The Outstanding Performance Awards
Outstanding Publication: Roy Rasmussen, Jothiram Vivekanandan,
and Jeff Cole (RAP)
Education: Karon Kelly (DLESE)
Scientific and Technical Accomplishment: Jon Lutz, Brian Lewis,
Michl Howard, Paul Johnson, Mitch Randall, Eric Loew, Bob Rilling, Dick
Oye, Mike Strong, Al Phinney, Joe Vinson, and Bart Woodiel (ATD)
Administration: Steve Hinson, Vance Howard, Karl Werner, Karla
Edwards, Rich Johnson, Kristian Woyna, Kevin Welsh, Shelley Richards-
Craig, and Barb Bunting (F&A)
The UCAR/NCAR tradition of celebrating the holidays while recognizing
our peers' work continued on 8 December with the all-staff party at the
Mesa Lab, sponsored by the Employee Activities Committee. A total of 16
nominations were received for this year's Outstanding Performance
Awards. Following entertainment from the Heatherwood Elementary Hot
Shots choir and the UCARolers (see "Just One Look"), the winners (see
box on this page) were announced. Below is the full list of nominations.
More background on the nomination and award process can be found
on the Web.
Given for published results of original research, review papers,
pedagogically oriented books, or other contributions to atmospheric
science, broadly defined; or works that connect atmospheric science with
other disciplines or with matters of public policy.
Dave Charbonneau and Tim Brown (HAO), David Latham (Harvard-
Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), and Michel Mayor (Observatory of
Geneva, Switzerland), "Detection of planetary transits across a Sun-like
star," Astrophysical Journal 529, L45-L48. This paper is the
first to report successful detection of an extrasolar planet by
photometric means. Other efforts over the past five years to detect
planets outside our solar system relied on measuring slight variations
in the star's radial velocity induced by a planet. The authors used
high-precision photometry to observe the 12% reduction in
brightness as a star's planet moved between it and Earth. Their work has
already had a profound impact on astronomical research, especially
remarkable given that their photometric data came from a relatively
small, low-cost telescope.
Karon Kelly (center) received the Education award. From left to right
are UCAR vice president for corporate affairs Jack Fellows, NCAR
director Tim Killeen, Karon, UCAR vice president for finance and
administration Katy Schmoll, and UCAR president Rick Anthes.
Tom Hamill (ASP/MMM) and Chris Snyder (MMM), "A hybrid ensemble
Kalman filter3D variational analysis scheme," Monthly Weather
Review 128, 2905-2919. This paper brings together three approaches
to assimilating data into computer models while minimizing both the
costs of computation and any observational errors. The two most common
approaches, the ensemble Kalman filter and the 3D variational analysis
technique, have particular strengths and weaknesses. Using a simplified
model, the authors discovered that a blend of these two approaches led
to significant reductions in error for model ensembles.
Didier Hauglustaine, Sasha Madronich, Brian Ridley, Jim Walega, Fred
Eisele, David Tanner, Siri Flocke, Paul Ginoux, Rick Shetter, Chris
Cantrell, and Elliot Atlas (ACD), "Observed and model-calculated
photostationary state at Mauna Loa Observatory during MLOPEX2,"
Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) 101, 1468114696, and
"Photochemistry and budget of ozone during the Mauna Loa Observatory
Photochemistry Experiment (MLOPEX2)," JGR 104, 3027530307.
Based on data from the Hawaii-based MLOPEX2 campaign, these papers
explore the behavior of free radicals and the ozone budget for this
important region. Unmeasured oxidants of nitrogen monoxide appear to be
present; the ozone budget was found to be nearly in balance. A computer
model keyed to local processes unrelated to transport showed both
remarkable agreement and notable disagreement with the observed data,
especially in free-radical values. The papers put forth possible
explanations for the disagreements and point the way toward future
Roy Rasmussen (second from left), one of three recipients of the
Outstanding Publication award, is joined by (left to right) Tim Killeen,
Jack Fellows, Katy Schmoll, and Rick Anthes. Not pictured are Jothiram
Vivekenandan and Jeff Cole.
