4. Corporate Goals for the Decade

In response to the challenges and opportunities created by today's research, funding, and human resources environments, many universities are broadening their teaching and research programs in atmospheric and related sciences and are also reaching out to new communities, such as the private sector, to forge alliances. In tune with its university partners, UCAR will continue to broaden in an evolutionary way and in a manner that builds upon and is grounded in the basic atmospheric sciences.

UCAR will participate in appropriate ways in national and international programs developed within the framework of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), the U.S. Weather Research Program, the International Council of Scientific Unions' International Geosphere- Biosphere Programme (IGBP), and the World Meteorological Organization's World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Well-documented national and international planning and research strategies exist for all of these programs. Primary among these are the global change publications of the interagency Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences and the recent U.S. Weather Research Plan produced by the CEES Subcommittee on Atmospheric Research. UCAR participation in these programs (outlined in Table 5) will include varying degrees of leadership and planning, scientific investigation, and provision of computational and observational facilities and logistical support.

Making progress on many of the critical problems in the atmospheric and related sciences requires a long-term commitment of individuals and teams of scientists, access to major computational and observational facilities and data sets, and coordination that ranges from organized large field experiments and community models to a wide spectrum of informal scientific collaborations and exchanges of ideas. NCAR's combination of integrated scientific, facilities, and education programs provides critical masses of scientists from a broad range of disciplines and of technological expertise to work with and support the universities in addressing these requirements. NCAR complements and extends the research, education, and service activities of the universities, by creating opportunities for collaboration, serving as an incubator for scientists, and providing a national--and often international--forum for discussion, debate, and scientific planning. For these reasons, a strong National Center for Atmospheric Research will be needed more than ever in the 1990s and beyond. In addition, new ways of conducting research in a distributed way must be explored and developed. Just as some key problems of the 1960s were too big for a single university to tackle, the problems of the 1990s and beyond are too big for a single center to address effectively.

UCAR and its constituent community will play a part in addressing national problems of education and scientific human resources. Bright, motivated scientists and educators to interpret, theorize, and collaborate must be supported and provided with the tools and opportunities to carry out their research. A scientifically literate populace is necessary to understand the need for support of science and the policies that are developed in response to increasing scientific understanding. Although educational institutions at all levels must take the lead in solving our country's widely recognized education problems, UCAR can help by making education-related activities a part of its programs. Significant educational programs already exist in NCAR, INO, OIES, Unidata, COMET, UNAVCO, and the several UCAR Visiting Scientist Programs. These programs must place increased emphasis on precollege and graduate education in the coming decade.

Most of UCAR's goals will be achieved through its programs and operating entities. Since many of these programs have common and overlapping interests, an important overall management goal is to develop greater synergistic interactions among them. UCAR's goals can be grouped in six general areas:

Of these six goal areas, science and research facilities are of highest priority. The remaining four goal areas, important in themselves, will be developed in a manner that supports advances in science and research facilities.

Progress toward achieving UCAR strategic goals and objectives will be evaluated on an ongoing basis through several mechanisms, including oversight and review of the status and plans of the UCAR programs by the Board of Trustees and its committees, the reviews by the external advisory committees of the individual UCAR programs, and the reviews conducted by the sponsors of UCAR programs. On a regular basis, appropriate UCAR programs will be peer-reviewed under the auspices of the Scientific Programs Evaluation Committee (SPEC) of the UCAR Members' Representatives, or through a similar process, as appropriate to the particular review.

4.1 Science

UCAR's general goal is to foster a broad scientific program of the highest quality to address present and future needs of society. Through the management and operation of NCAR, INO, and other programs, UCAR will:

  1. Initiate and shape scientific programs to identify, study, and explain the natural and human influences that profoundly affect the environment of the earth. For example, a fully coupled, interactive earth system model will be available for research throughout the community within ten years and a prototype model with ocean-atmosphere coupling will be available within five years. Prototype integrated mesoscale models will also be available in five years. These models will be based upon and verified by observations of the components of the earth system.

  2. Ensure the breadth and quality of research programs in the basic atmospheric sciences, including atmospheric chemistry; climate; dynamical, physical and synoptic meteorology; and solar physics.

  3. Develop and enhance programs involving disciplines closely related to the atmospheric sciences, including biology, ecology, engineering, geology, oceanography, and the social sciences.

  4. Lead the atmospheric and related sciences community in developing specific technologic and scientific programs--such as Unidata, OIES, UNAVCO, and the Climate System Modeling Program--that have a high potential for filling national and international gaps in the community's research agenda.

4.2 Research Facilities

UCAR will meet the need for state-of-the-art scientific research facilities within its purview for the atmospheric and related sciences community. Specific objectives are to:

  1. Acquire in a timely fashion the next generation of observational and computational facilities needed to address the scientific problems of the 1990s and beyond. For example, NCAR will acquire within five years a medium-range, high-altitude research aircraft and will develop advanced surface and remote sensing instrumentation to measure the physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere. NCAR also will maintain state-of- the-art high-performance computing, communications, and visualization facilities to support the community.

  2. Provide universities and national centers with operational and research atmospheric and earth-system data sets and four-dimensional diagnostic analysis software through Unidata, NCAR, INO, UNAVCO, and other UCAR programs.

