Staff News

NCAR's Advanced Study Program (ASP) has a new director: Chris Davis.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, nothing shows how UCAR/NCAR has and hasn’t changed over the years like a glimpse at a half-century's worth of photos.

Rick Anthes

It is often said that people are any organization’s most important asset. This is most certainly true in UCAR and NCAR’s case, and it is important to take this occasion of our 50th anniversary to remind ourselves of this truism.

It’s nothing fancy—a typed, spiral-bound report from the late 1950s with a simple blue cover. But the 300-page document, nicknamed the NCAR Blue Book, carries nearly mythical status when it comes to the organization’s history.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, we asked all current staff who were hired in the 1960s to comment on what has—or hasn’t—changed at UCAR/NCAR over the decades, and to share some memories and stories about the organization’s early days.

It’s a Boulder landmark, sitting upon its mesa with the dramatic Flatirons in the background. But what many people don’t know is that the Mesa Lab could have turned out very differently.

The late NCAR associate director and HAO director Gordon Newkirk added his own caption to this depiction of Snoopy in 1964, two years after the book Happiness is a Warm Puppy.

Since 1974, UCAR/NCAR has offered a Delphi Service whereby staff members can anonymously submit questions to management about policy, procedures, and other issues.

Many things have changed at UCAR/NCAR over the decades, technology being one of the most obvious areas of transformation. But change is also evident in the more mundane records of everyday life—such as a cafeteria menu.

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