UCAR Communications


staff notes monthly

November 2002

Delphi Questions

Delphi Question #489 (received 14 August): I have come to understand that the PAM (Portable Automated Mesonet) station is being moved to a new position just outside the west end of the cafeteria. I appreciate the reason for this move, i.e., that if PAM, in its current position, were struck by lightning, it could result in damage to the computers housed below it. However, the first response of everyone I have talked with about this has been, “Why are they moving it to spoil one of the most beautiful views on the site?” So, why is that?

Response (20 August): The new location for the PAM station was based on several needs and concerns. The PAM station is one of the exhibits used by the Education and Outreach (EO) program as a learning tool for the many student groups that visit the Mesa Lab. The location chosen was based on its proximity to the EO classroom and existing trails. Other options considered would have required additional trail construction in order to protect the natural vegetation and minimize the potential of exposing visitors to hazards such as the snakes that are generally present in the grassy areas at the rear of the building. The new location is considered to be the best compromise to meet the needs of the organization while preserving a maximum amount of the natural habitat and beauty that surrounds the building.

–John Pereira, director
Physical Plant Services

[Editor’s note: Delphi Question #492 focused on the same issue as #489 and received the same response.]

Delphi Question #490 (received 26 August): NCAR/UCAR is the host for many seminars, lectures, and workshops. We use a variety of different vendors for everything from supplies to caterers. For outside caterers, we are encouraged to give them a dollar amount that we would like the cost of the meals to remain within, for accounting and budgeting purposes. I think this practice should be used for our in-house catering also. A simple contract which states how much money is to be used for each function would allow each project leader to stay within budget and it would also help for budgeting projections. This would not require a complicated contract, only one that would specify the dollar amount along with dates and times. This would also help so that budget breakdowns can be done without having to wait until the end of the month or longer to reconcile.

Response (3 October): Please note that all pricing information is available on our home page at www.fin.ucar.edu/ sass/conference/index.html. This can be used for budgeting purposes, as your charges will reflect exactly what is indicated. The charges listed are inclusive—they cover everything from preparation to service, delivery, and clean up as well as linens and table skirts. Request forms are also accessible from the home page for your convenience in placing orders and making any special requests, including budgetary considerations.

At the end of the monthly billing cycle, you will find these processed as a chargeback against your account. This is followed up with a detailed hard-copy breakdown of charges to the requester. We are also working with IT to further automate the billing process, which will improve the timeliness of chargebacks.

—Velma Ryan, director
Food Services


Delphi Question #491 (received 27 August): I am very concerned about the fact that, on June 22, StorageTek poisoned up to 8,000 prairie dogs on their Louisville property. What is NCAR’s policy with regard to prairie dogs on its property? As NCAR is one of StorageTek’s largest customers, what is NCAR’s view regarding what StorageTek has done?

Response to the first question (29 August): Although UCAR does not have an official policy on prairie dogs we do follow recommendations set out in the Boulder County Prairie Dog Management Plan. For our locations this has required relocating prairie dogs and installing fencing between our properties and adjacent prairie dog colonies. We have not and do not use poison to manage prairie dogs on our properties.

–John Pereira, director
Physical Plant Services

Reply to the second question (30 August): While UCAR does not condone the actions of StorageTek in its handling of this matter, it is not UCAR’s practice to dictate to or advise other companies on their policies or corporate actions.

–Katy Schmoll, vice president
Finance and Administration

For more information about Delphi, including instructions for submitting confidential questions, see www.ucar.edu/delphi.

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Space: The never-final frontier

Returning to Center Green


A look back at FL's beginnings

NCAR receives national FAA award

Random Profile: Allen Schanot

Helping Alaskans adjust to climate change

From Bombay to Boulder

Short takes

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