Atmospheric Research - NCAR & UCAR
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Program Description

A program to encourage and strengthen the cooperation between UCAR member and non-member educational institutions in the United States, Canada and Mexico.


The UCAR Academic Affiliates Program (AAP) provides a mechanism for North American colleges and universities which do not qualify as UCAR Members to more formally participate in, and contribute to, the UCAR community's scientific and educational activities-for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of the larger atmospheric and related sciences community. Like the UCAR International Affiliates Program (IAP), the AAP encourages collegiality, communication, and collaborations among a specific segment of the education and scientific community who have common interests in matters of research, policy and education.


The interest in such a program was first brought to the attention of UCAR by President Richard A. Anthes in 1988. President Anthes, along with the UCAR Membership Committee, recognized that significant educational and research programs exist in many North American colleges and universities that do not qualify for UCAR Membership; for example, many of the colleges and universities which grant B.A./B.S. and/or M.S. degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences, or institutions which grant Ph.D. degrees but do not otherwise qualify for UCAR membership. Thus, to provide more explicit mechanisms for cooperation and communication between UCAR Members and these non-member institutions, as well as to recognize more formally the scientific opportunities that already exist within the community as a whole, a program for the affiliation of these institutions with UCAR was developed.


The Academic Affiliates Program is a vehicle for strengthening and reinforcing professional interaction, collaboration, and collegiality for institutions who are not Members of UCAR. This program facilitates formal communications between Academic Affiliates and UCAR and UCAR Members through the designation of a representative of the Affiliate institution who serves as a point of contact for UCAR and Affiliate interactions, and who participates in the Annual UCAR Members' meeting.

Enhanced communications also serve to better expose UCAR and UCAR Members' activities, such as the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET), Unidata, and various internships, colloquia and university programs and projects, to Affiliate institutions and, thus, encourage the participation in these activities by this broader group of teachers, scientists, and students.


A. The prospective Affiliate must be a regionally accredited educational institution offering a B.A./B.S. degree or higher in the atmospheric and related sciences. The AAP provides the opportunity for institutions that may not qualify for UCAR Membership to formally affiliate with UCAR. It is of special interest to the UCAR Membership Committee that UCAR actively seek participation by minority institutions which have programs in atmospheric or related sciences.

Only nonprofit corporations organized and operated for educational, professional, or scientific purposes shall be eligible for membership. Such an institution may be considered eligible for Affiliate membership in the Corporation if it:

  • Has made a definitive, substantial, and continuing commitment to a full, coherent, and integrated program of course studies leading to a baccalaureate and/or graduate degree in one or more of the atmospheric sciences and related fields;
  • Has made a definitive, substantial, and continuing commitment to progress in the atmospheric sciences or related fields as evidenced by significant activities in research, education or outreach by its faculty in the atmospheric sciences or related fields; and
  • Is willing to make a clear and continuing commitment to active participation in the activities of the Corporation, including governance, and its programs and facilities.

B. The application process will consist of the submission, by the Chief Executive Officer of the interested institution, of a statement of interest expressing a desire to join the AAP, and materials describing the participating academic departments or areas. The Membership Committee will review the materials for conformance with the broad program guidelines stated in the previous section and will recommend action to the UCAR President.

C. An institution's affiliation will be for a term of eight years. An institution may apply for renewal of its affiliation by following Procedures for Renewal Application to the Academic Affiliates Program.

D. Each Affiliate institution will designate one representative who will serve as the institution's primary link with UCAR, the Members, and other Affiliates. This person will be designated by the Chief Executive Officer of her/his institution.

E. An initiation fee of $800 will be assessed each Affiliate institution for the first year of participation; subsequently, a fee of $400 will be assessed annually. These funds will be used to meet costs of the Affiliates' participation in UCAR annual meetings.

F. UCAR encourages and welcomes attendance by the Affiliate institution's designated representative, as a non-voting participant, at all annual Members' meetings.


The following benefits to the atmospheric science community, as well as to UCAR Members and AAP participants, also serve as objectives of the Academic Affiliates Program:

  1. Enhance Scientific Association and Collaboration
    A formal affiliation of additional institutions with UCAR provides a mechanism to facilitate and encourage collaboration in scientific and educational efforts. Development responsibility for new education-related initiatives and materials such as software, data networks, workbooks, visual aids, etc., can be spread over a large number of institutions if there is a formal bond among them that will encourage and permit joint planning.
  2. To Further Academic Excellence in Science
    A formal administrative link between Member and Affiliate institutions will provide an effective channel for information about educational and research program opportunities; this will allow institutions in each category to help students better plan their education and achieve their academic goals. It is expected that through a better informed and more active Affiliates community, UCAR Members will benefit from stronger undergraduate and M.S. programs at Affiliates' institutions which will provide a larger and stronger pool of qualified Ph.D. candidates.
  3. To Promote Minority College and University Participation
    Historically, minority institutions have been under-represented in the educational and scientific activities of the nation. Participation by these institutions in the Academic Affiliates Program will foster closer bonds between minority colleges and universities, and the UCAR community. The entrainment of that segment of our educational and research establishment into all activities of the atmospheric and related sciences community will be mutually beneficial.
  4. To Strengthen Local and National Funding Advocacy
    Better communication among ALL interested educational institutions will allow for more effective collective effort toward improving funding for education and research in the atmospheric/related sciences. Also, the fact that an educational institution has been sufficiently outward looking to become a UCAR Academic Affiliate may be useful to that institution when negotiating for funding or soliciting donations from alumni.
  5. To Increase Visibility Within the Affiliate's Own Institution
    If an institution is a UCAR Affiliate, it will provide the Affiliate's faculty and associated departments with increased visibility within their organization that can be beneficial to faculty and departmental teaching and research goals.


The Academic Affiliates Program will be reviewed by the UCAR Membership Committee every eight years.

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