40th Anniversary of NCAR
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Test your knowledge!

How much do you know about UCAR and NCAR? Tackle the 23 questions below and you may be surprised. Answers are here. (All file photos are from the NCAR Imaging and Design Center.)


Ermalee Udall, wife of the 1966 U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall, assists with dedication of a tree at the new Mesa Lab site on 18 October 1966. Founding NCAR director Walt Roberts is at left.

(1) What was the first name proposed for NCAR?

___ (a) University Center for Atmospheric Research

___ (b) National Center for Atmospheric Study

___ (c) National Institute for Atmospheric Research

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(2) How much of an increase in support for basic atmospheric research did the blue-ribbon Committee on Meteorology of the National Research Council suggest in 1958?

___ (a) 15 to 25%

___ (b) 25 to 50%

___ (c) 50 to 100%

(3) Which of the states below was not considered as a first possibility for NCAR's location?

___ (a) Indiana

___ (b) Oklahoma

___ (c) North Carolina

___ (d) New York

Before I. M. Pei came up with the final design for the Mesa Lab, an environmental design class at the University of Colorado in Boulder produced several prototypes, including this one.

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(4) According to the referendum passed by Boulder voters on 31 January 1961, what would happen to the Mesa Lab site if it were to be used primarily for purposes other than atmospheric research by UCAR and NCAR?

___ (a) It would be opened to development

___ (b) It would become part of city open space

___ (c) It would become state property

___ (d) It would become NSF property

(5) Which of the following was not considered as an alternative use of Table Mountain before NCAR was built?

___ (a) Drive-in theater

___ (b) Luxury housing development

___ (c) Higher education center

___ (d) Hunting preserve

(6) NCAR's first major computer was a Control Data 3600, acquired in 1963. How much central memory did this machine have?

___ (a) 256 kilobytes

___ (b) 4 megabytes

___ (c) 16 megabytes

___ (d) 64 megabytes

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(7) Which of the following was the first NCAR division (excluding HAO, which predates NCAR and UCAR)?

___ (a) Laboratory of Atmospheric Sciences

___ (b) Climate Dynamics Laboratory

___ (c) Advanced Study Program

___ (d) Atmospheric Physics Division

Desktop terminals were a distant dream in the 1960s, when most computer programming at NCAR and elsewhere was done via punch cards.

(8) Staff Notes published its first cafeteria menu on 5 May 1967. The entree for 8 May included broiled flank steak, vegetable, potato, bread, and butter. How much did it cost?

___ (a) 55 cents

___ (b) 65 cents

___ (c) 85 cents

___ (d) 95 cents

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(9) The Max C. Fleischmann Foundation of Nevada granted $100,000 in 1967 for construction of the Fleischmann Building. For which program was the building originally designed?

___ (a) NCAR director's office

___ (b) Advanced Study Program

___ (c) Environmental and Societal Impacts Program

___ (d) UCAR president's office

Woody Allen descends from the A tower.

(10) Which Woody Allen film was shot partially on location at the Mesa Lab?

___ (a) Take the Money and Run

___ (b) Bananas

___ (c) Sleeper

___ (d) Love and Death

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(11) Which was the first Canadian university to join UCAR?

___ (a) McGill University

___ (b) University of Toronto

___ (c) University of Saskatchewan

___ (d) University of British Columbia

(12) When was the first videotaping of an NCAR lecture?

___ (a) 1967

___ (b) 1971

___ (c) 1975

___ (d) 1977

(13) NCAR's CRAY-1 supercomputer arrived in 1976. How much did it weigh?

___ (a) 0.75 tons

___ (b) 2.25 tons

___ (c) 4.25 tons

___ (d) 5.25 tons

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This downtown landmark was once a workplace for UCAR staff--or was it?

(14) Which of the following buildings has not been used as a site for NCAR and UCAR staff?

___ (a) The Vectra Bank building, 14th and Walnut

___ (b) The Hotel Boulderado, 13th and Spruce

___ (c) The CU Armory Building, University Drive

___ (d) The Colorado National Bank building, 55th and Arapahoe

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(15) Which of the following modes of transportation has not been proposed or used to bring people to the mesa on a regular basis?

___ (a) Helicopter

___ (b) Cog railway

___ (c) Aerial tram

___ (d) Hitchhiking

(16) Which of the following heads of state have been to the Mesa Lab?

___ (a) Lyndon Johnson

___ (b) Pierre Trudeau

___ (c) Margaret Thatcher

___ (d) All of the above

(17) When was the first computer network established that allowed interdivisional e-mail and file exchange?

___ (a) 1975

___ (b) 1978

___ (c) 1981

___ (d) 1985

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Bicyclists could hardly miss the message conveyed by this warning sign placed on the mesa road in the mid-1970s.

(18) Which of the following misrepresentations of Table Mesa Drive have appeared on packages addressed to the Mesa Lab?

___ (a) Cable Mesh

___ (b) Table Miss

___ (c) Fable Mesa

___ (d) None of the above

___ (e) All of the above

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(19) For what offense was a Mesa Lab employee ticketed in 1977 after commuting to the mesa on horseback?

___ (a) Double parking

___ (b) Speeding

___ (c) Violating Boulder's leash law

___ (d) Desecrating open space

(20) When, and in which scientific division, was the institution's first Ethernet link established?

___ (a) 1983, CGD

___ (b) 1985, HAO

___ (c) 1986, MMM

___ (d) 1987, ACD

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(21) Of the three aircraft managed by the Research Aviation Facility in 1990, how many still routinely support NSF investigators?

___ (a) Three

___ (b) Two

___ (c) One

___ (d) None

(22) What percentage of UCAR staff does NCAR now comprise?

___ (a) 81%

___ (b) 77%

___ (c) 73%

___ (d) 64%

(23) What percentage of current staff (excluding casual employees) began working here before 1975?

___ (a) 3%

___ (b) 6%

___ (c) 8%

___ (d) 11%

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