President's Forum - China


New division directors at NCAR

Nychka, Holland take reins

Doug Nychka, organizer of the statistics program at NCAR, has been named the first director of the new Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences (IMAGe).

Doug Nychka

Doug Nychka (Photo by Carlye Calvin

“I’m excited about IMAGe,” Nychka says. “It’s very significant for NCAR to form a group that is oriented around cross-cutting methods as opposed to a scientific topic.” IMAGe brings together NCAR’s Geophysical Turbulence Program, the Geophysical Statistics Project, and the Data Assimilation Initiative.

One of Nychka’s first priorities at IMAGe is to map out an annual mathematical program, or theme of the year (TOY), that addresses NCAR scientific goals and also engages the mathematics community. In its 2005 TOY, IMAGe will team with the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) in North Carolina for a weeklong summer school, Fusing Geophysical Models with Data. In 2006, the program plans a TOY on multiscale models for geophysical processes, in conjunction with the Center for Atmosphere-Ocean Science at New York University’s Courant Institute. The goal is to explore mathematical and statistical techniques that capture behavior at different spatial and temporal scales.

An NCAR senior scientist since 1998, Nychka holds a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Wisconsin–
Madison. Before joining NCAR, he was a faculty member at North Carolina State University.

Greg Holland

Greg Holland (Photo by Carlye Calvin

Gregory Holland, the new director of the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division, joins NCAR after several leadership positions with

Aerosonde, a maker of lightweight robotic aircraft. From 1978 to 2000, Holland was based at the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre in his native Australia. He spent three years in the United States completing his doctorate in atmospheric science at Colorado State University.

At a retreat in February, MMM began crafting an update of its divisional plan, which Holland calls “evolutionary rather than revolutionary. ” The new version focuses on fundamental research, applied topics (especially weather prediction), and community service (such as support for the Weather Research and Forecasting model, WRF).

In a major new effort, MMM plans to nest WRF within a global climate model to see how large-scale processes translate into local impacts and vice versa. To support this project, says Holland, “We plan to do some quite fundamental research on two-way scale interaction.”

MMM will also step up its research into air quality, especially the interaction of pollutants with precipitation processes. Holland’s own background in tropical meteorology will inform new studies of hurricane landfall and the heavy rains that often result. Most of these projects will include extensive collaborations within and beyond NCAR, says Holland. “We are very keen on the multidisciplinary component.”

Also in this issue:

Going to extremes

Up close with Caribbean cumulus

Face time across the miles

A sabbatical at the foundation

Slick roads meet their match

President’s Corner - India in 2005 and the legacy of MONEX

Science Bit - Liquid at work on Saturn’s largest moon

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