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November 2005

Random Profile: Meg McClellan

Meg McClellan. (Photo by Carlye Calvin, UCAR.)

Every other month,
Staff Notes Monthly spotlights a stochastically chosen staff member. This month we profile Meg McClellan, UCAR's general counsel.

Immersed in intellectual property: On the road to scientific knowledge, it helps to have a good lawyer navigating the legal potholes. Meg handles an array of legal issues for the organization. Intellectual property and licensing are a major part of her job, but she also deals with risk management, compliance with regulations, confidentiality agreements, classified research, policies and procedures, contracts, insurance, ethics, and more.

Meg has been at UCAR for about five years. "I've never been bored here since there are always interesting projects and opportunities," she says.

In the general counsel's office, she works closely with Sarah Pritchard, associate general counsel; Kelly Coleman, paralegal; and Belinda Goody, administrative assistant.

Moving technology along: Meg worked in the high-tech industry before law school and then handled intellectual property litigation at a private practice in Denver for 10 years. "I love intellectual property and working with scientists and engineers. It's fun to help get technology out," she says.

An example of one of her assignments is the Hotplate Snow and Precipitation Gauge, known simply as Hotplate. Invented by RAL's Roy Rasmussen and a colleague at the Desert Research Institute, Hotplate is a sensor that consists of two isolated plates warmed by electrical heaters. Small enough to be placed along runways and highways, it calculates real-time rates of snow and rain.

Meg helped shepherd the sensor through its patenting and manufacturing stages. "The Hotplate is being installed at the first airport this year and it should be exciting to see it in an operational system," she says.

Raising the next generation of soccer players: Meg and her husband, Jim, have two children—Kelsey, 11, and Andrew, 8—who are avid soccer players. The family lives in Louisville. In addition to soccer, they ski and love to travel. Last summer they spent 10 days in Alaska.

Meg is on the board of directors for Impact on Education (formerly the Foundation for Boulder Valley Schools), a private organization that raises support for public education in three focus areas: excellent teachers, at-risk students, and science and technology.

A rare species called "Boulder native": Meg was born here in Boulder, although her family then moved to Illinois, where she spent most of her childhood. She grew up surrounded by talented musicians. "I'm the only non-musician in a family of musicians. They all thought I was crazy when I went to law school," she says.

Although she doesn't play music, she does love to listen to it. "I have very eclectic musical tastes," she says. Indeed, her iPod contains everything from jazz to opera. With a passion for music and arts, she heads to Denver to drop in on small clubs, catch Broadway shows, and see the opera.

Meg prefers to shut her tunes off and listen to the world around her when she's exercising outdoors, which is frequently. She recently ran the Imogene Pass Run, a 17.1-mile trail race in the San Juan mountains that connects Ouray and Telluride by way of 13,120-foot Imogene Pass. "Training for the run really opened my eyes to trail running," she says.

An occasional triathlete, she also bikes, swims, and does yoga. "Something a lot of people here probably wouldn't know is that I trained to be a ballerina as a teenager," she adds.

• by Nicole Gordon

Also in this issue...

HIRDLS comes through

Planning a national supercomputing center

RAINEX: Bad weather is good news

UCAR policy on classified research

Random Profile: Meg McClellan

COMET project wins recognition

Delphi Questions

Just One Look: Super Science Saturday


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