. My door, email and phone are there to be used. Good luck!! 

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

Mon, 02/09/2015


Artists will be selected by jury for solo or group exhibitions in the two UCAR public galleries l & ll of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Individuals interested in submitting their work for consideration may register via the Community Art Program- UCAR Center for Science Education:

The deadline for registration is April 1, 2015 at 5pm. There is no fee. Registration may be limited, if necessary. This round of judging will select artists for exhibits June 2015-May 2016, at NCAR’s Mesa Laboratory. Artists are requested to submit three representative pieces of their work and may provide a statement of 100 words or less (optional). Gallery space limits UCAR exhibits to wall-hanging artwork.

The NCAR Mesa Laboratory is located at 1850 Table Mesa Drive in Boulder. Its galleries and Visitor Center are open to the public on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact:

Audrey Lewis at (303)-497-2570


Community Art Program - UCAR Center for Science Education
P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000, Fax: (303) 497-2411


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

Thu, 02/05/2015

Thanks to the quick response from many of you, we have enough people to field a team for the 2015 Bolder Boulder Race.  Registering before February 28, 2015 you will receive a $5.00 discount off your entry fee. Back bibs with our company name and logo will be provided free of charge.

Registration can take place online at the website ( Click on REGISTER and then the Bolder Business Challenge link. Make sure you check that you are part of the Bolder Business Challenge and the packet pick up that’s listed as Bolder Business Challenge UCAR/NCAR.  All packets will be delivered to UCAR/NCAR for those who register before April 28th.  If you register after April 28th, you will need to pick up your packet at one of the many pick up locations.

Look for updates, training tips, and other group activities as the race nears.   Free treadmill qualifying will take place at the 29th Street Mall Store also.

This activity is for UCAR/NCAR employees and family as a benefit of the Employee Activities Committe. 

For more information, contact Alexis Baile at ext. 8553,

Mon, 02/02/2015

The NCAR Community Art Program proudly presents two new exhibits: 

Textile Art by Annette Kennedy

Explorations in Fiber: Textile artist, Annette Kennedy, of Longmont, CO will be showing her paint-enhanced art quilts in UCAR Gallery l of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab from February 1st through March 28th, 2015. The show will include her original art quilts along with some reproductions in print form. You'll see many nature explorations as well as a few architectural ones. Come see her colorful award winning work!

Oil Paintings by Shari Farabaugh

For oil painter Shari Farabaugh every once in a while, magic happens and the painting seems to paint itself. From waterscapes, to still life’s, to figurative works, she finds inspiration in a wide range of subjects. Though she is a realist, she works to find the bold abstract design in every subject. Light and nature’s complicated patterns are her muses, and for her, beauty is in the details. Farabaugh's work will be on exhibit in UCAR Gallery ll of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab February 1, 2015 through March 28, 2015.

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

Fri, 01/30/2015

Workshop and Tutorial
Boulder, CO  3-7 August, 2015

The workshop will focus on:

1. Ensemble assimilation for atmosphere, ocean, land and coupled earth system models.

2. Hybrid ensemble variational assimilation techniques.

The Graduate Student Tutorial will cover:

1. An introduction to ensemble data assimilation.

2. Using the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) community software facility.

3. Using DART with the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model.

4. Using DART with the Community Earth System Model (CESM).

The tutorial will prepare graduate students with an interest in data assimilation to be active participants in the workshop. By the end of the week, students will be ready to do research using DART with a variety of geoscience models and observations.

Tutorial Application Procedures:

Students interested in attending the tutorial must register and submit a letter of application stating research interests.

Visit the website for this event by following this link:

For more information, contact Tim Hoar at ext. 1708,

Wed, 01/28/2015

Folks, we’ve had a request from the 2015 Colorado Science and Engineering Fair, looking for scientists to act as judges from 9am - 5:30pm on Thursday, April 9th at Colorado State University (see below for the full request from the coordinator). If you’ve never judged a science fair before, I highly recommend it, as it’s a ton of fun - the kids are smart and motivated, and occasionally have some rather “creative” ideas for projects (my particular favorite was the kid who decided to test the speed of sound in different air temperatures by sticking his head in a lit oven. He had some great sources of uncertainty and, miraculously, still had his eyebrows).

If you are interested in volunteering for this, please sign up or contact the coordinator directly (details below), but please also cc me ( so I know you’re going, and can report numbers to the NSF.

Thank you!!


The 2015 Colorado Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF) will be held April 9-11, 2015 is the 60th Anniversary of the CSEF!  Judging for the CSEF will take place from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9th.  The fair will be held in the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University.

The success of the CSEF depends in a huge part on the quality of the judges who volunteer to judge the approximately 400 projects from the 6th-12th grades (Junior Division is grades 6-8 and Senior Division is grades 9-12) in 12 different categories.  A description of the categories can be found at You participation is greatly appreciated.

To view the Grand Awards Judge Information page, please go to and to register as a Grand Awards Judge, please visit  The importance of your assistance as a Grand Awards Judge at the CSEF cannot be estimated enough.  These students come from all over the state of Colorado to compete at the CSEF.  For grades 9-12, many of these students will get the opportunity to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  ALL of the students gain the experience of presenting a project to the judges (both visually and verbally), meet potential contacts who will help them on their road to college and in some cases includes internships, gain the experience of creating or designing a project from start to finish, and will have the opportunity to receive scholarships to state higher education.  To view some of the past CSEF successes, please see

Please join us for the 2015 CSEF!  If you have any question, please feel free to contact me.
Warm regards,

Nancy Glissmann
GrandAwards Judging Coordinator
Colorado Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF)
3835 Birchwood Drive, Boulder, CO  80304-1428
303.817.4271 (cell) 303-413-8505 (home)

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

Thu, 12/04/2014

January 20-23, 2015
June 9-12, 2015
Corporate Technical Training Center
Center Green campus, 3085 Center Green Drive (CG-2)

These 3.5 day workshops are geared towards new users of NCL, and will be taught by both an associate scientist and a software engineer. The workshops include a combination of introductory lectures and hands-on labs.

During the labs, the instructors work with students to help them write NCL programs for analyzing their own data.

Limited travel funds are available for eligible students or faculty members at minority serving institutions in the United States, or from universities in EPSCoR states.

Registration is free and limited to 16 students per class, so be sure to register as soon as possible.

See the link below for information on registering for the workshop and/or applying for travel funds.

For more information, contact Mary Haley at ext. 1254,

Fri, 10/10/2014