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The 1994 Performance Awards

Each year NCAR recognizes some of its most talented and dedicated staff through the Outstanding Performance Awards, for which all UCAR staff are eligible. Division directors made 19 nominations this year in five categories, including a new education category. Each year's winners, chosen by interdivisional committees, receive cash awards and commemorative medals at the all-staff holiday party in December.

The 1994 winners

Bill Kuo, Simon Low-Nam, and Richard Reed, Outstanding Publication
Robert Kerr, honorable mention

Keith Barr, Darrel Baumgardner, Jim Dye, Bruce Gandrud, Robert Knollenberg, Aref Nammari, Diana Rogers, and Kim Weaver, Technology Advancement

Jon Corbet, Technical Support
Cicely Ridley, honorable mention

Beth Stansberry, Administrative Support

Pat Kennedy, Education

Photo of Pat Kennedy
In accepting the first-ever Outstanding Performance Award for Education, Pat Kennedy acknowledged the support of his NCAR supervisors over the years and gave credit to other staff who have volunteered time and resources for K-12 education. (Photo by Curt Zukosky.)

Outstanding Publication

Nominees for this honor have published either results of original work or other contributions, such as books or review papers, that have increased understanding of atmospheric science.

Robert Kerr (Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division, or MMM), "Evidence for a singularity of the three-dimensional, incompressible Euler equations," Physics of Fluids 5 (1993), 1725- 1746. This paper addresses a long-standing question in fundamental turbulence research: whether there is a singularity in the 3-D incompressible Euler equations in a finite time. Kerr's evidence for such a singularity combines careful large-scale numerics with rigorous mathematics. He identifies the structure of the possible singularity, whose dynamics may underlie some vortex interactions with surfaces.

Ying-Hwa (Bill) Kuo, Simon Low-Nam, and Richard Reed (MMM), "Thermal structure and airflow in a model simulation of an occluded marine cyclone," Monthly Weather Review 120 (1992), 2280-2297. The authors examine the occlusion and seclusion processes in oceanic cyclones, whose structures have yet to be well documented and substantiated. Their paper uses output from the Penn State/NCAR mesoscale model to obtain high-resolution spatial and temporal fields for relevant meteorological variables, along with detailed air-parcel trajectories. Contrary to Norwegian frontal theory, the authors show that occluded fronts can possess thermal gradients as intense as those in warm and cold fronts.

Kevin Trenberth, Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD), and Amy Solomon (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), "The global heat balance: heat transports in the atmosphere and ocean," Climate Dynamics 10 (1994), 107-134. In examining the global heat balance for 1988 using radiative and meteorological data, this paper addresses the question of how equator-to-pole heat transfers are partitioned between the atmosphere and ocean. Effective heat and moisture sources and sinks were computed and combined to produce overall estimates of the atmospheric energy divergence and the net flux through the earth's surface. Following this paper, diagnosed ocean heat transports can now be matched in computer models for the first time.

Jothiram Vivekanandan (Research Applications Program, or RAP), Joseph Turk (Colorado State University, or CSU), and V. N. Bringi (CSU), "Comparisons of precipitation measurements by the advanced microwave precipitation radiometer [AMPR] and multiparameter radar," IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 31 (1993), 860-870. The problem of measuring precipitation from space is examined through use of NASA's AMPR instrument and NCAR's CP-2 multiparameter radar during the Convection and Precipitation/Electrification Experiment in central Florida. Vast regions of the globe have inadequate ground-based measurements of precipitation. The CP-2 data are used in this paper to infer particle size, shape, and composition within convection; these variables are then compared to radiometer-derived brightness temperature. This, the first paper to show AMPR's potential to study microphysics within convective storms, is a pioneering effort toward classifying and measuring global precipitation using satellite-based instruments.

Technology Advancement

This award honors major individual or group creations of the past year that represent technical achievements in engineering, computer science, or applied science.

Keith Barr, Darrel Baumgardner, Jim Dye, Bruce Gandrud, Robert Knollenberg, Aref Nammari, Diana Rogers, and Kim Weaver (all of the Atmospheric Technology Division, or ATD) for development of the multiangle spectrometer probe (MASP). The MASP was designed to improve previous airborne aerosol probes by measuring with increased sensitivity in smaller sizes, decreasing response times by an order of magnitude, reducing flow distortion into and out of the probe, and increasing overall accuracy. The eight team members successfully produced the MASP, including development, building, testing, and characterization, in less than nine months before its deployment in a NASA project.

