Staff Notes Daily Announcements

The CO/WY Chapter will host the ASA's traveling course, Introduction to Statistics for Spatio-Temporal Data, Fri., Mar. 3, at NCAR in Boulder.  The ASA covers a substantial portion of the cost of the course, which keeps the registration fee very low ($25).  Course materials (presentation slides) will be made available to participants, and light refreshments will be served.  

Here are the details
Title:  Introduction to Statistics for Spatio-Temporal Data
Instructor: Christopher Wikle
Date: Fri., Mar. 3
Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm (see schedule below)
Location:  Main Seminar Room, National Center for Atmospheric Research (Mesa Lab), Boulder, CO
Cost:  $25.00

Abstract: The course gives a contemporary presentation of spatio-temporal processes and data analysis, bridging classic ideas with modern hierarchical statistical modeling concepts. From understanding environmental processes and climate trends to developing new technologies for mapping public-health data and the spread of invasive-species, there is a high demand for statistical analyses of data that take spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal information into account. This course presents a systematic approach to key quantitative techniques for the statistical analysis of such data that features hierarchical statistical modeling, with an emphasis on dynamical spatio-temporal models. The material follows the book by Cressie and Wikle, Statistics for Spatio-Temporal Data (2011) - John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ.  Many examples will be included, along with some basic applications from various R packages. The course can be presented in a 1-day or 1/2-day format, with the 1-day format including more applications and software examples.

Prerequisite: Anyone with a Masters or PhD degree in Statistics is suggested, but required background assumes Masters level probability and statistical inference and good understanding of matrix algebra.

About the Instructor: Christopher K. Wikle is Professor of Statistics at the University of Missouri, with additional appointments in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences and the Truman School of Public Affairs.  He received a PhD co-major in Statistics and Atmospheric Science in 1996 from Iowa State University.  He was research fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research from 1996-1998, after which he joined the MU Department of Statistics.  His research interests are in spatio-temporal statistics applied to environmental, ecological, agricultural and federal survey applications, with particular interest in dynamics.  Awards include elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association, Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from Iowa State University, ASA ENVR Section Distinguished Achievement Award, the MU Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences and the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award from the UM Graduate School.  His book Statistics for Spatio-Temporal Data (co-authored with Noel Cressie) was the 2011 PROSE Award winner for excellence in the Mathematics Category by the Association of American Publishers and the 2013 DeGroot Prize winner from the International Society for Bayesian Analysis.  He is Associate Editor for several journals and is one of six inaugural members of the Statistics Board of Reviewing Editors for Science.

8:30-9:00
1st session: 9:00-10:30am
Break 10:30-11:00am

2nd session 11:00-12:30     
Lunch (on your own) 12:30-1:30pm           

3rd session 1:30-3:00pm      
Break 3:00-3:30

4th session 3:30-4:30

For More Info:


Posted by Michelle Patton at ext. 1253,

Friday, February 24, 2017 to Friday, March 3, 2017

CISL would like to make the NCAR staff aware of the new CISL Visitor Program (CVP) The program can provide funding, as well as financially leverage other visitor programs at NCAR, for joint collaborative visitors between CISL and other NCAR labs. The visitor must have a CISL staff host. Financial support is limited to travel costs and local living expenses. Visits are from 2 weeks to 3 months, with longer time periods, such as sabbaticals, considered on a case-by-case basis.

The application deadline is March 3, 2017 for visits occurring between summer 2017 and spring 2018.

Posted by Kathy Peczkowicz at ext. 2431,

Friday, February 24, 2017 to Friday, March 3, 2017

All Staff Ethics Workshop - postponed from February (bad weather day)

Presented by: UCAR Ethics Officer, Meg McClellan

Mark your calendars, now rescheduled for:

March 9, 2017

1:30pm - 3:30pm

Center Green (CG1) 1214 - North Auditorium 

All Staff Ethics Workshop

Learn about science and research ethics,

Ponder case studies


Play ethics jeopardy.

Posted by Christy Locke at ext. 8874,

Thursday, February 23, 2017 to Wednesday, March 1, 2017

In Remembrance of Tom Horst 1943-2017

Long-time NCAR senior scientist Tom Horst passed away January 12th with his family by his side after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Tom’s scientific expertise was in micrometeorology with a focus on the measurement of surface fluxes and turbulence.  As an essential member of EOL, he has been involved in nearly all aspects of planetary boundary layer (PBL) research related to the surface layer, including theoretical developments, modeling, measurement programs, data analysis, and instrument development. Additionally, he’s been at the forefront of research on atmospheric diffusion, flux footprints, and measurement physics in the surface layer. Read the full tribute to Tom by colleague Terry Hock in EOL's newsletter here

Posted by Rebecca Swisher at ext. 8609,

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 to Friday, February 24, 2017
We are offering an Introductory GIS Course on Friday March 3 from 9-5 in the FL2-1024
This course is geared towards those who have little to no GIS experience. Below is the course agenda.
Exercise 1 - Exploring ArcMap and ArcCatalog  
Use Case - Tornado tracks
  • Opening and Exploring ArcMap
  • Adding Data to ArcMap
  • Working with Attribute Data in ArcMap
  • Navigating and Using ArcCatalog

