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December 2005 - January 2006

The 2005 Outstanding Accomplishment Awards

The December 16 all-staff party at CG1, sponsored by the Employee Activities Committee and TIAA-CREF, continued the tradition of ringing in the holidays while recognizing the outstanding work of employees.

This year's awards featured 14 nominations, comprising a record 127 individuals, including many university collaborators. UCAR president Rick Anthes emphasized that all the nominees were to be congratulated on their achievements. He praised their work as representing "a tremendous dedication by our excellent staff to the goals and missions of our institution."

Rick also thanked the divisions and programs for nominating staffers engaged in outstanding work, as well as the jurors for their difficult task of choosing among stellar nominees.

Before Rick announced the winners, staffers entertained the crowd with a rousing open jam session. The UCARolers and special guest Yoda also touched off the day's entertainment with original interpretations of Christmas carols, such as "Coming to Town Santa Claus Is." After the winners were announced, staffers enjoyed an excellent buffet provided by Event Services and danced to the music of Hot Swing and Gypsy Jazz of Rue.

Following are the nominees and winners in the five categories in which awards were given. There were no awards this year in the Distinguished Achievement category.

Education and Outreach

The winners were SCD's Dianne Bernier, John Clyne, Susan Cross, Joey Mendoza, Don Middleton, Darin Oman, and Tim Scheitlin of the Visualization Lab Outreach Program.

For the past 10 years, members of the SCD Visualization and Enabling Technologies Section (VETS) have provided hundreds of unique educational presentations and outreach materials in a creative, three-dimensional display that engages and educates audiences of all ages and levels of scientific understanding. The presentations visually demonstrate wide-ranging geoscience concepts and highlight some of the most pressing environmental issues facing society.

Education and Outreach Award winners
Education and Outreach Award winners (left to right): Darin Oman, Don Middleton, Joey Mendoza, Susan Cross, Tim Scheitlin, Dianne Bernier and John Clyne. (Photo by Bob Henson, UCAR.)

Also nominated:

Dwight Owens, Dolores Kiessling, and Steve Deyo (all in COMET), and Tom Holzer (HAO) for developing Physics of the Aurora: Earth Systems, a multimedia, Web-based module that explains how Earth's magnetic field and upper atmosphere capture the solar wind to light up the polar sky with the aurora. The module engages learners with sections on the history, lore, and science of the aurora, the magnetosphere, the thermosphere-ionosphere, basic electromagnetism, and upper-atmosphere physics.

Administrative Achievement

The winners, and sole nominees, were Geoff Cheeseman (EOL) and Pat Munson (F&A) for professional excellence and innovativeness demonstrated during the acquisition of the HIAPER aircraft.

As the single largest acquisition in NCAR's history, HIAPER (High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research) presented NCAR and UCAR with major challenges. Geoff and Pat provided a solid core of fiscal and contractual support from 2002 to 2005, tackling such issues as the administration of a highly complex subcontract with Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and the development of a reporting package to assess the cost and schedule performance of the program.

Administrative Achievement Award winners
Administrative Achievement Award winners Geoff Cheeseman,left, and Pat Munson. (Photo by Bob Henson, UCAR.)

Scientific and Technical Advancement

The winners were David Brown, Fred Clare, Richard Grubin, Mary Haley, and David Kennison (all in SCD), Sylvia Murphy (ACD), and Dennis Shea (CGD) for the development of the NCAR Command Language.

The NCL is a data analysis and visualization tool that enables scientists to easily and effectively access, analyze, and visualize geoscientific data on platforms ranging from personal systems to supercomputers. Although NCL was designed primarily for climate research, it has been embraced by the international Earth system sciences community, spanning research and education

Scientific and Technical Advancement Award winners
Scientific and Technical Advancement Award winners (left to right): Dave Brown, Dave Kennison, Mary Haley, Fred Clare, and Dennis Shea. (Photo by Bob Henson, UCAR.) (Not pictured: Richard Grubin and Sylvia Murphy.)