Roy Rasmussen, Jothiram Vivekanandan, and Jeff Cole (RAP), "Common
snowfall conditions associated with aircraft takeoff accidents,"
Journal of Aircraft 37, 110-116, and "The estimation of snowfall
rate using visibility," Journal of Applied Meteorology 38,
15421563. A combination of five years of fundamental research and
practical application went into these papers, which analyze a series of
aircraft accidents that involved inadequate deicing. The authors found
that the standard relationship between snowfall intensity and visibility
that is used by many weather services can be misleading, because of
variations in snow type and differences in how visibility is affected by
snowfall during the day versus the night. Because of this work, airlines
have improved the procedures they use to estimate snowfall rates.
Stan Trier, Chris Davis, John Tuttle, and Bill Skamarock (MMM),
"Long-lived mesoconvective vortices and their environment: Part I:
Observations from the central United States during the 1998 warm
season," Monthly Weather Review (MWR) 128, 33763395, and
"Part II: Induced thermodynamic destabilization in idealized
simulations," MWR 128, 33963412. This synthesis of
observations and carefully designed model experiments shows the
importance of mesoscale convective vortices (MCVs) and related vertical
motions in stimulating multiday sequences of convection. Using 1998
data, the papers show that MCVs occur almost ten times more often than
previously thought (a result confirmed in 1999 and 2000) and that about
half of them serve as a focus of showers and thunderstorms that
redevelop after previous activity has subsided.
Tammy Weckwerth (ATD), as first author of a series of three papers:
"Thermodynamic variability within the convective boundary layer due to
horizontal convective rolls," Monthly Weather Review (MWR) 124,
769784; "Horizontal convective rolls: determining the
environmental conditions supporting their existence and
characteristics," MWR 125, 505526; and "An observational
study of horizontal convective rolls," MWR 127, 21602179.
Due partially to a lack of observations, previous studies had disagreed
on the magnitude of two variables important for creating convective
rolls: the amount of sensible heat from the surface and the amount of
vertical wind shear. These papers address the problem through a radar-
based identification scheme, computer modeling, and a comprehensive data
set acquired through a unique mix of platforms. Among other things, the
results show that convective rolls are the first mode of organized
convection in the boundary layer and that radiosondes launched outside
the updraft portion of a convective roll may underestimate the risk of
The time-card automation team received the Administration award.
Pictured are (front row, left to right) Barb Bunting, Shelley Richards-
Craig, Steve Hinson, Karla Edwards; (middle row) Vance Howard, Katy
Schmoll, Kristian Woyna, Karl Werner; (back row) Rick Anthes, Jack
Fellows, Tim Killeen. Not pictured: Rich Johnson and Kevin Welsh.
Given for efforts that substantially improve UCAR's ability to manage
its affairs. Activities in this category might include efficiencies in
managing information, improved processes within or interactions among
UCAR entities or with funding agencies, or enhanced services or support
to UCAR employees.
Steve Hinson, Vance Howard, Karl Werner, Karla Edwards, Rich
Johnson, Kristian Woyna, Kevin Welsh, Shelley Richards-Craig, and Barb
Bunting (F&A), for creating and implementing the automated time-card
reporting system, which streamlined the former paper-based system and
improved its accuracy and efficiency. The nominees' diligent efforts
produced a system that surpassed its goals, with feedback from employees
that is overwhelmingly positive. The system also establishes the
framework for future automation projects at UCAR.
Gina Taberski and Anita Monk-Ryan (F&A) and Belinda Housewright
(SCD), for their work in building the Front Range GigaPOP consortium
(which provides wide-area networking services) and establishing UCAR and
NCAR roles in engineering and administrative support for the consortium.
Setting up the agreements, financial spreadsheets, and accounting system
required extensive time, commitment, and expertise. The nominees
continue to provide exceptional service as new members join the
Education and Outreach
Given for efforts having a significant impact on, and leading to
improvements in, scientific, mathematical, or technical education, or
other efforts that significantly enhance the public's understanding of
scientific or technical issues. These activities may involve
postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate, K12, or general-public
Guy Brasseur, John Orlando, and Geoff Tyndall, along with other
participants from ACD, for their work in editing and preparing the
contributions of over 60 coauthors, contributors, and essayists to
Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Change. This 650-page textbook
is distinguished by its thorough treatment of atmospheric dynamics and
numerical modeling and its extensive use of field data to illustrate
principles covered in the book. The intensive efforts of the editors,
along with their coauthors and contributors (about 80% of them from
ACD), resulted in an indispensible reference book and teaching aid.
Steve Cohn (ATD), for his exceptional efforts to advance graduate
and undergraduate education through the use of observing systems and
data in a series of field projects. Many students have little or no
opportunity to become familiar with atmospheric instruments. Through
lectures, informal coaching, and demonstrations, Steve gave graduate and
undergraduate students extensive exposure to the Integrated Sounding
System during its deployment at field projects in Nevada and Michigan.
