UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes > December 1995 Search

Holiday Party: Outstanding!

At this year's all-staff holiday function, held 8 December in the Mesa Lab lobby, the Outstanding Performance Awards were complemented by musical and theatrical performances in a rousingly successful talent show organized by the Employee Activities Committee.

Hillary Keyes (right) leads a jazz dance that lit up the Mesa lab mezzanine. (Photos by Carlye Calvin.)
Hillary Keyes (Information Support Services) and Kathy Westphal choreographed a dance and pantomime to jazz classics "Miss Otis Regrets" and "It Was Just One of Those Things," as performed by Kirsty Maccol and the Pogues. Hillary was joined on the ML mezzanine/stage by Kathy, Gayl Gray (NCAR Library), Rudy Montoya (NCAR cafeteria), and Janice Bardin. The group was followed by Steve Emmerson (Unidata), who donned Scottish garb and performed sing-along numbers on the bagpipe. The show closed with SpiderHead, a Boulder-based rock group consisting of Jonathan Smith (RAP), Chuck Hwang (ATD), Todd Loomis, and David Parkin.

Not long after winning an Outstanding Performance Award, Steve Emmerson returned to the ML stage with bagpipes.
Before the party got underway, NCAR director Bob Serafin had his work cut out for him. Bob was charged with introducing 74 nominees, including 16 winners, in this year's performance award line-up. Division and program directors made a record 24 nominations this year in five categories. The winners, chosen by interdivisional committee, received cash awards and medals. See the box below for this year's winners. The 1995 nominations are at the address http://home.ucar.edu/perf/perf95.html. For a complete round-up from 1967 through this year, check the World Wide Web address http://home.ucar.edu/perf/perfretro.html --BH

The Winners

Guy Brasseur and Claire Granier, Outstanding Publication
Honorable mention: Bill Skamarock, Morris Weisman, and Joe Klemp

Chuck Frush, Peter Hildebrand, Wen-Chau Lee, Eric Loew, Richard Neitzel, Rick Parsons, Mitch Randall, and Craig Walther, Technology Advancement

Peggy LeMone, Education
Honorable mention: Ben Domenico

Mitch Baltuch, Glenn Davis, Steve Emmerson, and Robb Kambic, Technical Support

Greg McArthur, Administrative Support

Outstanding Publication

Nominees for this honor have published, in the past five years, either results of original work or other contributions, such as review papers or books, that have increased understanding of atmospheric science.
  • Guy Brasseur and Claire Granier (ACD), "Mount Pinatubo aerosols, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone depletion," Science 257 (1992), 1239-1242. These authors were the first chemical modelers to predict the ozone changes that could be expected following the massive eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Besides estimating the amount of ozone depletion from purely chemical considerations, they presented a new mechanism for transient ozone loss in the tropics. Observations have since proven that both their chemical and their dynamical ideas were substantively correct.

  • Wojciech Grabowski (MMM), two papers: "Cumulus entrainment, fine-scale mixing and buoyancy reversal," Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 119 (1993), 935-956; and "Entrainment and mixing in buoyancy reversing convection with applications to cloud-top entrainment instability," Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 121 (1995), 231- 253. The entrainment of air into clouds is a key issue in studies of the atmospheric boundary layer. The crux of the problem is what happens between the microscale and the cloud scale. The entrainment problem has already been studied by interactively nested models with a moving domain; this paper takes "the next important and more difficult step of addressing the fundamental physics controlling the cloud-environment interactions."

  • William Large, James McWilliams, and Scott Doney (CGD), "Ocean vertical mixing: A review and a model with a nonlocal boundary layer parameterization," Review of Geophysics 32(4) (1994), 363-403. As the title suggests, the paper both reviews previous work on the subject and offers a new scheme for parameterizing an ocean boundary-layer model, describing its implementation and comparing its results with observations. Although this type of parameterization had been used for the atmospheric boundary layer before, it had to be extended to encompass the variables describing ocean buoyancy. The scheme described in the paper has since been used in three-dimensional ocean circulation models with considerable success.

