Staff Notes Daily Announcements

What: Programming with models: An introduction to NIMBLE, a BUGS-compatible system for hierarchical statistical modeling using MCMC and more

When: May 27, 2016, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: ML- VisLab 

This webinar will introduce attendees to the NIMBLE system for programming with hierarchical models in R. NIMBLE ( is a new system for flexible programming of algorithms that builds on the BUGS language for declaring hierarchical models. NIMBLE provides analysts with a flexible system for using MCMC, sequential MC and other techniques on user-specified models. It provides developers and methodologists with the ability to write algorithms in an R-like syntax that can be easily disseminated to users. C++ versions of models and algorithms are created for speed, but these are manipulated from R without any need for analysts or algorithm developers to program in C++. While analysts can use NIMBLE as a drop-in replacement for WinBUGS or JAGS, NIMBLE provides greatly enhanced functionality in a number of ways.  The webinar will first show how to specify a hierarchical statistical model using BUGS syntax and fit that model using MCMC. Participants will learn how to customize the MCMC for better performance and how to specify one's own statistical distributions and functions to extend the syntax of BUGS. Next the webinar will demonstrate how to use other non-MCMC algorithms to fit and models. Finally, the webinar will show how to use the system to write algorithms for use with hierarchical models, including one's own samplers for use within NIMBLE's MCMC system.

The instructor is Dr. Chris Paciorek (UC Berkeley).  Participation is free, but the number of seats is limited to 20.  To reserve a seat, please email Kathy Peczkowicz (  The format of the webinar is interactive with two-way video and audio, where the participants can ask live questions.  Each participant should bring a laptop.

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

Thu, 05/05/2016

NCAR scientist Mari Tye might have wound up with a career in music if it wasn't for the influence of her engineer father – and a rather interesting job before her university studies. Today, she's one of the coordinators of the Engineering for Climate Extremes Partnership. (Story by Jeff Smith, Science Writer and Public Information Officer, read more here.)

For more information, contact Jeff Smith at ext. 2679,

Thu, 05/05/2016


   A number of cellular carriers are now supporting Wi-Fi calling.  Wi-Fi calling allows you to make and receive calls over a Wi-Fi (wireless) networkif cellular is not available.
  The benefits of Wi-Fi calling include:

  • It's “currently” included at no additional charge (subject to change) with your existing voice plan and compatible device

  • You can make and receive calls in Wi-Fi using your phone number

  • Wi-Fi calls to US numbers are treated the same as domestic calls, even while traveling internationally

  • Video calling may be available on certain models and no longer require an LTE connection to be initiated in Wi-Fi

Cautions when using Wi-Fi calling:

  • When you first enable Wi-Fi calling you are required to enter an address for the 911 location database.  Most users should enter their home address if they use Wi-Fi calling at home.

  • The 911 location does NOT change with your actual location, for this reason it is recommended that you do not use your cellular phone to make 911 calls over Wi-Fi  from locations other than the entered address.

    The Network Engineering and Telecommunications Section (NETS) does not support or endorse this service but wants to make you aware of its availability.  Requirements are carrier and phone dependent.  For example, here are the Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile, Sprint FAQs:

   To use Wi-Fi calling in the UCAR facilities, your phone must be a model that supports Wi-Fi calling (not all do), be configured to use Wi-Fi calling, and your phone will need to be configured to use one of the UCAR wireless networks:  Eduroam, UCAR Guest, or UCAR Internal.  UCAR network security policy may prevent the use of Wi-Fi calling in some cases, i.e. blocked protocols.  Please work with your divisional or lab system administrator to set up wireless on your phone.


  Marla Meehl (Manager of NETS)

For more information, contact Marla Meehl at ext. 1301,

Thu, 05/05/2016

The realities of climate change can test our optimism. The new Mesa Lab climate exhibit, which is being installed this month, aims to leave visitors with a sense of hope. (Story by David Hosansky, Manager of Media Relations. Read more.)

