A UCAR/NCAR tradition was upheld--but with some new twists--at the all-staff holiday party, sponsored by the Employee Activities Committee, on 10 December at the Mesa Lab. After almost a year of review, the annual Outstanding Performance Awards have been streamlined into four main categories, with a top-level Distinguished Achievement Award added. Not all awards will be given every year, and nominations are no longer publicized. (See sidebar below for more on these changes.)
NOTE (November 2002): Beginning in 2000, nominations were again publicized. We have since added a page with the full list of 1999 awards and nominations.
This year, awards were given in three categories:
B. C. Low (third from left) accepts his Outstanding Publication prize from (left) NCAR director Bob Serafin, UCAR president Rick Anthes, and UOP director Jack Fellows. (Photos by Carlye Calvin.)
Hans De Sterck and Boon Chye Low (HAO) and Stefaan Poedts (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium), "Complex magnetohydrodynamic bow shock topology in field-aligned low-beta flow around a perfectly conducting cylinder," Physics of Plasmas 5(11), 4015-4027. This paper significantly improves our understanding of the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) shock structures that form due to high-speed gas and magnetic field outflows from the sun impacting the interplanetary medium and the magnetospheres of the Earth and other planets. The phenomenon of high-speed MHD flow impinging on an obstacle has previously been poorly understood. Through an elegant combination of numerical simulations and ensuing analysis, the authors have brought new and surprising insight into this phenomenon, which occurs in many places in our solar system and, indeed, throughout the universe.
Flanked by Bob Serafin (left) and Rick Anthes and Jack Fellows (right) are four award-winning RAP staff: Paddy McCarthy, Greg Thompson, Shelly Knight, and Frank Hage.|
Science and Technical Accomplishment
Greg Thompson, Paddy McCarthy, Frank Hage, and Shelly Knight (RAP) for the development of the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS). ADDS is a Web-based information service (http://adds.awc-kc.noaa.gov) that makes sophisticated aviation weather products and associated flight-planning tools available to any on-line user. Through several modest grants, the system grew out of an ad-hoc Web site devoted to aviation weather. ADDS is now being used by major airlines, corporations, the armed services, and private aviators. The manager of meteorology for United Airlines said he could "not recall a more significant advance in the production and delivery of essential aviation products than ADDS."
Education and Outreach
Bev Lynds (formerly with Unidata) for her outstanding contributions to science education, culminating in the creation of the Skymath teaching modules. Bev was a cornerstone of education and outreach within UCAR for nearly a decade. Skymath takes advantage of a student's natural interest in scientific discovery and uses this as a vehicle for fostering enthusiasm in mathematics. As a result of Bev's creativity, tremendous drive, and hard work, Skymath has been adopted in many classrooms nationally and internationally. Much of Bev's work was contributed on a volunteer basis while at UCAR, from her retirement as an astronomer through this year.
A list of all Oustanding Performance Awards given since the program's inception can be found at the
Performance Awards Web page. --BH
Why the changes?
The Outstanding Performance Awards were founded in the 1960s to recognize the highest achievements of NCAR staff (later extended to all UCAR employees). The program began with the Outstanding Publication Award in 1967; four other honors were added through the years. In 1999, a committee organized by Dale Kellogg (executive assistant to NCAR director Bob Serafin) gave the awards program a thorough review and instituted the first major overhaul since its inception. As noted in a memo to staff from Rick Anthes on 9 December, this year brings "a rededication of our intent to recognize the most significant and noteworthy accomplishments of UCAR."
In making these changes, Rick notes, "We have enlisted the help of people throughout UCAR: the divisions and programs that nominate staff and their accomplishments; the advice and counsel of the Human Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC), which recommended changes to the policies and procedures involved in the awards process; the UCAR Management Committee, which reviewed and adopted the final policy; and the UCAR-wide jury that deliberates and makes the final selection of the recipients."
Key changes include the following:
The committee behind these changes, led by ATD director Dave Carlson, will complete its work in 2000. If you have comments or suggestions, please pass them on to the HRAC. --BH
- Expansion of the time frame of each award category to include multiyear achievements. The Outstanding Publication Award has long allowed for nominations of papers written as long as five years ago but whose importance has become more evident through time. This principle has now been extended to allow achievements spanning as long as five years to be eligible in other award categories.
- A relaxation of the rule that each award be given every year. There may now be categories in which no award is made in a given year.
- Clarification of eligibility rules so that members of a nominated team can be recognized in a more equitable manner.
- Confidentiality of nominations, which are no longer announced in advance or at the ceremony. According to Rick, "This is in keeping with many award processes in our community, including the NOAA medals, [American Meteorological Society] awards and fellowships, and [American Geophysical Union] fellowships."
- Creation of a top-level Distinguished Achievement Award. This new honor carries a monetary prize of $10,000 and can be given for a publication, development of new technologies, education and outreach, or other leadership and support activities consistent with UCAR missions. A Distinguished Achievement Award represents "the very best of UCAR's accomplishmentsìone that significantly enhances UCAR's reputation." As with the other awards, there may be years in which no Distinguished Achievement honor is given.
- Streamlining of the former five award categories into the four listed below:
- Outstanding Publication--given for published results of original research, review papers, pedagogically oriented books, or other contributions to atmospheric science, broadly defined, or for works that connect atmospheric science with other disciplines or with matters of public policy.
- Science and Technical Accomplishment--given for efforts leading to substantial improvements in scientific and/or technical capabilities, including advances in hardware or software engineering, computer science, and applied science. Accomplishments in this category might, but do not necessarily, result in a scientific or technical publication.
- Administration--given for eforts that substantially improve UCAR's ability to manage its affairs. Activities in this category might include efficiencies in managing information, improved processes within or interactions among UCAR entities or with funding agencies, or enhanced services or support to UCAR employees.
- Education and Outreach--given for efforts having a significant impact on, and leading to improvements in, scientific, mathematical, or technical education, or for other efforts that significantly enhance the public†s understanding of scientific or technical issues. These activities may involve postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate, K-12, or general-public education.
A different kind of millennium was recognized at this year's holiday party, as UCAR honored a group of staff who have put in a collective 1,130 years of service. Each of these employees has been at UCAR continuously for at least 30 years (term lengths are indicated in parentheses below). Some have been here for even longer, with breaks separating earlier stints of service.|
Bottom row: Warren Washington (36), Chester Newton (33), Vic Tisone (31), Andy Skumanich (38).
Second row: Kathy Strand (30), Harriet Barker (34), Bernie O†Lear (35), Marcel Verstraete (32).
Third row: Norm Zrubek (31), Ray Roble (30), Akira Kasahara (33), Peter Gilman (30), Chuck Frush (33), Toni Biter (33).
Fourth row: Paul Swarztrauber (36), Fred Clare (30), Dick Oye (31), Dennis Joseph (33).
Fifth row: Dave Williamson (31), Will Kellogg (32), Dave Fulker (33), Dick Friesen (34), Rol Madden (32).
Back row: Rich Lueb (36), John Firor (35), Don Lenschow (34), Bill Mankin (30), David Waltman (33), Roy Jenne (34).
Not pictured: Dave Baumhefner (33), Ben Domenico (30), Charlie Knight (37), Hayden Mathews (31), Harry van Loon (33).
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall