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June 2008

ISSE finds new home in RAL

In May, NCAR dissolved SERE (Societal-Environmental Research and Education Laboratory) in the face of prolonged budget stress.

SERE’s programs—ISSE, CCB, and ASP—are now housed in other parts of NCAR. ISSE receives management and administrative support through RAL, while ASP and CCB are stand-alone programs that report to the NCAR Director’s Office. The three programs retain their physical locations at the Mesa Lab.

“It’s a win for both groups, as the transition extends a number of strong research collaborations that already exist between the two groups,” says ISSE interim director Lawrence Buja, adding that ISSE brings a unique social sciences capability to RAL in the areas of ­weather, climate, and health.

The dissolution of SERE, which reduced staff in the lab’s directorate, is expected to save immediate and recurring direct and indirect costs, capitalize on economies of scale in other labs, and enhance synergy and collaboration through new partnerships.

“We want to emphasize that these changes in no way diminish UCAR’s and NCAR’s commitment to ASP, ISSE, and CCB,” says NCAR director Tim Killeen. “Despite the current budget challenges, we remain dedicated to our vision of developing leadership in the social science components of climate and weather research, creating societal and policy-relevant research and information products, and conducting research on human-environment interactions.”

Tim adds that NCAR is facing significant financial challenges as the NSF base budget has risen at a rate less than the cost of business in each of the past six years. This has put major stresses on NCAR’s budget.

In response, NCAR has taken measures to allocate budgets based on strategic priorities and NSF mandates. The organization has also reduced direct and indirect costs, including the elimination of 36 positions over the past four years.

In this issue...

Measuring the Arctic's haze and smoke

NCAR names three new senior scientists

UCAR readies new financial management tools

Bluefire burns hot - with less energy

Researchers study monsoon in Taiwan

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