  • Alexander Praskovsky and Steven Oncley (ATD), four papers: "Measurements of the Kolmogorov constant and intermittency exponent at very high Reynolds numbers," Physics of Fluids 6 (1994), 2886-2888; "Probability density distribution of velocity differences at very high Reynolds numbers," Physical Review Letters 73(25) (1994), 3399-3402; "Correlators of velocity differences and energy dissipation at very high Reynolds numbers," Europhysics Letters 28 (1994), 635-640; and "Some integral range correlators in fully developed turbulence," Physical Review E 51(6) (1995), R5197-R5199. The papers describe the analysis of the authors' unique laboratory and field observations to examine the nature of fully developed turbulence. They offer an important advance in using data from a 1990 field experiment and from the world's largest wind tunnel to shed light on fundamental issues in modern turbulence theory, with results presented in a dimensionless form that permits them to be used in different applications.

  • David Schimel (ACD), "Terrestrial ecosystems and the carbon cycle," Global Change Biology 1 (1995), 77-91. An example of truly interdisciplinary research, this paper builds on an understanding of both atmospheric processes and terrestrial ecology and their interactions within the global carbon cycle, which consists of the fluxes of carbon among its four main reservoirs: fossil carbon, the atmosphere, the oceans, and the terrestrial biosphere. In this genre of paper, originality and creativity are demonstrated by describing the problem in a way that opens new doors of understanding.

  • William Skamarock, Morris Weisman, and Joseph Klemp (MMM), "Three-dimensional evolution of simulated long-lived squall lines," Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 51 (1994), 2563-2584. Squall lines--long systems of cumulonimbus cells-- produce copious amounts of rain and, frequently, severe weather such as flash floods and tornadoes. Modelers have traditionally treated a squall line as an infinitely long line with repeating characteristics. Mesoscale convective systems are also systems of cumulonimbus cells, but they are more complex to model because they are by nature asymmetrical. "By combining a state-of-the-art gridding technique with the choice of a simple but meteorologically significant test problem, this paper represents a major advance. . . ."

  • James Wilson, Brant Foote, Andrew Crooke, James Fankhauser, Charles Wade, John Tuttle, Cynthia Mueller, and Steven Krueger (RAP), "The role of boundary-layer convergence zones and horizontal rolls in the initiation of thunderstorms: A case study," Monthly Weather Review 129 (1992), 1785-1815. This paper combines observations from Doppler radars, aircraft, atmospheric soundings, and a mesonetwork with cloud photographs and numerical simulations to describe how various scales of meteorological phenomena interact to produce thunderstorms. The findings are important for the short-term forecasting of thunderstorm activity. Other researchers have since applied these results to the formation of thunderstorms at the intersections of sea-breeze fronts and boundary-layer rolls.

    Technology Advancement

    This award honors major individual or group creations of the past five years that represent technical achievements in engineering, computer science, or applied science.
  • Dan Anderson, Dennis Colarelli, Chris Fair, George Fuentes, Paul Hyder, Basil Irwin, and John Merrill (SCD); and Bill Boyd, Dan Hansen, and Jordan Powers (MMM), for their work on the CO-OP 3D project. To explore distributed scientific collaboration using high-speed communications and to gain experience with new technology, the group ran two models, an atmospheric forecast model and a Lake Erie forecast model, distributed between NCAR and the Ohio Supercomputing Center and linked by high-speed communications provided by a communications satellite. Among the results of this effort was the first known numeric weather prediction via satellite.