Linda Bath, Byron Boville, Bruce Briegleb, Lawrence Buja, James Hack, Jeffrey Kiehl, Jerry Olson, Phillip Rasch, James Rosinski, David Williamson, and Gloria Williamson (all of CGD) for development of version 2 of the NCAR community climate model (CCM2). This revision of the CCM includes improved physical representation for a wide range of key climate processes, including clouds and radiation, moist convection, and the planetary boundary layer. The result is a marked improvement to the model-simulated climate. Improved numerical methods have lowered the computational cost of running the model at a given resolution, and the code has been made highly portable, fully documented, and user-friendly.

John Dennis, Steve Hammond, Rich Loft, and Richard Sato (SCD) for implementation of the CCM2 on current massively parallel supercomputer architectures. High-performance computers often require major reformulation of program control and data structures. Addressing this problem, the nominees implemented and verified a production- ready, high-resolution version of the CCM2. Complete with history generation and restart capabilities, the model includes sections that can run at a speed of 17.6 gigaflops on a 512-processor machine. The project required a complete rewrite of standard CCM2 code from algorithmic and programming-environment points of view.

Technical Support

This honor recognizes a team or individual for a single superior performance or a history of noteworthy effort in such areas as exceptional instrument maintenance or instrument fabrication.

Jon Corbet (ATD) for planning and execution of computer network support for the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Program's Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment [TOGA COARE] International Data Workshop held in Toulouse, France, in August. Jon led and actively participated in the design, implementation, and maintenance of the on-site computer network, which was used to combine traditional plenary sessions with hands-on data exchange, review, and analysis. The large, complicated, and heterogeneous network assembled by Jon supported 280 participants from a number of countries. Jon's work in integrating TOGA COARE data sets incorporated new data during the workshop, allowing investigators to quickly determine their quality and view them in the context of other data sets.

Paul Hyder (SCD) for supporting local- and wide-area networking, national and international networking, and research and testing of new networking technologies. A participant in developing each major network design for NCAR and UCAR, Paul leads all routing designs and has implemented an extensive network of bridges, routers, and brouters (bridge/router combinations) to serve ever-changing institutional needs. He is often asked to assist in outside network planning and implementation and has contributed to local knowledge of multicasting technology by helping network administrators beyond UCAR in use of the technology.

Cicely Ridley (High Altitude Observatory, or HAO) for development of the hierarchy of NCAR upper-atmosphere general circulation models. During her 27 years at NCAR, Cicely has provided scientific programming for a variety of models, ranging from an analytical solution applied to the thermosphere of Venus to the thermosphere/ionosphere/general circulation model (TIGCM) used as a primary HAO model since 1987. Cicely's development of the TIE-GCM, which extended the TIGCM to include electrodynamics, coupled the neutral thermosphere and ionosphere through self-consistent electrodynamic interactions. Her accomplishments have helped create a series of upper-atmosphere models that will serve students and scientists for many years.

Allen Schanot (ATD) for planning and execution of Phase I modifications for the C-130 aircraft. Allen led the effort to convert the ex- military C-130 into a research aircraft, the most complex and time-critical facility development ever undertaken by the Research Aviation Facility. He played several roles in getting the C-130 ready on time, within budget, and without sacrificing quality. With only five months' lead time, two additional instruments were successfully engineered and installed under Allen's leadership in preparation for the aircraft's first field program, the Beaufort and Arctic Seas Experiment, in September.

Administrative Support

This award honors an individual or group for a single outstanding performance or a long history of support beyond the call of duty in such areas as improving a management practice or skillfully handling an operational effort.

Bruce Donaldson, Halina Dziewit, Sheridan Garcia, Wayne Moore, and Stephen Simmons for creating and developing Weather Information Technologies, Inc. (WITI). With contracts providing over $2.5 million to UCAR in fiscal year 1994, WITI has served as an original and innovative approach to developing a business vehicle for technology transfer and commercialization that allows for a close working relationship with scientists and engineers at NCAR and other UCAR programs. Rather than turning over technology and expertise to external sources, WITI created a partnership between business and scientific/technical managers, giving all parties ownership in the enterprise and allowing plans and strategies to be developed largely through consensus.