For more information, contact David Hosansky at ext. 8611,

Wed, 05/04/2016

CISL is excited to announce the second course coordinated by The Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences (IMAGe) in the Beyond P-values series.

This three-day course, July 11-13, 2016, will provide an introduction to the theory and methods of Bayesian Statistics. Bayesian Statistics is an emergent area of Statistics applicable to many problems and especially relevant in the context of uncertainty quantification. The course will cover some simple one- and two-parameter problems to provide a flavor for the mechanics of the Bayesian approach. We will then discuss Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods for making inference using more complicated (higher dimensional) models. By the end of the course the partcipants will fit and evaluate models for a dataset of atmospheric CO2 concentrations taken from ice-core measurements. We'll use the open-source statistical software R [] and the open-source MCMC package that works seamlessly with R called Stan []. The format of the course is hands-on and participants will use their own laptops. 

The lead instructor for the course is Alix Gitelman, Professor of Statistics at Oregon State University. She will be assisted by Nathan Lenssen (Columbia University), Doug Nychka, Philippe Naveau and Dorit Hammerling and others. Seats are limited to 12 participants and to apply, please visit the Bayesian Statistics Application webpage. Please note that the course is only open to staff and visitors working on NCAR's Boulder, CO campuses.

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

Wed, 05/04/2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016 | 1 pm -2 pm | FL2 - Room 1001

National Center for ATmospheric Research, Boulder

Devising Weather Decision Support Algorithms: Heavy Precipitation at the Regional and Local Scale

Paul Roebber, Distinguished Professor, Atmospheric Science Group, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

Heavy rainfall events, owing to their convective origin and high impacts, remain a key weather forecasting challenge. In this talk, I will address two problems: (1) how to get useful regional guidance for such events (and thus increase forecaster situational awareness); and (2) how to downscale that regional guidance to the local scale where the high impacts are mostly realized.

To address these problems, evolutionary programming, multiple logistic regression, and decision trees were all successfully applied. Several other methods were tested and rejected, including boosted trees, bootstrap forests, random forests, K nearest neighbors, and single hidden layer artificial neural networks. The use of soil moisture and layer average relative humidity as additional predictors was also evaluated. Further modifications to the basic methods that were evaluated included using past analogs to select evolutionary program ensemble members for Bayesian Model Combination, and applying a different cost function in training (mean absolute error instead of mean square error). Maximizing evolutionary program ensemble diversity by increasing the population carrying capacity from 10,000 to 500,000 individuals was also evaluated.

Discussion of these techniques, and results from these various tests are provided. Finally, an exploration of possible future directions, including ways to leverage the spatial dimension of the data, and focusing on the nowcast range using deep learning will be provided.

This seminar will be webcasted at:

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

Wed, 05/04/2016

Don't forget to register for MAY courses! 

All UCAR/NCAR/UCP employees can register for FREE educational courses. There are a variety of options and the training schedules are updated regularly to help provide the most current and up to date information.


View the 2016 training schedule to date & REGISTER by logging into Connect:

Select “EOD Training Catalog” to view and register for current offerings.

For more information, contact:

Toni Wallace,, 303-497-8716 

  • Class sizes vary and space is limited. Reserve your attendance as soon as possible.
  • Courses may be offered more than once, depending on the demand and participation.
  • Note: Course times & dates can change, please view the calendar via the EOD Training Catalog for the most up-to-date information!