  • The GPS/MET program team: Mike Exner, Doug Hunt, Rick McCloskey, Suze Peet, and Bill Schreiner (UNAVCO); Da Sheng Feng and Ben Herman (University of Arizona); Xiaolei Zou (MMM); and Tom Meehan (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory). The Global Positioning System/Meteorology experiment, which uses signals from the U.S. Air Force's 24 GPS navigational satellites to derive temperature and humidity profiles in the atmosphere, was launched into orbit on a small satellite last April. Results so far show that the technique has considerable promise. The GPS/MET team was nominated for "pioneering efforts" in the design, development, launch, and operation of the payload and software. The team "has produced a major breakthrough in remote sensing of the earth's atmosphere from space."

    Mike Exner (second from left), leader of the GPS/MET team, is flanked by UCAR president Rick Anthes, NCAR director Bob Serafin, and UOP director Bill Pennell.
  • Alan Fried, Scott Sewell, and Bruce Henry (ACD) and James Drummond (University of Toronto) for developing, deploying, and using a field tunable diode laser absorption spectrometer for measurements of trace gases in the atmosphere. In field tests it provided invaluable real-time measurements of tropospheric formaldehyde. Present in only very small concentrations, formaldehyde plays a key role in the chemistry controlling the oxidizing capacity of the troposphere and thus the removal of a number of important greenhouse gases, such as methane. The team has compared this new method to other approaches to demonstrate its superior performance.

  • Chuck Frush, Peter Hildebrand, Wen-Chau Lee, Eric Loew, Richard Neitzel, Rick Parsons, Mitch Randall, and Craig Walther (ATD), for development of the Electra Doppler Radar (ELDORA). The high-resolution airborne radar has been the most ambitious instrument development effort ever undertaken at NCAR, and in last summer's Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment it proved itself a resounding success, obtaining unprecedented images of tornadoes on the U.S. southern plains.

    The performance award for technology advancement went to the ELDORA development team. Pictured (left to right) are chuck Frush, Peter Hildebrand, Bill Pennell, Eric Loew, Bob Serafin, Rick Anthes, Mitch Randall, Wen-Chau Lee, Rick Parsons, and Richard Neitzel. Nto pictured is Craig Walther, who was on duty at the Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-1) in Tasmania.
  • Steve Tomczyk, Kim Streander, Greg Card, David Elmore, and Howard Hull (HAO), for the design, construction, and successful operation of HAO's Low Degree Oscillations Experiment (LOWL). The LOWL's centerpiece instrument, designed in collaboration with Alessandro Cacciani (University of Rome), observes seismic signals that propagate through the interior of the sun. From these observations scientists can infer the physical properties of that region with greater accuracy than ever before. Insights from the LOWL are of crucial importance to understanding the origins of solar magnetism and serve to constrain theoretical models for the structure, composition, and thermodynamic properties of the solar interior.


    Instituted last year, this 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.
  • John Clyne and Don Middleton (SCD), for visualization and Internet data distribution of the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project. The University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center developed a digital database representing a complete human adult male. John and Don organized the data, established an archive, and released the data to the public last January. They also collaborated with the CU researchers to produce a pilot movie based on the data set. The images have been distributed to hundreds of organizations worldwide.

  • Steve Davis and Linda Carbone (Information and Education Outreach Program), for developing NCAR's first major traveling exhibit, "Thunderstorm Detectives." The exhibit describes the successful application of contemporary science to the real-world problem of weather hazards to aviation. Because of this exhibit, which has traveled to museums and airports, literally millions of people who may not be routinely exposed to science issues have seen an important example of how public science funding can directly affect their lives.

  • Ben Domenico (Unidata), for promoting the educational use of both meteorological data and Internet technologies in settings from elementary schools to universities. Ben moderates an electronic-mail-based discussion group for K-12 teachers in Colorado, and he has done much volunteer consulting at Boulder Valley schools. He helped create the Unidata Campus Weather Display, which he later expanded into the Integrated Earth Information Server. IEIS had become a template for universities to use in creating World Wide Web servers that offer weather data.