Steve has also played a key role in other education initiatives,
including a set of education modules that use meteorology to introduce
elementary students to science and math concepts.
Karon Kelly (DLESE), for her leadership and extraordinary service in
initiating and sustaining K12 and public science education
efforts. As director of ISS between 1985 and 2000, Karon launched and
oversaw many UCAR and NCAR education initiatives. These include the
expansion and coordination of the Mesa Lab's tour and exhibit programs,
the traveling Thunderstorm Detectives exhibit, on-site programs aimed at
local schoolchildren, and Project LEARN (Laboratory Experience in
Atmospheric Science at NCAR). LEARN has provided training, techniques,
and hands-on science experience to middle and junior high school
teachers from Colorado and around the country.
Morris Weisman (MMM), for his outstanding contributions in
transferring results from convective storm research to forecasters,
researchers, and students. Morris has provided over a person-year of
effort as the key scientific contributor to four COMET modules and has
taught in a number of COMET courses, as well as at the Universities of
Oklahoma and Washington. Morris frequently provides his expertise to the
news media after damaging storms, and he presented testimony to Congress
following the May 1999 tornado outbreak in Oklahoma.
ATD's S-Pol group was recognized with the Scientific and Technical
Accomplishment award: (front row, left to right) Al Phinney, Bart
Woodiel, Bob Rilling, Brian Lewis, Eric Loew; (back row, left to right)
Tim Killeen, Jack Fellows, Michl Howard, Katy Schmoll, and Rick Anthes.
Not pictured are Jon Lutz, Paul Johnson, Mitch Randall, Dick Oye, Mike
Strong, and Joe Vinson.
Scientific and Technical Accomplishment
Given for efforts leading to substantial improvements in scientific
and/or technical capabilities, including advances in hardware or
software engineering, computer science, and applied science.
Accomplishments in this category might, but do not necessarily, result
in a scientific or technical publication.
Jon Lutz, Brian Lewis, Michl Howard, Paul Johnson, Mitch Randall,
Eric Loew, Bob Rilling, Dick Oye, Mike Strong, Al Phinney, Joe Vinson,
and Bart Woodiel (ATD), for development of the S-Pol weather radar,
which combines the highest-quality radar measurements, high portability
at low cost, and an unprecedented number of real-time products. Before
S-Pol, only two S-band polarimetric radars were available to the
research community, both of them costly to deploy. S-Pol's easy
portability has allowed it to serve seven field projects on three
continents in the last four years. The radar's improved precipitation
measurements allow 15 different types of rain, snow, and ice to be
identified in real time and distinguished from birds, insects, and other
Peter Neilley, Bill Myers, Missy Petty, Gerry Wiener, Greg Thompson,
Shel Dalton, and Greg Young (RAP), for development of the Dynamic,
Integrated Forecast (DICast) system, which provides automated weather
forecasts for a broad variety of applications around the world. Through
a number of commercial vendors across the Internet, DICast satisfies an
estimated 50 million forecast requests each day. The system integrates a
variety of forecast tools, including National Weather Service
statistical output, to provide site- and time-specific forecasts of
Rick Shetter, Barry Lefer, Sam Hall, and Luca Cinquini (ACD), for
development of the actinic flux spectroradiometer. Actinic flux is a
fundamental variable in tropospheric chemistry, since it allows
photolysis rate coefficients to be calculated. The new instrument, a
result of engineering ingenuity and substantial computer programming,
has been deployed in several NASA, NOAA, and NSF field projects as well
as in a ground-based intercomparison. It has fostered a breakthrough in
photolysis rate information, particularly from aircraft.
Jim Van Dyke (SCD), for his leadership role in the Boulder-area
Research and Administrative Network (BRAN). Created through a local
consortium of government, university, and research members, BRAN
provides an advanced fiber-optic infrastructure linking the partners.
The 11-mile cable corridor has led to substantial improvements in the
scientific and technical capabilities of NCAR/UCAR and the Boulder
research community. Jim carried out a variety of complex tasks for BRAN,
including project planning and technical engineering, in the midst of
leading many other high-priority projects.
In this issue...
Other issues of Staff Notes Monthly
Edited by Bob Henson,
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Mon Jan 22 15:24:15 MST 2001