MAY - 2016 Courses: (log into Connect and view the "EOD Training Catalog" for locations and descriptions per course)

5/05/16:      MSEC: Performance Documentation Skills

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM / Open to all managers


5/17/16:      New Horizons: Excel 2013 Charts & Pivot Tables

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM / Open to all employees


5/17/16:      Elevations CU: Good Behavior Habits

Complimentary lunch.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM / Open to all employees


5/18/16:      MSEC: Interviewing and Hiring

1:00 PM - 4:30 PM / Open to all managers


5/19/16:      MSEC: Performance Management,

Setting the Stage for Success

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM / Open to all managers


5/19/16:      New Horizons:

Access 2013 Level 1: Part 1

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM / Open to all employees


CEB Manager Success Workshop Series:

Open to all managers & aspiring managers

Times & Registration per Virtual Coursesare listed on the

EOD website:

(Select the Leadership Development tab for more information)


Making Great Hiring Decisions:

May 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th


Becoming a Manager I: Making a Smooth Transition:

May 16th, 17th, 18th, & 19th


Entering Middle Management: Expanding Your Influence:

May 23rd, 24th, 25th, & 26th

For more information, contact Toni Wallace at ext. 8716,

Wed, 05/04/2016


Angeline Pendergrass
CIRES Visiting Fellow, University of Colorado

Determining how precipitation, especially extreme precipitation, has and will change with warming is an important challenge in climate science. In order to accomplish this, we need to develop a robust understanding of how to quantify extreme precipitation, its change, and the associated uncertainty. But we must also address why these changes occur, and describe the physical drivers of how precipitation can change. I hope that this talk can help contribute to discussion about how to integrate physical and statistical approaches to studying precipitation extremes.

I will share some work which takes a physical approach to understanding changes in precipitation and its extremes. In the global mean, precipitation is in balance with radiative and sensible heat flux components of the atmosphere’s energy budget. Changes in global mean precipitation in climate model projections closely follow changes in clear-sky atmospheric radiative cooling, obeying an energetic constraint. Climate models vary in how heavy this rain is when it falls, but they generally agree on many aspects of how this distribution changes with warming. The changes in the distribution of rain can be described by “shift” and “increase” modes of change of the distribution. One aspect of precipitation change that models disagree about is the rate of change of extreme precipitation change with warming. These changes in extreme precipitation do not depend on the type of forcing that drives the warming (in contrast to mean precipitation). Convective organization could in principle contribute to the disagreement across models, and some methods of quantifying this relationship are in development.

Friday, May 6, 2016
12:00-1:00 pm
Mesa Lab, Damon Room
(Bring your lunch)

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

Tue, 05/03/2016

NCAR's Anke Kamrath recently played a key role in helping develop a national strategy to bolster seasonal weather forecasts. (Story by Jeff Smith, Science Writer and Public Information Officer, read more here.)

For more information, contact Jeff Smith at ext. 2679,

Fri, 04/29/2016

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

Center Green 1 - Room 2503

  • Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 9:00am - 4:00pm

Foothills Lab 2 - Room 1002

  • Tuesday, May 24, 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 Alyssa Fronk at ext. 8710,

Fri, 04/29/2016


Monday, May 9, 2016 | 11-12 Noon | FL2 - Room 1001

National Center for ATmospheric Research, Boulder

Freva – A Hybrid (Web and Shell) Software Infrastructure for Standardized Data and Tool Solutions in Earth System Science

Christopher Kadow | Research associate at the Institute of Meteorology, Freie University, Berlin


Wouldn't it be nice ……

  • to connect a whole project or institute by a software and data sharing system?
  • to have a user friendly web environment and the power of a shell at the same time?
  • to support software developers in a framework which handles the translation into the web?
  • to find climate data easy and fast in a human readable database?
  • to aspire transparency and reproducibility via an automatic history system?
  • to have such a system at NCAR-RAL combined with the MET tools?
  • to listen to a talk about this?

This is Freva. The Free University Evaluation System Framework ( for scientific infrastructures in Earth system modeling. Beta-Version at NCAR-RAL will be presented including first scientific shots of MET 5.1 as a web application in climate science.


