University Relations Committee Meeting
Relations Committee met at Millersville University of Pennsylvania in
Millersville, PA on 25 April 2000.
University of Arizona
University of Washington
Richard Clark, Millersville
University of Pennsylvania
University of Oklahoma (Chairman)
Matt Hitchman, University
Ken Pickering, University
Gene Takle, Iowa
Mingfang Ting, University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Atmospheric Technology Division
Head, UCAR & Lower-Atmosphere Facilities Oversight Section
for all or part of the meeting were:
Dave Carlson, Director,
Atmospheric Technology Division, NCAR
Walt Dabberdt, Associate
Jack Fellows, Vice
President of Corporate Affairs and Director of UOP
Susan Friberg, Administrator,
Budget and Planning Office, NCAR
Susan Warner, Executive
TUESDAY, 25 APRIL
No notes are
taken during the Executive Session.
Droegemeier welcomed the attendees and thanked Rich Clark for hosting
the University Relations Committee at Millersville University. The committee
reviewed and approved both the agenda and the draft notes from last October's
meeting. Droegemeier pointed out that Tim Killeen, NCAR's new director,
was originally on the agenda to speak with the committee.
Rick Anthes explained
that Killeen's schedule did not permit him to attend but that Killeen
is looking forward to meeting the committee in October and that he is
interested in enhancing university relations.
Head of ATM's UCAR & Lower-Atmosphere Facilities Oversight Section,
reported on NSF's FY2001 Budget Request. He reported that the $4.6B budget
request, which is an 17.3% increase over FY2000, is the best NSF has ever
had. He pointed out that Research and Related Activities is slated to
receive an increase of almost 20%. In his overview of NSF's main initiatives,
Jacobs reported that Information Technology (IT) Research is a multi-agency
initiative with NSF as the lead player and that NSF is particularly interested
in the IT Applications area. Biocomplexity in the Environment is another
broad initiative encompassing many areas, with a projected budget of up
to $1B over the next five years.
elaborated on NSF's 2001 budget by reporting that GEO's budget will increase
by 19.5% and that atmospheric sciences will increase by 17.7% and ocean
sciences by 22.2%. After cautioning the committee that most of the increase
is slated for initiatives, Jacobs said that GEO plans on a substantial
increase in the biocomplexity initiative. He added that the Global Change
Program will be funded at the FY2000 level. As he had mentioned earlier
in his report, HIAPER is not in the 2001 budget for Major Research Equipment.
It is hoped that a substantial increase will be in the 2002 budget and
that by 2005 the research aircraft will be ready.
asked about the future of the USWRP; Jacobs replied that it is still a
high priority for NSF but he was not optimistic about its future after
noting the program's history. Gene Takle stated his concern that more
money needs to be budgeted for basic research and noted that the U.S.
is falling behind Japan and other countries in this area.
In his briefing
on UCAR's recent activities, UCAR President Anthes reported on the process
followed by the NCAR Director Search Committee which resulted in the nomination
and acceptance of Killeen as the new director. In addition Killeen's wife,
Roberta Johnson, will join UCAR with a joint appointment as an scientist
in HAO and as a Director of UCAR Education and Outreach. They will be
on-board July 1st. Anthes continued by reviewing NCAR's 40th
Anniversary activities that are being planned which includes a visit by
Rita Colwell during the June Board Meeting in Boulder. Other 40th
anniversary events include an interactive Web survey that will go out
to the community in May, and the publication this Fall of a special edition
of UCAR Highlights, a sequel to the UCAR at 25 document.
reviewing Corporate Affairs' activities, Anthes pointed out that the Membership
Committee is considering three new applicants for UCAR membership and
one for affiliate membership. Next, in his report on Finance & Administration,
he announced their move to East Pearl, and reported that the refurbishment
of Mesa Lab 's is progressing as planned and that BRAN, a high-speed fiber
optic network, has been completed. In continuing his overview of UCAR
Highlights, Anthes reported that SOARS, a nationally recognized success
program, will be up for a renewal in June; announced that Tim Brenner,
U of Colorado, will be the first fellow for the AMS Congressional Fellow
program; and reported on the recent visit of GEO Assistant Director Margaret
Leinen to Boulder.
his report by listing future issues and opportunities for UCAR, among
which were the research aircraft HIAPER, the search for a new ACD Director,
NSF reviews, and FY2000 and FY2001 budgets. Droegemeier suggested to Anthes
that if information could be extracted from the new Highlights document
and published in BAMS, students would be more likely to read it and as
a result become more informed about UCAR and NCAR.
announced that several vacancies on the URC will occur this Fall and asked
the committee to give Anthes nominations of people they think would be
active and interested in serving on this committee.