  • John Firor (ASP), for his 15-year leadership in education as head of ASP. John has used ASP to increase diversity among the atmospheric sciences community; for example, of 175 postdoctoral fellowships awarded between 1981 and 1995, 32% were to women. John's leadership in the development of the Global Change Instruction Modules was instrumental in getting the program started. He has also made numerous efforts to reach the general public through articles, books, and lectures, including many talks at local high schools.

  • Lee Klinger (ACD), for effectively representing NCAR to the public, teachers, schoolchildren, and the news media. Lee's work as an ambassador for science helps both NCAR and the larger community of atmospheric scientists to communicate our work to the public and inspire young people to consider science as a career. He has spent substantial personal time both developing materials and presenting them in many different settings.

  • Peggy LeMone (MMM), for more than two decades of "consistently, fervently, and unselfishly" moving science forward "in numerous and generous educational endeavors." A prolific writer, Peggy has contributed at all levels--graduate, undergraduate, and K-12. She has been involved in the Education and Tour program since its inception, has served in Project LEARN, and has been active in the American Meteorological Society's Project Atmosphere. She is an affiliate professor at Colorado State University and has served on student committees at five universities.

    A beaming Peggy LeMone receives the performance award for education. Also pictured are Bill Pennell, Bob Serafin, and Rick Anthes.
  • Starley Thompson and Carter Emmart (CGD), for their efforts over the past three years to communicate the results of global climate system models to the general public and to enhance public education on several levels. They have prepared two award-winning videos that they and NCAR have used extensively as educational and outreach tools. The two have also participated in education presentations in support of UCAR and initiated a collaborative relationship with the University of Colorado's Fiske Planetarium that has resulted in an enhanced facility for teaching.

  • Joe VanAndel (ATD), for his work in establishing a computer network at Centennial Middle School. The network allowed students at Centennial to be the first in the world to publish a student newspaper on the Internet. Joe also worked with University of Colorado technical staff to set up the Web browsers Lynx and Mosaic on the Boulder Valley School District-wide network. Joe is now working with CU to develop technical standards that will allow other schools to publish newspapers electronically.

    Technical Support

    This honor recognizes a team or individual for a single superior performance or a history of noteworthy effort in such areas as instrument maintenance or fabrication, computer or data management, software/system development, or other technical support.
  • Mitch Baltuch, Glenn Davis, Steve Emmerson, and Robb Kambic (Unidata), for designing, developing, and successfully deploying the nationwide Unidata Internet Data Distribution system. The system, now used at 101 university sites, is "the only large-scale system in existence that transfers significant volumes of data (over 12 gigabytes per day . . .) with high reliability in near- real time on the Internet." It was completed nearly a year ahead of the original schedule.

  • Erik Miller (ATD), for management, postprocessing, and documentation of the extensive data set obtained during the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere program's Coupled Ocean- Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA/COARE). "Erik undertook this work with a holistic approach, seeking and accepting responsibilities for all factors affecting the final data quality and utility." The data set is now being analyzed by researchers around the world.

    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.
  • Greg McArthur (SCD), for his leadership and contributions in establishing a UCAR/NCAR presence on the World Wide Web and for promoting the use of Web technologies in virtually every aspect of UCAR/NCAR organizational support. Among Greg's activities in this effort are designing and developing the first Web-based version of the NCAR Annual Scientific Report, establishing NCAR's Web home page (which has been accessed 1.6 million times this year), and seeking new and better ways to bring this emergent technology to every staff member.

  • Lena Miller (Facilities Support Services), for implementing Central Stores. The stores offer an efficient and cost-effective way to get supplies and parts as soon as they are needed so that staff can be more productive on their own projects. "She has been instrumental in creating a model of excellence that provides the customers what they want, when they want it, for a fair and reasonable price. . . . Her dedication to finding the most environmentally sensitive product for a given application continually enhances our commitment to the environment."

    For a full listing of Performance Award Winners, see Performance Award Winners through 1995

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    Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu
    Last revised: Thu Mar 30 11:28:38 MST 2000