Delphi Questions: Smoking on the trails, exhibit noise
Question #457 (received 15 August):
What does NCAR do to guard against wildfires? There seem to be a lot of
cigarette butts on the path from the parking lot. Are visitors allowed
to smoke on trails around NCAR?
Response (18 August):
UCAR has adopted the same rules for trail use as those formulated by the
Boulder Open Space department. Smoking is not allowed on the trail
system, and Boulder Open Space is in the process of posting No Smoking
signs on and near the trails. Boulder Open Space personnel and UCAR
security enforce the rules whenever possible, but given the extensive
trail system it is not possible to observe every user. Given the severe
consequences of a wildfire, please be assured that our security force is
making observation and enforcement a priority. If employees observe
violators, they should immediately report the situation to UCAR
security, ext. 1139.
Steve Sadler, director
Safety and Site Services
Question #453 (received 19 June):
I am a long-time NCAR employee who remembers the days before the
wonderful exhibit involving a fan used to generate a vortex was
installed in the entry area of the Mesa Lab. In spite of the pleasure I
take from that exhibit, I miss the peace and quiet of those days. It is
now necessary to have the library doors closed to avoid distraction by
the noise, which also pervades the entire visitor area of the building.
One only has to come in after hours, when the fan is not in use, to be
reminded of how pleasant that area and the library can be.
I am wondering whether it would be possible to use a quieter fan, or
whether the exhibit could be started by a visitor, using a button, and
run on a timer for a few minutes whenever someone wants to see the
exhibit in operation. The rest of the time it would be off, and hence
Response (18 August):
In 1994 we received funding from NSF and a number of local foundations
for the specific purpose of enhancing the visitor and exhibits program.
Through the Exploratorium in San Francisco, we acquired seven highly
interactive exhibits that demonstrate scientific principles underlying
many of the research activities at NCAR. While the new exhibits created
the intended stimulating environment for visitors, we were aware that
the tornado, in particular, created some new problems, due primarily to
the lack of acoustic materials on surrounding surfaces. We worked
closely with the designer from the Exploratorium to investigate
alternatives, and we replaced the fan with a lower-powered one. The
alternatives were limited by both our altitude and Boulder's relatively
low humidity levels, which affect the creation of the vortex.
In response to the concerns of the questioner, we contacted the designer
again. After an extensive investigation, he was unable to find any new
alternative fans with quieter motors. However, he recalled the acoustic
reflectivity of the surrounding floors, walls, and ceiling and has
suggested some other actions that may reduce the noise level. A variety
of possible solutions include surrounding the fan with acoustic
materials or hanging such materials above the fan. We intend to pursue
these suggestions as soon as possible.
Karon Kelly, director
Information Support Services
Questions and suggestions from the staff to management may be
submitted in confidence to the coordinator, Janet Evans (ext.
1114, ML room 517). They should be submitted in written form,
preferably via interoffice mail in a sealed envelope marked
confidential; they must be signed. Detailed procedures for
submitting questions are given in the
UCAR Policies and Procedures Manual, section 4-1-2.
Questions and answers of general interest to staff are submitted
to Staff Notes Monthly by Janet. They may be edited for
publication. For more information, including links to questions
and answers published in Staff Notes Monthly and a log of
all questions submitted since 1995, see the
Delphi Service Web page.
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Edited by Bob Henson,
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Tue Sep 26 12:38:56 MDT 2000