Exercise 2 - Exploring Spatial Data
Use Case - 2012 drought in Texas

  • Exploring Data Format Types in ArcGIS
  • Working with Vector Data in ArcMap
  • Exploring Raster Datasets
  • Adding Web Services to ArcMap

Exercise 3 - Data Symbology and Classification
Use Case - Hurricane Sandy's official track and impacts

  • Symbolizing Qualitative Data
  • Symbolizing Quantitative Data
  • Working with Layer Packages
  • Rendering Raster Datasets

Exercise 4 - Working with climate model simulations
Use Case - Exploring uncertainty in climate models

  • Adding netCDF climate model data to ArcMap as a point layer
  • Adding netCDF as a table view
  • Graphing in ArcMap
  • Adding netCDF as a raster layer

Exercise 5 - Cartographic Mapping
Use Case - Superstorm (Blizzard) of 1993

  • Preparing the ArcMap Document Data Frame and Layers to Create a Map
  • Using Layout View to Design the Appearance of the Map
  • Adding Elements to the Map
  • Disseminating and Sharing Your Map

To Sign up please email Jennifer Boehnert at

Space is limited to the first 12 UCAR staff

Posted by Jennifer Boehnert at ext. 2858,

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 to Friday, February 24, 2017

STATMOS and SAMSI will be hosting a Workshop on Climate Statistics, July 17-21, at NCAR, in Boulder, Colorado.  The main purpose of this meeting is to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations in climate statistics. Information about the workshop and a link to the application form can be found at the following link:

This workshop may be of interest to STATMOS researchers at all levels.  The workshop will be small, about 30 total participants, of whom about half will be statisticians, so we likely will not be able to accommodate everyone who is interested, but we are seeking a diverse group of attendees in terms of specific interests and career stages, so all are encouraged to apply.  Note that applications are due March 31.

The STATMOS Annual Meeting will be held the day before the workshop begins, on July 16, also at NCAR, so people attending the workshop will find it convenient to also attend the Annual Meeting.

For more information, please contact Michael Stein at

Posted by Michelle Patton at ext. 1253,

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 to Thursday, March 30, 2017

Your middle school girl can have a fun day at the 22nd Annual Conference for girls in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

Learn about careers involving engineering, math, science and technology through a day of hands-on workshops. Find out what it’s like to be a crime scene investigator, build satellites, work on the ISS, disassemble hard drives, study the sun from far away, examine colorful fluids and much more.

At the University of Colorado, Boulder Engineering Center

Saturday, February 25, 2017

10 am to 2:30 pm

Adult program available on strategies for supporting girls’ academic success and paying for college

Registration now open:

For questions please contact Astrid Maute

Posted by Astrid Maute at ext. 1539,

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 to Friday, February 24, 2017

News clips at a glance: Feb. 11 – 17

Total:  ~300

Summary: An Associated Press story focusing on the Cheyenne Supercomputer’s role in supporting climate research while based in the country's biggest coal-mining state has generated 150+ clips across the country and overseas. Coverage of a new study detecting a major change in ocean oxygen loss acknowledged earlier groundbreaking work by NCAR scientist Matthew Long.

Minnesota teenager Martha Burket cited our work and that of others in making a case that it's time to act to mitigate climate change. "When 97 percent of people with this scientific training draw the same conclusion, they create a collective voice that must be listened to," she wrote in a column carried by the Post-Bulletin newspaper in Rochester, Minn.

Notable clips:

Cheyenne Supercomputer (Rich Loft, CISL; NSF):
New Supercomputer Aids Climate Research in Top Coal State
(Associated Press)

Ocean Oxygen Loss (Matthew Long, CGD):
Scientists Have Just Detected a Major Change to the Earth's Oceans Linked to a Warming Climate
(Washington Post; cites previous work by Matthew Long. The story was carried by 15+ other papers nationwide, including the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sentinel)

The Amount of Oxygen in the Ocean Has Dropped Thanks to Humans
(Gizmodo, quotes Matthew Long)

Antarctic and Climate Change (Jerry Meehl, CGD):
Antarctic Sea Ice Used to be the Darling of Climate Doubters: Not Anymore
(Washington Post analysis)

California's Heavy Rains (Kevin Trenberth, CGD):
Blame the Pineapple Express for California's Crazy Weather

High-Resolution Modeling Without a Supercomputer (Ethan Gutmann, RAL):
High Resolution Weather Forecasting Gets More Accurate, Faster
(WIAT-TV, CBS affiliate, Birmingham, Ala.)

Climate Change (teen columnist cites report by UCAR):
Now is the Time to Act to Mitigate Climate Change
(Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.)

Social media highlights:

A Valentine's Day tweet featuring the “I cirrusly love clouds” image created by the UCP directorate generated 140 retweets, among the highest number in the account’s history.

An AtmosNews story about a high-resolution atmospheric model that only requires a laptop produced about 30 retweets, with more than half inspired by this clever-as-a-cat tweet.

Posted by Jeff Smith at ext. 2679,

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 to Friday, February 24, 2017

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