Linkages are an integral part of the way NCAR conducts all of its programs. NCAR's mission statement includes research, facility support, education, and technology transfer. The scope of this mission dictates a wide range of linkages, and collaborations permeate every division and program and involve a large percentage of the scientific and technical staff. Collaborations exist in research programs, technical development, and support activities, communication and dissemination of scientific and technological results and findings, and education and outreach programs. This section discusses scientific collaborations with other UCAR programs, the universities, other research facilities, international groups, and industry; visitor programs; reciprocal appointments; joint publications; and workshops and colloquia.
All of NCAR's joint efforts are aimed at augmenting its contributions to NSF, NCAR, and UCAR priorities and programs. Initiatives and proposals, whether developed in-house or in response to national or international programs, are scrutinized for appropriateness of participation by the center, the presence of university collaborators, and "fit" with current program and staff levels.
University interactions are a part of every program and division at NCAR, and are a primary criterion in submitting proposals for non-NSF funding. Of 65 NCAR science proposals submitted to and funded by outside agencies in FY 1995, 48 included direct university participation as co-investigators. Additionally, ten projects included community use of NCAR models, datasets, or instruments. NCAR was a participant in 21 university-funded projects in FY 1996. Examples range from large, long-term programs such as the High-Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (see Section VII), to smaller projects involving an NCAR scientist and a university investigator or teams of both.
NCAR has played a role in addressing important national priorities through interactions with U.S. government agencies. The U.S. Global Change Research Program and the U.S. Weather Research Program, described earlier, demonstrate NCAR's ability to focus over extensive periods of time on large problems in climate and weather. This work is coordinated through a number of federal agencies including NSF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Other projects of more limited duration are also undertaken in conjunction with government facilities. Examples of agencies and government-funded institutions collaborating with NCAR include facility and software development. A feasibility study on the development of a water vapor differential absorption lidar measurement system for field programs took place between NOAA's Environmental Technology Lab and NCAR's Atmospheric Technology Division, NCAR's Research Applications Program worked in conjunction with the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command to develop a prototype system for four-dimensional data assimilation and prediction and display enhancements to support meteorological operations.
As a national center, NCAR participates with international research groups and national labs in a variety of large projects and long-term efforts. Two of these, the Electra Doppler radar development and the GPS dropwindsonde instrument development, are highlighted in this document. Other types of international collaborations include memoranda of understanding to promote modeling efforts between the Max Planck Institute and NCAR's Climate and Global Dynamics Division, participation in international projects, and collaborations with foreign researchers.
NCAR, through interactions with the private sector, has initiated and developed collaborative research efforts that produce transferable technology. Weather Information Technologies, Inc. (WITI) is a for-profit subsidiary of the UCAR Foundation, established to provide international airports with hazard warning systems. WITI, in collaboration with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, is working with researchers in NCAR's Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division (MMM) and Research Applications Program (RAP) on the development, installation, and validation of a real-time Operational Windshear Warning System for the new Hong Kong airport.
In the area of instrument development, the Atmospheric Technology Division (ATD) is working with Stratton Park Engineering Company, Inc. (SPEC) to develop an optical extinctiometer for cloud radiation measurements. In addition, RAP is collaborating with SPEC on ways to improve detection and diagnosis of freezing drizzle. These two projects are part of NASA's Small Business Technology Transfer Program. The High Altitude Observatory (HAO) is also involved in instrument development with Meadowlark Optics, Inc., for the manufacture of a solid-state liquid crystal variable retarder-tunable Lyot filter, which has led to a new commercial product line.
Interactions with UCAR programs are significant in terms of the quality of the collaborations and the potential for future interactions. Initiatives involving UCAR programs include wide NCAR participation in the GPS/MET project. ATD, RAP, MMM, and HAO all contribute to this UNAVCO-led effort. ATD and the Joint Office of Science Support (JOSS) in UOP work closely together on many field projects including the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Program Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment and the Fronts and Atlantic Storm Track Experiment.