Also nominated:

• ACD's John Gille, David Edwards, Merritt Deeter, Dan Ziskin, Barb Tunison, Dan Packman, Gene Francis, Juying Warner, Jean-François Lamarque, Valery Yudin, Boris Khattatov, Louisa Emmons, Shu-peng "Ben" Ho, Gabriele Pfister, Jean-Luc Attié, Debbie Mao, Jarmei Chen, Cheryl Craig, and Charles Cavanaugh for the deployment of the Measurement of Pollution in the Troposphere instrument (MOPITT) on NASA's Terra satellite in 1999, which heralded the dawning of a new age of tropospheric remote sensing. With the acquisition of over five years of validated retrieval data, the joint NCAR and University of Toronto teams have fulfilled both the scientific and technical goals promised by MOPITT.

• Krista Laursen, Dick Friesen, Pat Munson, Geoff Cheeseman, Jennifer Oxelson, and Carla Hassler (all in the former HIAPER Project Office) and Mike Spowart, Gordon Maclean, Grant Gray, John Wasinger, Chris Webster, Gary Granger, Charlie Martin, Chris Burghart, Susan Stringer, Kurt Zrubek, John Cowan, Bill Irwin, George Nicoll, Allen Schanot, David Rogers, Jorgen Jensen, Pavel Romashkin, Jack Fox, Steve Rauenbuehler, Mark Lord, Henry Boynton, Ed Ringleman, Bob Olson, Bob Maxson, Brent Kidd, Bob Beasley, Kip Eagan, and Gerry Albright (all in EOL) for the acquisition, modification, and initial instrumentation of HIAPER. The team designed and installed the basic infrastructure needed to support research projects, and its efforts have produced an aircraft that should serve the atmospheric sciences community
for decades.

• MMM's Jordan Powers, Kevin Manning, Michael Duda, Dale Barker, Syed Rizvi, and Bill Kuo for the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System, an experimental numerical weather prediction system that supports the U.S. Antarctic Program and international science. AMPS has flexible, high-resolution, real-time capability, and it uses the Pennsylania State University/NCAR mesoscale model (MM5) and the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF).


The winner, and sole nominee, was Chris Snyder (MMM).

Chris has dedicated significant time and effort for years to mentoring post-doctoral researchers, early career scientists, and graduate students. He has patiently introduced junior scientists to new areas; provided a clear, positive example for how to frame and approach research questions; and built mentees' capacity to address their own research interests. Through his mentoring, Chris has had a direct, long-term, positive impact on a number of individuals' careers, and on the meteorology community in general.

Mentoring Award winner
Mentoring Award winner Chris Snyder. (Photo by Bob Henson, UCAR.)

Outstanding Publication

The winners were Chris Davis (MMM) and his co-author, Lance Bosart of the University of Albany, State University of New York, for the article "Baroclinically Induced Tropical Cyclogenesis" (published in 2003 in Monthly Weather Review, 131, 2730–2747).

This paper, which examines the transition of extratropical disturbances into Atlantic tropical cyclones, combines real-data analysis with insightful and original scientific thinking to significantly improve our understanding of the development of tropical cyclones from baroclinic influences. The paper offers a plausible mechanism to explain some recent anomalous cases of tropical cyclone development (such as Catarina, which developed off Brazil in 2004). It provides dynamical mechanisms linking a variety of higher-latitude cyclones and tropical cyclones, painting the picture of a continuum of cyclogenesis as opposed to the traditional view of a tropical extratropical dichotomy.

Outstanding Publication Award winner
Outstanding Publication Award winner Chris Davis. (Photo by Bob Henson, UCAR.)

Also nominated:

• Grant Branstator (CGD) for the article "Circumglobal Teleconnections, the Jet Stream Waveguide, and the North Atlantic Oscillation" (published in 2002 in the Journal of Climate, 15, 1893–1910).