  3. Provide researchers with logistical support for national and international field programs such as those in the USWRP, USGCRP, WCRP, and IGBP.

4.3 Education and Training

Because of the acute need for enhanced human resources in the next decade, UCAR will devote greater attention to education and training, with emphasis on women and minorities. Specific objectives are to:

  1. Enhance the educational and outreach programs within UCAR programs, for example, by strengthening the present postdoctoral and graduate fellowships, summer colloquia, workshops and training courses, and visitor programs within NCAR.

  2. Provide real-time weather data and the necessary software for display and analysis to colleges and universities, including colleges with predominantly minority students.

  3. Develop "living laboratory" programs at NCAR and INO to provide students and faculty with hands-on experience with modern observational and computational facilities. For example, time on observing facilities such as research aircraft will be allocated to universities for education and instrumentation development.

  4. Develop focused programs directed at precollege levels, such as ones to enhance the ability of precollege teachers to teach earth sciences.

  5. Enhance the training of weather forecasters in the United States and other countries.

4.4 Advocacy, Public Policy, and Communication

UCAR, in cooperation with other institutions such as the AMS, the Oceanography Society, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, the American Geophysical Union, and Joint Oceanographic Institutions, will play a stronger role in developing enhanced and more effective methods of communication among scientists, policymakers, and the general public in order to foster the use of science in the service of humankind. This will require development of informal networks of volunteers throughout the community. This network, organized and coordinated by the Office of Government Affairs, will include a diverse pool of talent that can be called upon to provide briefings and testimony and partake in other advocacy and communication forums. Specific objectives are:

  1. Educate scientists, policymakers, the media, and the general public on issues arising from the atmospheric and related sciences.

  2. Assess changes in the habitability of the earth derived from our increased understanding of the physical and biological environment of the earth, and inform national and international policymakers regarding these impacts.

Examples of actions to meet these objectives include providing factual and timely information and testimony to Congress and the policymaking community on environmental science issues; conducting Congressional scientific forums and briefings on topics of current interest; and preparing documents on the state of the science, needs, and priorities.

4.5 Technology Transfer

UCAR, in conjunction with the UCAR Foundation and UCAR member universities as appropriate, will enhance its technology transfer activities to ensure that UCAR technology that has practical application will be transferred to the public and private sectors. Success in technology transfer will ensure that work of value developed within UCAR programs benefits society and the taxpayers who support UCAR programs, and it will develop an additional source of resources to support UCAR scientific, technological, and educational programs. In its relationships with the private sector, UCAR will maintain the scientific integrity and objectivity of its scientific and technological programs and will not abrogate its responsibility for the free exchange of information, scientific results, data sets, and technologies throughout the UCAR community.

Specific objectives to achieve this goal are to:

  1. Transfer technology through UCAR's Office of Industry Relations, the NCAR Research Applications Program, and the UCAR Foundation. A specific action needed to achieve this objective will be the development of a comprehensive UCAR policy on intellectual property that states the goals and objectives of technology transfer, provides a strategy and process for achieving these goals, and defines the rights and responsibilities of UCAR employees who participate in these activities.

  2. Develop collaborative research efforts, as was done to establish the Model Evaluation Consortium for Climate Assessment (MECCA), an international industrial consortium on climate modeling assessment

  3. Strengthen UCAR's formal ties with private industry through the Corporate Affiliates Program.

4.6 Research and Operational Partnerships

UCAR will work to strengthen the relationship between the operational and research communities in the atmospheric, oceanic, and solid earth sciences. Specific objectives to achieve this goal are:

  1. Transfer the results of basic and applied research into operational products of mission agencies and the private sector, and encourage feedback from operational experience and requirements into the basic research community.

  2. Provide scientific and technological leadership for programs, such as the USWRP, that foster collaboration and cooperation between operational and research communities.

  3. Develop collaborative research and educational programs, such as those in COMET, between operational and research meteorologists.

  4. Develop a strong interface between oceanographic research and operational activities, and between data users and modelers in NCAR, INO, and the Visiting Scientist Programs.

  5. Develop satellite positioning and navigation research applications among UNAVCO and the atmospheric and oceanic science communities.

4.7 Corporate Management Goals

To ensure the ability to achieve these goals and enable the Corporation to fulfill its mission, UCAR has established four corporate goals:

  1. Ensure the continued high quality of all UCAR programs and maintain a record of excellence such that UCAR is viewed as an "organization of choice" for management and operation of community- developed programs in the atmospheric and related sciences.

  2. Increase communication and the visibility of the atmospheric sciences nationally and internationally and in all the constituent sectors through university visits, sponsor visits, expansion of various affiliate programs, and participation in national and international planning activities.

  3. Broaden the membership and governance of UCAR to represent those disciplines related to the atmospheric sciences that are critical to UCAR's goal of improving understanding of the global earth system and its natural and human-induced changes.

  4. Prepare and implement a comprehensive staff development program, building on existing activities but augmenting them in creative ways and through expanded sources of funding support (for instance, private sources) in order to create a stimulating and nurturing environment at UCAR that is conducive to productivity, diversity, high morale, and employee advancement.

Mission Statement
Preface: The UCAR Vision
Executive Summary
1. The Global Environment
2. UCAR--Past and Present
3. Challenges and Opportunities
4. Corporate Goals for the Decade
5. A Look Ahead