 This seminar will be webcasted at

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

Wed, 04/27/2016

New Hires and Departures as of Friday, April 22, 2016

For more information, contact Annette Lampert at ext. 8719,

Mon, 04/25/2016

Cigna Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Wellness Seminars

We all face challenges in the quest to balance productive work and a satisfying personal life. Managing relationships, family issues, and good work practices can be stressful. It can be a struggle to maintain health and make good lifestyle choices!

To assist with these challenges, Cigna’s EAP offers a variety of free online seminars for UCAR employees and family members.  Live webcast seminars are offered each month along with the option to view replays of previous seminars.

How do I view the upcoming seminars?

Visit the website:

If you are a first time visitor, simply fill in the required information under the “First Time User” section and then select Submit when complete. This will promote you to the homepage of the website and you can view the calendar of seminars.

If you are a returning visitor, simply log in with the credentials that you established previously and you will promote to the homepage of the website.

How do I register for a seminar?

Upcoming Live Seminars are listed for the 2016 calendar year and can be viewed from the homepage:

Scroll over a course of your choice and select the title. This will prompt you to the description of the course and provide you the option to Register/Attend the seminar. When you select “Attend”, you will receive a confirmation email with the seminar description, date, time, etc.

To view a seminar playback, simply click on the seminar you are interested in. On-demand replays will be available starting 2 hours after the live presentation initially began.

CIGNA EAP LIVE Wellness Seminars in May:

There are THREECigna EAP Webcast seminars forMAY 2016. EAP seminars are one hour in length including a Q&A at the close of each session. All webcasts take place on Wednesdays at 2pm EST.


Registration information, live seminars, and on-demand replays can be accessed directly at our seminar portal:


Wednesday, May 4, 2016: How Stress Affects Our Eating

Wednesday, May 18, 2016: Working Together: Diversity in the Workplace- AVAILABLE IN SPANISH!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016: Manager’s Guide: Effective Leadership Communication

For more information, contact Toni Wallace at ext. 8716,

Wed, 04/20/2016

Have a package to ship??

Before you drop your package off at your mailstop to be shipped, make sure you have completed the necessary steps to ship your package using UCAR/NCAR’s Logistics services…

Make sure you have filled out and submitted your shipping request here…  (If you plan on shipping..."favorite" this link for quick access in the future!)

All shipments must contain the following information.

  • Recipient Name
  • Complete address
  • Employee or Department account key
  • Recipient phone number
  • Approximate weight and dimensions of package
  • Location of mail stop pick up.
  • Level and type of service requested.  (E.G. FedEx overnight.)

This is for domestic and personal shipments only.   Your international packages must go through the export-approval process at:

Please note that your shipment will be delayed until logistics receives a completed shipping request at the link above.

Here’s the fine print:

Reach out to the LOGISTICS department at if you have any questions regarding the proper method to ship your domestic packages. 

We look forward to taking care of your shipping needs!

UCAR Logistics Team.

For more information, contact North Rittner at ext. 1922,

Thu, 04/14/2016

The Bolder Boulder registration of the 2016 Memorial Day 10k race has now opened, and once again UCAR/NCAR is participating in the Bolder Business Challenge

The deadline for registering as part of the BBC is April 22nd. If you've already registered for the race on your own and wish to be part of our team, please contact Jimy soon.

If you want to participate for UCAR/NCAR, you can register online via the special Bolder Business Challenge pages where you can select "NCAR" from a drop-down menu. Also the packets will be delivered to NCAR for convenient pick-up, and you will receive an NCAR back-bib to proudly display your team affiliation. Open to all. The more the better.

For more information, contact Jimy Dudhia at ext. 8950,

Thu, 04/07/2016

The UCAR Community Art Program proudly presents three new exhibits:


Delcia Litt calls her fine art mosaics “an adventure in color and glass.” She takes her contemporary style to a new dimension not typically traveled to by other mosaic artists. Each piece is one of a kind. She is passionate about utilizing many design elements to provide extraordinary affects in her glowing panels. She delights in the visually engaging elements of glass and stone. Delcia Litt has been creating works for Mountain Top Stained Glass since 1985. 


Stone mosaicist Susan Judy shares her love of stone in a multifaceted medium.  By inlaying semi-precious gems, crystals, fossils, and quarried stone into abstract and geologic images she draws attention to the extraordinary treasures that take form within the Earth. Her background in exploration geology gives her a deeper understanding of her materials. Susan is fascinated by how they form, where they form, and how they are discovered and mined. It makes even the acquisition of the materials an exciting part of the process.


Lori Mattina expresses her passion for life by experimenting with acrylics and mixed media. Musicality is the undercurrent in her work, and vibrant color the driving force. Using her subconscious as a guide, Mattina freely embraces the chaos and unpredictability of dripping, squirting, and slathering colorful paint on canvas, layer upon layer, until a narrative unfolds. Stories of wonder, beauty, and gratitude emerge - inspired by nature, travels, dreams, and a fearless imagination.

All three artists' work will be on display in the UCAR Community Art Gallery at the NCAR Mesa Lab from April 3, 2016 – May 28, 2016.

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

Thu, 04/07/2016

Registration is now open for the 4th Annual Engineering for Climate Extremes Workshop (on July 14, 2016).

The attached flyer and website have more information, or you can register directly at the link below.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Water-Energy-People” within a context of resilience within coupled natural and social systems.

Societal and climate change, and heterogeneous resource distribution are increasingly highlighting critical vulnerabilities within the WEP system. The interplay of economic and policy drivers with social and environmental changes and climate stresses is important but largely unexplored. The workshop will highlight knowledge gaps and focus discussion on ways that ECEP can help to improve WEP system resilience.

Abstracts are invited for “Ignite” (5-minute) and longer (15-minute) presentations. Participants are welcome from all areas involved in strengthening societal resilience to weather and climate extremes.
Participants include representatives from Indigenous Americans, Re/insurance, Local Government, Industry and Business, and National and International Universities.

WORKSHOP VENUE: Main Seminar Room, NCAR Foothills Laboratory, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder 

WORKSHOP DATES: July 14, 2016
WORKSHOP REGISTRATION FEE: $100 (Early Bird Registration deadline is June 14, 2016)

Beginning June 15, 2016 Registration is $150.

On-site registration $200

For more information, contact Kris Marwitz at ext. 8198,

Wed, 04/06/2016

Contracts invites all interested staff to attend its upcoming lunch and learn sessions.  Information is as follows:





April 6, 2016

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Roles and responsibilities (Direct Awards, Procurement)

May 3, 2016

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Pre-spending / over-spending considerations and contractual authority/committing the corporation

June 6, 2016

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Procurement process (PR through payment)

July 8, 2016

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

ML-Chapman Room


Various funding vehicle types from sponsors (e.g., financial assistance, contracts, etc.)

A Google hangout will be initiated for each of the sessions if you are unable to join in person; however, hangouts are limited to 14 participants so please email Michelle Stringham at to reserve a spot if you wish to participant via a hangout.  Please note that the sessions will not be recorded. 

For more information, contact Michelle Stringham at ext. 8879,

Fri, 03/18/2016

A contractor working for the City of Boulder has begun work on drainage and path improvements north of Center Green Building 3. The project includes installation of a new pedestrian/bicycle path that will pass under the railroad track and connect to the existing path east of CG1 and CG3. For more details on the project visit

 During construction, vehicles and equipment will be accessing the work site via the Center Green parking lot. Also, construction vehicles and equipment may be temporarily staged in the parking lot west of CG3.

 The work will continue intermittently through the spring and into the summer and should not cause significant disruption at Center Green. Intermittent vehicle and construction noise will be present.

 The path is to remain open through the project, but brief delays are possible during some phases of the project.

For more information, contact David Maddy at ext. 1134,

Fri, 02/12/2016

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