The Information Infrastructure and Technology Applications project (IITA) is a UCAR-wide program aimed at increasing the coherence of data services and related efforts across UCAR and NCAR by exploiting World Wide Web and related technologies, developing capabilities for real-time data access, enhancing network software, and providing training workshops on future methodologies. This work is a collaborative effort drawing heavily on the Scientific Computing Division (SCD) and ATD in NCAR, and Unidata and UNAVCO in UOP.
Visitor programs provide opportunities for collaboration within and across disciplines; for example, the Climate System Model (CSM) visitor program offers opportunities for scientists from a variety of subdisciplines to work on the CSM. Visitors add specialized expertise beyond the capabilities of the center, advancing scientific understanding through their contributions while on term appointments in a specific area. The Geophysical Statistics Program is another example.
The visitor programs at NCAR are characterized by their number, flexibility, quantity, and quality. These interactions generally begin at the individual scientist level. An area of mutual interest can be the basis for a visit, with timing, duration, and level of support determined by the relevant division. This flexibility creates a great number of opportunities, over a wide number of potential topics, involving the most appropriate scientists. There were over 3,300 visitors to NCAR over the past five years.
Long-term collaborations between NCAR staff and university or other community researchers are also encouraged. These interactions are formalized through reciprocal appointments, primarily with U.S. universities, but also with foreign and domestic research laboratories.
NCAR has two types of reciprocal appointments with universities: affiliate scientist positions and affiliate professor positions. Under the former, a person from another institution receives a three-year appointment with an NCAR division. Affiliate professorships involve NCAR scientists who receive university appointments.
Affiliate scientists are appointed to an NCAR division to carry out research in a specific area. These arrangements must be approved by the appropriate university department head, the director of NCAR, and the UCAR trustees. Made on a "no-loss, no- gain" basis for both institutions, salary, travel, and support costs are generally shared. The affiliate professor appointment is similarly formalized, and NCAR scientists receive a three-year appointment at a university to teach and advise graduate students. Both appointments have mandatory institutional residency requirements during the three-year appointment period. Currently, there are two affiliate professor appointments and approximately two dozen affiliate scientist appointments. These appointments are in addition to the many less-formalized teaching arrangements in which NCAR staff participate.
In addition to these formal designations, NCAR encourages sabbaticals of up to a year for NCAR scientists who have developed collaborations with colleagues at other institutions. Under UCAR policy, all scientific staff are eligible for sabbaticals similar to those in universities.
The fruits of collaborative efforts are articles published jointly by NCAR and university researchers. These publications span all the atmospheric science disciplines and appear in a large variety of peer-reviewed journals. NCAR scientists produce on average over 200 peer-reviewed papers annually in collaboration with colleagues at other institutions.
NCAR further demonstrates community leadership through its extensive participation in and hosting of scientific meetings. The center initiates and coordinates a large array of conferences, workshops, and colloquia, on scientific and technical topics. Prominent among these is the summer colloquium of the Advanced Study Program (see Section III). This annual event focuses attention on a current research topic of special interest and brings together graduate students, faculty, and scientists for two weeks of intense study and discussion.
Specialized conferences, such as on Climate System Modeling or the Coupling, Energetics and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions, are held for the research community working on specific scientific problems. Advances in understanding, discussions of future directions, and technical problems and solutions can be shared and disseminated to the participants through invited talks, poster sessions, and demonstrations. Facility development meetings, such as the recent one on airborne aerosol measurements, combine scientific understanding with technological and engineering expertise, to insure that instrument developments provide the capabilities needed in the field. Hosting planning meetings on emerging science topics, such as the Solar Magnetism Initiative workshop held this past summer, is another way in which NCAR involves the community in establishing long-range plans. The High Altitude Observatory served as the host for the solar magnetism community and provided the forum for discussions on this new initiative.