Office of Programs Status Report
Jack Fellows reviewed the mission and focus areas of UOP. After describing
the eight programs of UOP, Fellows highlighted some of their activities.
He reported that COMET celebrated their 10th Anniversary at
the AMS meeting last January and that COMET's MetEd Website was still
very active. He noted that PAGE has had an extremely good year and explained
the program received two grants. One grant will support the Virtual Exploratorium,
a prototype geosciences learning tool using visualization, and that a
demo will be presented at the upcoming October meetings. The other grant
will provide for a Geoscience Digital Library, which will aid faculty
in finding, using and creating resources to support learning in undergraduate
Earth systems science.
Unidata's activities, Fellows announced that this program is having their
15th Anniversary, that the first Russell DeSouza Award was
given to Harold J. Edmon (U of Washington), and that Unidata's summer
workshop will be held in Boulder on 19-23 June. He reported on SuomiNet,
a proposal in the GPS Science & Technology (GST) program, and said
that 170 sites have registered, 27 of them international, and that 30
commitment letters for 41 sites have been received by UCAR. Fellows reviewed
JOSS' Mesoscale Alpine Program, noted that the field phase ended in November
and added that data from this program is available via the JOSS field
concluded his report by reviewing recent events in the COSMIC program.
In January 2000 UCAR was accused of violating an aerospace company's IP,
and while UCAR does not agree with this accusation, has partnered with
this company. Final details of the agreement are now being ironed out
and by May a contract should be signed.
updated the committee on the status of including atmospheric sciences
departments in the National Research Council (NRC) rating of science departments
at U.S. universities. Fellows and Anthes have explained to the NRC that
the atmospheric sciences programs are inter-disciplinary in nature and
therefore the number of doctoral students are greater than shown. Since
this project is already a year late and has no funding, Fellows will just
monitor the progress for the present.
reported on UCAR's 2000-01 advocacy priorities that were determined by
working with Lewis-Burke Associates, UCAR's Washington, D.C. consultants,
and with the community. He summarized the proposed priorities:
- NSF — overall
budget will be supported with special attention given to Research &
Related Activities and Major Research Equipment, namely HIAPER
- NOAA — overall
budget will be supported but opposition will be given to privatization
of weather services legislation
- NASA — overall
support will be given to the Office of Earth Science with emphasis given
to EOS programs, Office of Space Science, and Office of Aero-Space Technology
- DOE — support
Biological and Environmental Research, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement
Program, Climate Modeling and Advanced Computing Research
- FAA — support
the Weather Program
- Other Issues —
data access, visas, and supercomputing in the U.S.
next reported on the Office of Government Affairs (OGA) activities. After
reviewing recent visits of congressmen and their staff members to UCAR,
he listed the various outreach activities of OGA, which included exhibits,
action alerts, written testimonies given on behalf of the UCAR community,
and letters sent regarding appropriations and FY01 budgets.
Director Walt Dabberdt updated the committee on recent activities of NCAR.
In reviewing the Strategic Plan for Scientific Simulation, he gave the
background leading up to the development of the plan, including the findings
of the NSF code assessment panel in July of last year. The plan, after
final input from the Advisory Panel, will be submitted to NSF May 19th.
