UCAR Communications
staff notes monthly

The new Mesa Lab exhibit will feature interactive displays and a mural depicting the atmosphere. (Drawing courtesy EO.) more

Understanding cloud systems:
Are researchers closing in on a general theory of convective cloud systems?

We’ve all had the experience of getting rained on from one small cloud even though blue sky is plainly visible all around. The reason is that rain can come from an individual cumulus cloud just as easily as from a massive cloud system that hangs over an entire region. more

Mentoring talk offers tips for nonscientists

When it comes to thriving as a nonscientist at this scientific institution, Harriet Barker knows a thing or two. more

Random Profile: Pete Siemsen

Love at first byte: Pete took his first computer science class about 20 years ago as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California. He was hooked immediately. “I fell in love with it. I never looked back,” he says. “I loved the programming and the technology.” more



A SOARS pacesetter

UCAR’s Tom Windham has won a Boulder Daily Camera Pacesetter Award for his landmark work on the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research program. more

From Asia and Africa

Qian Ye of China, a visiting scientist in the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group, and Cindy Bruyère of South Africa, a visiting scientist in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division, are just two of dozens of staffers who came here from overseas. more


Delphi Question: Salaries for cleaning crew

Delphi Question #498 (received 20 November): This question concerns the cleaning staff. I’ve gotten to know several of the cleaning crew and was disappointed to hear recently that one of them is leaving NCAR/UCAR. I asked him why, and his reply was that he could not support his family with the salary he received while working here full time. more

Joach Kuettner (Joint Office for Science Support) has been selected by UCAR to give the fifth Walter Orr Roberts Distinguished Lecture.

A 64-year veteran of the atmospheric sciences, Joach is an explorer-scientist whose high-flying exploits in unmotorized aircraft have earned him a place in the Soaring Hall of Fame. His doctoral thesis at the University of Hamburg in 1939 provided the first scientific description and explanation of so-called mountain waves, which glider pilots had known about for some time. more

Just one look

Philip Arter, an Atmospheric Chemistry Division visitor from CU working on the High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder instrument, gives the thumbs up after making sure that HIRDLS is firmly secured to NASA’s Aura spacecraft. The mounting operation was completed in December at a Northrop Grumman (formerly TRW) plant in Redondo Beach, California. HIRDLS, which will take daily readings of chemicals in the upper troposphere and stratosphere, is scheduled for launch next January aboard Aura (a Delta II launcher will lift the spacecraft into orbit). The mission is a major ACD priority because the little-explored tropopause—the transition zone between the troposphere and the stratosphere, ranging from 5 to 10 miles (8 –16 kilometers) in altitude—can play an important role in weather and climate. The region contains vital trace species (sparsely distributed chemicals) such as ozone and greenhouse gases. ACD’s John Gille, a principal investigator on the project, says he’s thrilled that HIRDLS has been successfully mounted on Aura. “A lot needs to be done and tested before we are ready for launch,” he says, “but this is a major milestone.” (Photo courtesy of Northrup Grumman Space Technologies.)


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