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Outstanding Accomplishment Awards - 2009

The December 15 all-staff party at Center Green, sponsored by the Employee Activities Committee, continued the tradition of ringing in the holidays while recognizing the outstanding work of employees.

Nominations and winners:
1995 1996 1997 19981999200020012002200320042005 2006200720082009

All Award Winners, 1967–present

2009 Winners

Distinguished Achievement

Jack Fox (EOL) for transforming the EOL Design and Fabrication Services into a world-class premier facility to design and build equipment for atmospheric and related research. The capabilities of this new facility are a direct result of Jack's vision and leadership, and they enhance UCAR/NCAR's reputation significantly. The complexity and scope of new instruments built have increased in a manner that represents a quantum advance for our science. Having this instrument building capability in house saves NCAR critical research funding. In addition to projects within NCAR, such as instruments for the GV aircraft and the SUNRISE balloon gondola, other community organizations have contracted with NCAR/EOL to build some of their specialized equipment. A few examples are: palette systems for the NASA WB-57, major components for many of the sophisticated "HAIS" instruments, and a special dropsonde system for the NASA/NOAA Global Hawk. 

Outstanding Publication Award

Bill Skamarock (NESL/MMM) for Skamarock, W.C., 2004: Evaluating Mesoscale NWP Models Using Kinetic Energy Spectra.  Monthly Weather Review, 132, 3019-3032.

This publication tackles the very difficult problem of assessing the ability of numerical weather forecast models to accurately represent important weather features that occur at smaller scales. The author proposes a new approach, utilizing the characteristic behavior of observed kinetic energy spectra to evaluate the ability of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models to properly represent the behavior of weather disturbances and to quantify the effective resolution of the numerics of these models.

Scientific and Technical Advancement Award

John Hubbert (EOL), Mike Dixon (RAL), Scott Ellis (EOL), and Greg Meymaris (RAL) for the Real Time Ground Clutter Mitigation for Weather Radar.  Ground clutter contaminates true precipitation echoes, making it difficult to interpret radar data and, therefore, provide accurate forecasts. The nominees have developed a real-time, radar signal processing solution to this serious problem, a fuzzy logic algorithm entitled, Clutter Mitigation Decision (CMD). The CMD will help improve the understanding of the atmosphere, increase societal resilience to weather, and help provide world-class state-of-the-art radar data through this successful research-to-operations enhancement.


Jielun Sun (NESL/MMM) for her many mentoring activities, particularly for non-U.S. born individuals, through the Communicating Science Program and especially the English as a Second Language component of that program. Her dedication and efforts in this area have far exceeded her prescribed job responsibilities. She has a talent for helping educate and support attendees, advancing their English language capacity, especially in science communication, as well as enabling them to gain a sense of confidence and inclusion. 


Other Nominees

Outstanding Publication Award

Chris Davis (MMM/RAL), Barb Brown (RAL), and Randy Bullock (RAL) for their pioneering paper on an object-based verification methodology which mimics the human perception of forecast quality and provides diagnostic feedback on the nature of forecast errors. This paper marks an important shift from traditional statistical scoring toward a diagnostically relevant verification approach that will change the way forecast performance assessments will be done in the future.

Davis, C., B. Brown, and R. Bullock, 2006:  Object-based Verification of Precipitation Forecasts.  Part I: Methodology and Application to Mesoscale Rain Areas.  Monthly Weather Review, 134, 1772-1784.

Wen-Chau Lee  and Josh Wurman (both from EOL) for their paper on one of the most important observational studies of intense tornado structure to date, using two important advances in atmospheric observation and analysis: The Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW) radar and the Ground-Based-Velocity-Track-Display (GBVTD) analysis method.  This paper may become a standard for tornado analyses in the years to come.

Lee, W.-C. and J. Wurman, 2005:  Diagnosed Three-Dimensional Axisymmetric Structure of the Mulhall Tornado on 3 May 1999. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 62 (7), 2373-2393.

Matthias Rempel (NESL/HAO), Manfred Schüssler (Max Planck Institute), Robert H. Cameron (Max Planck Institute), and Michael Knölker (HAO) for their breakthrough simulations that explain how the solar magnetic field controls the brightness and dynamics of sunspots. For the first time a comprehensive understanding of the interaction of magnetism, convection, and radiation has been obtained, resulting in phenomenally realistic simulations of sunspot appearance. Some predict this paper will historically turn out to be a milestone in Solar and astrophysics. 

M. Rempel, M. Schüssler, R.H. Cameron, and M. Knölker, 2009:  Penumbral Structure and Outflows in Simulated Sunspots.  Science, 325, 171-174.

Simon Tilmes (NESL/ACD), Rolf Müller (Research Center Julich), and Ross Salawitch (University of Maryland) for addressing the risks of one particular geoengineering scheme affecting the Antarctic ozone hole recovery in the future. Even though chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are decreasing, this geoengineering approach would have a significant impact on polar ozone, likely resulting in strongly enhanced chemical loss of polar ozone during the next several decades, particularly in the Arctic. This paper is an excellent example of fundamental research that has immediate implications for society and policy makers.

Tilmes, S., R. Müller, and R. Salawitch, 2008: The Sensitivity of Polar Ozone Depletion to Proposed Geoengineering Schemes.  Science, 320, 1201-1204.

Scientific and Technical Advancement Award

Alex Guenther and his Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions (BAI) group (all from NESL/ACD), including Andrew Turnipseed, Christine Wiedinmyer, Jim Greenberg, Peter Harley, Thomas Karl, and Tiffany Duhl, for the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) project. The team has led an international collaboration to successfully understand and quantitatively describe emissions of reactive trace gases from vegetation. It is critical that estimates of these emissions be incorporated into models to understand the Earth system’s function and for assessments of past, present, and future air quality and climate.

Greg Card (NESL/HAO), Clarke Chambellan (unaffiliated), David Elmore (National Solar Observatory), Jack Fox (EOL/DFS), Judd Johnson (unaffiliated), Michael Knölker (HAO), Terry Leach (unaffiliated), Alice Lecinski (HAO), Bruce Lites (HAO), Ed Mores (EOL/DFS), Pete Nelson (HAO), Scott Sewell (HAO), Kim Streander (National Solar Observatory, Kitt Peak), Rich Summers (HAO), Andy Watt (HAO), Bart Woodiel (EOL/DFS), and Ron Lull (HAO) for the Sunrise High Altitude Balloon-Borne Observatory mission. This mission produced the highest resolution images ever taken of the Sun and elucidates the complex physical processes taking place within the Sun that affect its radiative output and magnetic field, controlling its impact on the Earth. This team designed and built the Sunrise gondola and pointing system, enabling breakthrough observations by the scientific instrumentation.


Kathy Morgan (NESL/MMM) for her extensive and continuing mentoring of numerous administrator colleagues, helping them to advance their careers. Three notable contributions include: 1) the high quality of mentoring she has offered to so many people in a relatively short period of time, 2) her support for building individuals' careers even when leaving MMM, and 3) her continued mentoring of individuals outside of MMM. Kathy is adept at seeing potential in people and working creatively to bring out that potential for the benefit of the individual and the organization. 


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