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2001-MA9 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2001

UCAR Recognizes Staff for Outstanding Accomplishments, Bestows First Distinguished Achievement Award

Contact:
David Hosansky
UCAR Communications
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307-3000
Telephone: (303) 497-8611
Fax: (303) 497-8610
E-mail: hosansky@ucar.edu

BOULDER -- The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research recognized the efforts of outstanding staff at a year-end celebration at the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Mesa Laboratory on December 7. Richard Anthes, president of UCAR (which manages NCAR) handed out awards for ingenuity and effort during 2001.

Anthes also inaugurated UCAR's new award for Distinguished Achievement, the highest recognition the organization can bestow on a staff member.

Distinguished Achievement Award -- This new honor carries a monetary prize of $10,000 and can be given for a publication, new technological development, education and outreach, or other leadership and support activities consistent with UCAR missions. As with other UCAR awards, there may be years in which no Distinguished Achievement honor is given.

    Winner: Timothy Brown of NCAR's High Altitude Observatory for his contributions to the detection and observation of extrasolar planets. Brown, who has won international acclaim for his pioneering work in detecting extrasolar planets, most recently helped in the first direct detection of an atmosphere on a planet outside our solar system. Said Anthes, "The selection jury was conscious of the precedent-setting nature of this first Distinguished Achievement Award and deliberated carefully and fully before making this selection. In their words, 'His breadth of contributions and their quality and significance make Tim Brown an outstanding choice for the Distinguished Achievement Award.' "

Outstanding Accomplishment Awards -- Winners in each of the four Outstanding Accomplishment categories listed below received cash awards and medals. These awards recognize notable accomplishments by an individual or through team efforts.

Administrative Achievement Award -- given for outstanding leadership and professional excellence in the area of administrative support -- efforts that result in substantial, innovative achievements in service to sponsors, constituents and staff, or accomplishments that help to create an environment that fosters excellent customer service.

    Winner: Dan Wilson (UCAR Finance and Administration) for his contributions to the financial well-being of UCAR. His innovative analyses of available financial tools have helped save UCAR money and actually added to the net worth of the corporation, which in turn has helped UCAR get lower interest rates on its debt. The benefit to the corporation is estimated to be in excess of $4 million.

Education and Outreach Award -- given for efforts having a significant impact on, and leading to, improvements in scientific, mathematics, or technical education, or for other efforts that significantly enhance the public's understanding of scientific or technical issues. These activities may involve postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate, K-12, or general-public education.

    Winner: Morris Weisman (NCAR's Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division) for outstanding contributions to the community in the area of convective weather. In recent years, Weisman has dedicated considerable effort in synthesizing a fundamental understanding of the latest advancements in convective-storm and severe-weather research, developing innovative new teaching materials to convey this knowledge, and instructing both operational forecasters and university students on these topics. Through his involvement as a volunteer in the UCAR COMET program, Weisman was the key science contributor to the development of four distance learning modules and has been a frequent instructor in COMET courses.

Outstanding Publication Award -- given for published results of original research, review papers, pedagogically oriented books, or other contributions to atmospheric science, broadly defined, or for works that connect atmospheric science with other disciplines or with matters of public policy.

    Winners: Juanzhen "Jenny" Sun and N. Andrew Crook (both hold joint appointments in NCAR's Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division and its Research Applications Program) for three papers: "Dynamical and microphysical retrieval from Doppler radar observations using a cloud model and its adjoint. Part I: Model development and simulated data experiments," Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 54, 1642-1661; "Part II: Retrieval experiments of an observed Florida convective storm," Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 55, 835-852, and "Real- time low-level wind and temperature analysis using single WSR-88D data," Weather and Forecasting 16, 117-132. The authors make an important contribution to atmospheric science by presenting a new method for improving zero- to 12-hour forecasts and, in so doing, advancing the scientific understanding of convection. They also break new ground in assimilating Doppler radar data into a cloud-scale model, providing the potential for significantly improving initial conditions in the model.

Scientific and Technical Advancement Award -- given for efforts leading to substantial improvements in scientific and/or technical capabilities, including advances in hardware or software engineering, computer science, and applied science.

    Winners: A 26-member team including Scott Swerdlin, Tom Warner, Cindy Mueller, Laurie Carson, Yubao Liu, Doug Lindholm, Rebecca Ruttenberg, Tom Saxen, Hank Fisher, Daran Rife, Troy Sandblom, Julien Chastang, David Hahn, Hsiao-Ming Hsu, Rong-Shyang Sheu, Steve Webb, David Leberknight, Fei Chen, Niles Oien, Jaimi Yee, Terri Betancourt, and Carter Borst (NCAR's Research Application Program), Chris Davis (joint appointment in NCAR's Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division and its Research Applications Program), and Simon Low-Nam, Al Bourgeois, and Kevin Manning (Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division) for their work in designing, developing, and implementing 4DWX, a Four-Dimensional Weather System, for the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, which is the command's primary source of weather data, forecasts, and analyses. Significant advances in both science and engineering have been made in the course of developing the system at five army ranges. They include advances in real-time, four- dimensional data assimilation techniques, providing improved short- term forecasting capabilities; and the creation of Java-based software to manage data ingest, quality control, requests for information, system monitoring, and weather alerts.

NCAR, whose primary sponsor is the National Science Foundation, is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of 66 universities offering Ph.D.s in atmospheric and related sciences.

-The End-

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UCAR news in brief

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is a not-for-profit university membership consortium which carries out programs to benefit the atmospheric, oceanic, and related sciences. Among other activites, UCAR operates the National Center for Atmospheric Research with National Science Foundation sponsorship.

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