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November 1998

Educom Medal puts spotlight on Dave Fulker and Unidata

Dave Fulker with his Educom Medal. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

Colleges and universities across the nation are using innovative technologies to enhance learning in meteorology. For outstanding contributions in this area, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and EDUCAUSE awarded the 1998 Educom Medal to Unidata director Dave Fulker. Dave received one of five 1998 Educom Medals at a 15 October presentation in Orlando, Florida.

The awards committee cites Dave's leadership and Unidata's success in providing universities with access to atmospheric and related data for use in science instruction. Unidata's Internet Data Distribution system puts current weather data in reach of colleges and universities of all sizes. Professors draw on the data not just for atmospheric science courses, but for instruction in oceanography, geography, geology, and earth systems science as well.

Dave also supervised the development of the netCDF (Network Common Data Form), a software library for storing and retrieving scientific data. The awards committee cited netCDF as a standard for exchanging data across commercial and noncommercial software systems.

UCAR president Rick Anthes calls Unidata "one of UCAR's most successful educational programs. The availability of current weather data through the Unidata program gives a wide range of university students across the nation a taste of real-world science. We are very proud of Dave's achievement and his selection for the AMS/EDUCAUSE award."

Dave is well known in Boulder as a musician. He recently concluded 34 years as principal trumpet with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, where he remains on the board of directors. Dave is also a founding member of the Centennial Brass Quintet, which has performed at many NCAR and UCAR events during Dave's 32 years on staff.

An AMS committee selected Dave in light of his contributions toward education in meteorology; the other Educom Medal Award winners were selected by the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Statistical Association, and the Linguistic Society of America. The Educom Medal is administered by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit consortium of colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and corporations, with offices in Washington, D.C., and Boulder. •


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