Governance Update

See below for then-and-now photos of UCAR member representatives

The October meetings

by Susan Friberg, UCAR governance liaison, and Bob Henson

The weather in Boulder cooperated beautifully for the UCAR annual meetings, held the second week of October, with warm days and spectacular autumn colors. UCAR member and affiliate representatives and the Board of Trustees dedicated the newly acquired Center Green campus, where the meetings were held this year (see photo, p.11). Clifford Jacobs (head of UCAR and Lower Atmospheric Facilities for NSF’s Division of Atmospheric Sciences, or NSF ATM), board chair Otis Brown (University of Miami), and UCAR president Richard Anthes planted a Colorado blue spruce to dedicate the new facilities.

The ceremony kicked off a week of meetings for the members and affiliates, the University Relations Committee, and department heads and chairs from the atmospheric and related sciences, this year including geosciences for the first time. Meeting highlights are noted below. See “On the Web” for the follow-up Web site, including links to presentations.

Members

The spacious auditorium at Center Green hosted over 100 member and affiliate representatives during the annual meeting, 8–9 October. Members elected three new trustees for three-year terms: Eric Barron (Pennsylvania State University), Lynn Talley (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), and Leonard Pietrafesa (North Carolina State University). Mary Jo Richardson (Texas A&M University) was reelected. Ten member institutions were renewed for regular eight-year terms. Also approved was a bylaw change that increases the number of trustees-at-large from three to six over the next three years.

Members heard an update on legislative issues and the federal science budget from April Burke (Lewis-Burke Associates, Washington, D.C.), as well as reports from Anthes, NCAR director Tim Killeen, UOP director Jack Fellows, and Education and Outreach director Roberta Johnson.

Jacobs updated members on the NSF budget and on the past year’s NSF reviews of NCAR’s programs and of UCAR and NCAR management. He outlined the schedule for the upcoming site visit and review of the UCAR proposal to manage NCAR for the next five years (2003–2008). Jacobs also informed the members that, in keeping with NSF policies and practices, the next five-year cooperative agreement (2008–2013) may be competed.

Members were introduced to a new Web site developed by UCAR and the American Meteorological Society to interest high school students and undergraduates in studying careers in the atmospheric sciences (see “On the Web”). The meeting ended with discussion of the dire budget climate at some universities, and of the value of strong intra-university communications among the many departments that may be carrying out atmospheric, oceanic, or related research at a given institution.

University Relations Committee

Discussion focused on • intra-university communication and UCAR’s role in enhancing such exchanges, • possible UCAR contributions to the educational component now required in most proposals, and • university involvement in NCAR’s new interdisciplinary research initiatives.

At the URC’s request, a PowerPoint presentation summarizing UCAR, NCAR, and UOP programs has been placed on the meetings’ follow-up Web site (see below), for university faculty and students to download and use as desired.

Academic Affiliates

During a breakfast meeting on 8 October, Rajul Pandya (UOP Digital Library for Earth System Education Program Center) provided an update on DLESE. The dialogue centered on how to increase the number of meteorology-related holdings in the DLESE collection. Also discussed were bidirectional sabbaticals, early-career faculty workshops, the new NCAR Undergraduate Leadership Workshops sponsored by Education and Outreach, and access to the NCAR Library’s online resources. The representatives also discussed undergraduate enrollment numbers and the fairly strong relationship between orientation sessions for lower-division students in their major departments and retention in those majors.

Heads and Chairs

For the first time, two related meetings were held jointly: the 13th Meeting of the Heads and Chairs of Programs in Atmospheric, Oceanic, Hydrologic, and Related Sciences (held every other year by the American Meteorological Society and UCAR); and the American Geophysical Union’s 4th Meeting of Heads and Chairs of Earth and Space Science Departments. About 75 people attended the combined meeting at Center Green, 10–11 October.

Jarvis Moyers (director, NSF ATM) and Jack Kaye (director of research, NASA Office of Earth Science) presented information on their respective budget and program activities. Other updates came from AMS executive director Ronald McPherson; William Hooke, director of the society’s Policy Program; and AGU executive director Eugene Bierly. Fellows summarized UCAR activities relevant to the geosciences as a whole.

Roman Czujko (American Institute of Physics) presented recent data on student diversity. The proportion of women among recipients of bachelor’s degrees in the geosciences now stands at 40%, he said. However, the comparable figures for African Americans and Latino Americans remain low, at 1.3% and 3.1%, respectively.

Two breakout sessions were held: one on diversity, and the other on the importance of evaluation metrics for NSF’s “Criterion 2”—one of two recently added criteria in the NSF proposal process. Criterion 2 asks researchers to outline “the broader impacts of the proposed activity.” Breakout participants discussed the extent to which high or low rankings in Criterion 2 metrics could affect funding decisions at NSF.

Topics in general discussion included the increasing problem in obtaining visas for foreign students in the wake of September 11th and issues related to private sector–university interactions. Presentations from the heads and chairs meeting are online at the October meetings’ follow-up site.

As the community grows: then and now

Taken more than 40 years apart, these photos illustrate the broadening of the network that sustains and guides UCAR. The first meeting of the UCAR Board of Trustees (above) took place at the University of Arizona in April 1959. These men represented the original set of 14 universities that proposed the creation of UCAR and NCAR. Last October, the annual meeting of UCAR members brought over 100 representatives to the new Center Green campus in Boulder, where the group assembled for a class photo (below). (Bottom photo by Carlye Calvin.)

Click on each photo to obtain a larger version with group IDs.

 


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President’s Corner: Weather, Climate, and the Evolving U.S. Climate Change Science Program

Web Watch

UCAR Community Calendar