5. A Look Ahead

Great changes have occurred in the world and in the way science and education are carried out since UCAR and NCAR were founded in 1959. A rapidly changing global environment in which science and education are inextricably entwined will lead to additional profound changes in the next decade, and the prospect of these changes in the external environment, as well as changes produced by the UCAR community itself, make projections into the future difficult. Nevertheless, it is instructive to speculate on what UCAR might look like in 2001 as it fulfills the mission and goals described in this outlook.

Most, if not all, of the organizational infrastructure necessary to accomplish the UCAR goals is in place. However, accelerating the rate of progress in the atmospheric and related sciences--in order to provide society with the information on the earth system so urgently needed-- will require new resources. Given the current and growing importance of the atmospheric and related sciences to society, it is reasonable to assume a real growth in university and UCAR programs over the next decade. Growth in UCAR programs should occur slowly in order to maintain programs of highest quality. Additionally, it is important to emphasize that growth for growth's sake is not an objective; it must be justified on the basis of need and quality. Programs that no longer have sufficient merit or meet a real need will be discontinued. Only by developing and sustaining programs of acknowledged quality and recognized need will UCAR be deemed successful.

Great progress has been made in achieving the initial and far-sighted vision of the founders of UCAR and NCAR. The success to date is a solid foundation on which to build for an even greater future.

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