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1998/1999

Who We Are


Photo © Wally Berg, courtesy American Mt. Everest Expedition (UCAR GPS Science and Technology Program; Museum of Science, Boston)
From sundials to satellites, humanity's methods of keeping time have been intimately linked with the earth, sun, and atmosphere. UCAR is a leader in applying Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites to the atmospheric and related sciences. This GPS receiver was placed by UCAR's GPS Science and Technology Program atop Mount Everest in May 1998. It will keep track of changes in the peak's height to within centimeters. Along with many other GPS receivers across the globe, it will help in mapping faults and detecting earthquake-prone spots. UCAR is also exploring the use of delays in GPS signals to estimate atmospheric water vapor and other variables. See the highlight on pages 18-21 and the COSMIC program summary on page 30 for more details.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is a consortium of 63 university members, each of which grants doctoral degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences, plus an increasing number of academic and international affiliates and corporate partners. The UCAR mission is to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the university community, nationally and internationally; to understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related systems and the global environment; and to foster the transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on earth.

UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the UCAR Office of Programs. NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Various NCAR and UOP activities are also funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

A board of trustees selected from consortium members manages UCAR. This unique governance ensures that NCAR and UOP fully serve the atmospheric- and related-sciences communities. When new scientific, technological, or educational tools emerge that may have a broader use in society, UCAR makes them available commercially or through NCAR or UOP.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) provides members, affiliates, and others with tools such as aircraft and radar to observe the atmosphere and with the technology and assistance to interpret and use these observations, including supercomputer access, computer models, and user support. NCAR and university scientists work together on research topics in atmospheric chemistry, climate, cloud physics and storms, weather hazards to aviation, and interactions between the sun and earth. In all of these areas, scientists are looking closely at the role of humans in both creating change and responding to weather and climate.

The UCAR Office of Programs (UOP) creates, conducts, and coordinates projects to strengthen education, research, and technology in the atmospheric and related sciences. UOP helps organize multiagency experiments, supports satellite-based earth and atmospheric monitoring, provides real-time weather data for education and research, manages postdoctoral fellowship programs for federal agencies, links universities and operational forecast offices, and trains working forecasters and university instructors in the latest meteorological research.



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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu

Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Mon Apr 10 13:23:27 MDT 2000