After listing the six themes of the plan, Dabberdt then discussed the
challenges that were identified by the Advisory Panel at their 4/21/00
meeting. Of these challenges, the overarching problem was the "new culture,"
along with the need to develop a prototype development project and how
best to engage the community in this plan.
reported that the allocation of SCD's computing resources are split 50-50
between NCAR and the universities, and that the users of LAOF (Lower Atmospheric
Observing Facilities) systems are 56% universities, 27% NCAR, agencies
10% and joint 7%. He continued by giving the status on HIAPER—even though
there was no money in the FY2001 President's Request, NSF is giving the
initiative high priority for FY2002. He also said that the final RFP will
be available by mid-May of this year and a contract award may be given
as early as February 2001. He next reported on TOPSE (Tropospheric Ozone
Production about the Spring Equinox), a collaborative research project,
originating in ACD, that is studying springtime ozone maximum in the northern
In his update
on the ACD Director search, Dabberdt said that six finalists have been
interviewed and that by early May a decision will be made. After noting
that the number of female scientists at NCAR will increase by three this
summer, he concluded his report by announcing the upcoming community events
at NCAR occurring this summer—CEDAR, CCSM and ASP Summer Colloquium.
Liaison Reports and Update
described the liaison program to the new committee members and concluded
that this program needs to become more active. He added that the initiative
in these interactions should be from the URC liaison and not from the
NCAR division director. The one report given was by the ASP liaison, Eric
Betterton, on his involvement in ASP's selection process. After noting
that this is the first time URC has participated in this process, Betterton
said that he reviewed ASP's short list, numbering around 20, and found
that all the applicants were very well qualified and that he discerned
no geographical basis in the selection.
the new liaison appointment list which was drawn up to reflect the current
ACD — Matt Hitchman
ASP — Ken Pickering
ATD — Gene Takle
CGD — Chris
ESIG — to be
HAO — to be
MMM — Mingfang
RAP — to be
SCD — Kelvin
For the Fall URC
meeting, Droegemeier requested that reports be given by the divisional
liaisons for SCD, CGD, ATD, and MMM. Also in the Fall the "to be determined"
divisions will be assigned liaisons from the incoming URC members.
Development at Universities
the background on his paper soon to be published in Bulletin of American
Meteorological Society. A self-organized committee, Study on Observational
Systems (SOS-I), sent out a survey in 1989 to 93 universities—48 universities
and colleges responded. From this survey SOS-I concluded that "a serious
imbalance appears to have developed between observational and theoretical/numerical
components of the atmospheric sciences." The committee also identified
six problems areas that contributed to this perceived imbalance. In 1997
the American Meteorological Society Committee on Measurements proposed
revisiting this issue and the committee SOS-II was formed. Takle, a member
of both SOS committees, developed a survey to address the issues raised
in the SOS-I report; this survey was sent out to the same community as
before and 53 institutions responded.
up the results of this survey. He reported that of the six problem areas,
two are still serious—the observational systems still lag behind computational
systems in upgrading and replacing equipment and there is still a great
need for quality instruction on measurement technology. Takle described
the "ensemble" approach, which was used to analyze the data and from this
approach 64% of the universities contended that the problems remain serious
or are even worse than 10 years ago. Takle then reviewed his seven recommendations
in addressing these issues.
Director of ATD, complimented Takle on his conclusions. Carlson continued
by saying that NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences had done a systematic
study on this balance of modeling vs. observational and it was concluded
that the mixture had not changed in the past 5 to 7 years. In reviewing
the use of ATD-supported facilities, Carlson said that universities were
not well represented in the use of lidars and in the use of radiometers
and other small instruments. He noted that seven universities are about
to acquire their own radars, and not having much training in instrumentation,
have asked ATD to help put them together. ATD does not have the staff
to provide this service.
He pointed out
three main weakness in the facility requests that come from universities.
First, the requests come in late and the instruments and platforms have
already been allocated; the faculty are too busy to plan their courses
far enough in advance to be considered in this allocation process. Another
problem the universities face is the expense associated with the shipping
of instruments and in the support of technologists. Carlson added that
ATD is working on making the instruments more mobile to lower the costs.
Lastly, even though the money and equipment may be there, the requests
do not satisfactorily answer questions on how it fits in the curriculum,
is it more than a one-time show and tell, and what is the hands-on benefit.
In pointing out that data from the TOPSE field program are on the Web,
Carlson said there is a rich resource out there but the difficulty is
knowing about it in time to incorporate in one's curriculum.