By documenting the nature of extratropical teleconnections in the Northern Hemisphere, this paper has made a landmark contribution to the theoretical understanding of the nature of climate variability in the hemisphere.

• Christopher Cantrell, Sherry Stephens, Roy Mauldin, Ed Kosciuch, Fred Eisele, Richard Shetter, Sam Hall, Frank Flocke, Andy Weinheimer, Alan Fried, and Eric Apel (all in ACD), and Gavin Edwards, Mark Zondlo, and Barry Lefer (all formerly in ACD) for the article "Peroxy Radical Behavior during the Transport and Chemical Evolution over the Pacific (TRACE-P) campaign as measured aboard the NASA P-3B aircraft" (published in 2003 in the Journal of Geophysical Research, 108 (D20), 8797, doi: 10.1029/2003JD003674). The nomination also includes co-authors Yutaka Kondo (University of Tokyo); Don Blake, Nicola Blake, and Isobel Simpson (all at the University of California, Irvine); Alan Bandy and Don Thornton (both at Drexel University); Brian Heikes (University of Rhode Island); Hanwant Singh (NASA Ames Research Center); William Brune (The Pennsylvania State University); Hartwig Harder and Monica Martinez (both at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry); Daniel Jacob (Harvard University); Melody Avery, John Barrick, Glen Sachse, Jennifer Olson, and James Crawford (all at the NASA Langley Research Center); and Antony Clarke (University of Hawaii at Manoa).

This paper, which makes a valuable contribution to atmospheric chemistry research and the study of air pollution, presents an overall assessment of tropospheric photochemistry during the TRACE-P field campaign, suggesting valuable tools (such as the use of simple equations) that are applicable to other data sets.

• Janice Coen (RAL/MMM) for the article "Infrared Imagery of Crown-Fire Dynamics during FROSTFIRE" (published in 2004 in Journal of Applied Meteorology, 43, 1241–1259). The nomination also includes co-authors Shankar Mahalingam at the University of California, Riverside; and John Daily, CU–Boulder.

This paper represents an important contribution to our knowledge of wildfire dynamics and the coupling of fires with the surrounding atmosphere, and it presents fundamentally new observations that will change the focus and direction of future theoretical and modeling studies.

• Arturo López-Ariste, Roberto Casini, Bruce Lites, and Steve Tomczyk for their work on three papers: "Magnetic Fields in Prominences: Inversion Techniques for Spectropolarimetric Data of the He I D3 Line" (published in 2002 in The Astrophysical Journal, 575, 529–541), "Improved Estimate of the Magnetic Field in a Prominence" (published in 2003 in The Astrophysical Journal, 582, L51–L54), and "Magnetic Maps of Prominences From Full Stokes Analysis of the He I D3 Line" (published in The Astrophysical Journal, 598, L67–L70).

These papers constitute an important advance in efforts to understand the magnetic structure and environment of prominences in the solar corona, providing the most complete picture yet obtained of a prominence's magnetic fields.

• Junhong Wang, Harold Cole, and Kathryn Beierle (all in EOL), and David Carlson and Erik Miller (both formerly in EOL), for the article "Corrections of Humidity Measurement Errors from the Vaisala RS80 Radiosonde—Application to TOGA COARE Data" (published in 2002 in Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 19, 981–1002). The nomination also includes co-authors Ari Paukkhunen and Tapani Laine of Vaisala.

This paper, focusing on the diagnosis and correction of humidity errors in operational radiosonde data sets, has had a profound impact on operational weather prediction and efforts to understand climate change, and it has improved the accuracy of both the global observing system and the climatic record.

• by David Hosansky

On the Web

For more about the award categories

Also in this issue...

The 2005 Outstanding Accomplishment Awards

Offsite but not unseen:
UCAR's non-Boulder staffers stay in touch

A TWERLE reunion

Predicting hurricane damage

Atmospheric science books for all ages

CGD research shows that permafrost may thaw in this century

New CG library

Just One Look: Santa


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