Kay Hockensmith (Finance and Administration) for implementing the credit-card purchase program at UCAR. Since its beginning on 1 January 1994, this program has saved tens of thousands of dollars in processing costs for over 1300 total transactions totaling more than $300,000. Kay's innovation and dedication in developing tracking programs, new forms, receiving procedures, and guidelines for credit-card use has allowed UCAR to reduce the number of purchase orders printed, lower administrative costs, improve payment service, and expedite order placement.

Bob Niffenegger (SCD) for years of commitment and service to SCD's computing facility. Bob started as a computer operator at NCAR in 1966 and moved through the ranks to supervise the computer-room operations. He has planned and coordinated the installation of all new equipment in SCD's computing facility, including all 13 Cray computers, several massively parallel processor systems, three generations of mass storage systems, and countless communications and networking devices. Bob's ability to inspire teamwork and balance competing interests has enabled him to complete installations quickly and accurately while maintaining a service-oriented approach and extending the useful life of older equipment.

Beth Stansberry (ATD) for procurement and support involving the RAF Research Aircraft Restructuring Program and other ATD activities. Through 18 months of unparalleled contracting and purchasing activity within ATD, Beth has met extraordinary demands with professionalism and dedication. She worked closely with RAF on many deadlines during the C-130 development and with the Research Support Facility on the importation of Electra Doppler radar components from France. Beth's coordination with several different agencies on the WB- 57F acquisition helped save NCAR over $160,000.


This new award honors the most significant individual or group achievement in postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate, K-12, or general public science education, including such areas as development of programs or curricular materials in science, mathematics, and technology transfer.

Linda Carbone, Steve Davis, and Cindy Schmidt for major expansion of the NCAR exhibits program through the Exploratorium Science Exhibits Starter Set program. The addition of these exhibits to the Mesa Lab represents a major step toward the realization of UCAR's goal to help raise scientific literacy and enhance informal K-12 education in atmospheric and earth-systems science. In the space of 15 months, the nominees submitted the Exploratorium proposal, raised matching funds from local foundations and corporations, developed supplementary exhibits, and publicized the new installation to staff, donors, schools, media, and the public.

Joyce Gellhorn, Caroline Hanson, Pat Kennedy, and Carol McLaren for Project LEARN (Laboratory Experience in Atmospheric Research at NCAR). The nominees, as a team, have been responsible for the numerous accomplishments of LEARN, NCAR's first major national effort in K-12 science education and the center's inaugural teacher training program. The project brought 40 middle and junior high school teachers from four states to NCAR for three consecutive summer workshops. Through teachers' follow-up training workshops with colleagues, more than 83,000 students have been reached. Along with handling a myriad of logistical and administrative details, the nominees worked with dozens of scientists and technical specialists from NCAR, other UCAR programs, and UCAR universities.

Patrick Kennedy for outstanding service in teaching. For over 20 years, Pat has enhanced K-12 science education through visits to schools locally and throughout the United States, as well as in Mexico and Canada. His innovative, hands-on demonstrations of scientific principles and his communications skills have enabled children, often those having few other scientific resources, to enjoy science. Pat's ability to use everyday, inexpensive materials in demonstrations has been invaluable to teachers with limited budgets, and his work in rural Mexico and elsewhere has demonstrated the importance of multiculturalism and equity in science education.

Rene Munoz for originating and coordinating NCAR's Education and Tour Program. Since 1986, the program has developed tours and education facilities to serve tens of thousands of visitors to the Mesa Lab while responding to information requests from many other teachers, students, and members of the public. Rene's presentation of NCAR science is easily understood and engaging for audiences ranging from preschool children to scientifically literate adults. Her support to local science fair activities and sponsorship of the annual Bixby/NCAR egg drop competition has strengthened NCAR's connection to the community at large.

Photo of Fairview High singers at holiday 
Holiday party fetes winners, feeds all. Good food and drink, camaraderie, and excellence were all in evidence at this yearŐs all-staff holiday party, held on Friday, 9 December, at the Mesa Lab. True to form, the party had something for nearly everyone. After a melodious kick-off by the jazz choir from BoulderŐs Fairview High School in the ML lobby mezzanine (above), UCAR president Rick Anthes announced the nominees and winners for the 1994 Outstanding Performance Awards. Partygoers then adjourned to the ML lobby and cafeteria to partake of refreshments and holiday cheer. (Photo by Curt Zukosky.)

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu
Last revised: Wed Mar 29 12:22:22 MST 2000