UCAR goals

The highlights on this Web site cover only a few of the many activities at UCAR, NCAR, and UOP. Here is a sampling of other recent accomplishments and plans in each of UCAR's six goal areas.


Foster a broad scientific program of highest quality to address present and future needs of society

NCAR's strategic initiatives

After months of development, NCAR has finalized an ambitious new strategic plan. Its theme is "NCAR as an Integrator"óa center for the broad geosciences community that brings together ideas, people, and tools to address the scientific questions critical to our societyís future. As of mid-2002, the plan included eight major initiatives and nearly a dozen smaller-scale efforts. More details on the plan can be found on page 34 ("UCAR at a Glance").

Research facilities

Develop and acquire state-of-the-art scientific research facilities for the atmospheric and related-sciences community

Building computational muscle
The processing power available from NCARís Scientific Computing Division increased about threefold in 2002 alone. The upgrade was the second in a multistage acquisition called the Advanced Research Computing System. Some of the worldís most intricate climate simulations take place through these massively parallel IBM SP supercomputers. At peak speed, more than 2,000 processors, arranged in two clusters, have the ability to perform a total of nearly 8 trillion calculations per second. Further upgrades are expected in 2003 and beyond.

Education and training

Devote significant attention to education and training, with emphasis on women and minorities

Examining future careers

The expanding, broad-based UCAR Education and Outreach Program exposed 16 college seniors to the full spectrum of atmospheric-related science with NCAR’s inaugural Undergraduate Summer Leadership Workshop. Held in Boulder in June 2002, the workshop was designed to give students a firsthand look at career options and research emphases at NCAR and elsewhere. Lectures, facility tours, and demonstrations provided an "incredible experience," said John Krasting (Rutgers University), who enjoyed "seeing the broader picture of the sciences and how they fit together."

A presidential salute

Founded in 1995, SOARS (Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science) earned high praise in 2001. The UCAR program, which helps bring promising college-level students from underrepresented groups into graduate-level research, was one of the recipients of the sixth annual Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Out of 72 SOARS protégés through mid-2002, over a third were in graduate school and 13 had completed master’s or doctoral programs.


Advocacy, public policy, and communication

In cooperation with other institutions, play a strong role in developing enhanced and more effective methods of communication among scientists, policy makers, and the public in order to foster the use of science in the service of humankind

The latest on hot research topics

To help policy makers keep current on key science issues, UCAR sponsors several briefings each year in Washington, D.C. Topics have ranged from hurricanes to energy policy to space weather to the role of the atmospheric sciences in national security. In the wake of widespread U.S. drought and wildfire, two briefings in June 2002 updated legislators and their staff on the complexities of the human-wildland interface, as well as drought-related research at NCAR, universities, and federal laboratories.
Left: © Carlye Calvin

Technology transfer

In conjunction with the UCAR Foundation, transfer appropriate UCAR
technology to the public and private sectors

Advance word on frozen roadways
A new system for predicting hazardous winter weather should help highway maintenance crews get a jump on ice and snow. The system is being created for the Federal Highway Administration by NCAR's Research Applications Division and five other national research centers. Specialized software will pool a variety of road and weather data to produce easy-to-navigate forecasts and a decision-making tool for choosing the optimal road treatment (sanding, plowing, or the like) for the expected conditions. Once the system is complete, private vendors will tailor it so that state departments of transportation and other users can anticipate ice- or snow-coated roadways up to two days in advance.
Right: © The Denver Post

Research and operational partnerships

Strengthen the relationship between the operational and research communities in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences

A better handle on marine weather
Through a UCAR-based program, scientists at Michigan State University and the National Weather Service are working to improve a computer forecast model of the storm-tossed Great Lakes. The upgraded model will feature over ten times the detail of its predecessor, as well as a more realistic set of interactions among waves, water temperature, and weather conditions. The study is one of over 150 such projects—each one teaming university scientists and forecasters—sponsored with NWS support over the past decade by UCAR’s Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training.
Left: USDA Forest Service, Superior National Forest
UCAR > Communications > Highlights > 2002 Search
Highlights 2002