In the discussion
that followed it was brought out that traveling ground-based radars are
being used at universities and that the training of students to develop
new instruments is being addressed. The more prevailing problem is acquainting
students with the use of technology. Some of the suggestions offered were
to involve students in field camps and in major research programs. Possible
action items for the URC were then discussed. Carlson agreed to make available
a short list of NSF's Observing Facilities Advisory Panel (OFAP)'s guidelines
for granting education requests; he'll either bring it to the October
meeting or mail out to the committee before then. Bretherton suggested
a dataset be made available to the university community that would present
a picture of all the ATD equipment with a brief description. Carlson agreed
to look into this and provide a couple of examples of what would be possible.
the general schedule and agenda items for the upcoming October meetings,
Fellows noted that the overall topic, "Opportunities and Challenges for
the Future," came out of the forum discussion last year. Anthes explained
that the community survey, which was generated by the Board, is now out
for review and will be mailed to over 2000 people. Droegemeier emphasized
the importance of scheduling time for discussion and Anthes pointed out
that the agenda items will certainly fuel discussion among the Members.
Also discussed was Leinen's availability to talk with the Members and
with the Heads & Chairs on the environmental program, her main purview,
and also on how to enhance communication between laboratories and universities.
The committee also requested a discussion of GEO 2000 be included on the
agenda. Jacobs said he would check Leinen's schedule for that week and
added that he would that he would also check Jarvis Moyer's schedule.
Droegemeier said he would talk with Fred Carr (U of Oklahoma) who is developing
the Heads & Chairs' agenda.
student survey which was sent out mid-March to the UCAR Members was discussed.
Trustee Gabor Vali provided the URC with a preliminary report on the survey
results. The overall agreement of the URC was that the quality of students
was still high but that more work will be required in the recruitment
process. Droegemeier pointed out that the recruiting process is much more
sophisticated than it was in the past. There is an educated consumer now—students
are now asking what can you offer me. Also the market is much more competitive
with high tech growth companies offering high salaries. It was agreed
that this topic would be revisited after all the surveys were in and final
analysis of the data completed.
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Review of NCAR and UCAR Office of Programs
Non-Core Proposals, reported on the subcommittee's review of 70 proposals,
of which 65 were NCAR and five were UOP. The subcommittee (Hitchman, Chris
Bretherton, Mingfang Ting, and ex-officio member Droegemeier) found that
the majority of the proposals met the criteria. In continuing his report,
Hitchman brought up four issues that the subcommittee wished to discuss:
university collaboration letters, core benefit, technology transfer, and
In their review
of proposals the subcommittee found 12 proposals that had no collaboration
letters, of which eight had co-Investigator's listed on the proposal cover
page. Dabberdt replied that if the PI or Co-PI is named on the cover of
the proposal, no collaboration letter is requested. There was discussion
on how to substantiate this collaboration and on how much should be assumed.
In response to this discussion, Dabberdt offered to prepare a document
outlining the proposal guidelines, practices that preceded them, and a
history of past decisions of the subcommittee during this review process.
core benefit were addressed next. The subcommittee questioned the legitimacy
of proposals that are collaborative with non-UCAR universities or US federal
laboratories and proposals that are doing noncollaborative research at
NCAR, contributing to NCAR's core mission but are not enhancing community
resources. Questions on specific proposals were addressed by the NCAR's
director office. The questions were satisfied with additional information
on the proposal's work. To prevent this misunderstanding, it was suggested
that the subcommittee receive more explicit information.
third issue was on technology transfer. Hitchman reported that several
proposals were purely technology transfer proposals, with no community
benefit. He then asked if it would be worthwhile to clarify the policy
and add technology transfer to criterion 4, which now states:
"Explain how the
activity would contribute to the development or support of community
facilities, community models, or other community projects such as field
programs, and as such has a demonstrable benefit to the community."
it was agreed that Dabberdt would draft up a revised criterion 4, that
discussion on this draft would commence via e-mail, and that approval
would be requested at the October meeting.
The fourth issue
questioned the level of cosponsorship in some of the proposals. In some
cases the subcommittee felt that high salary cosponsorship could be construed
as unfair competition. It was pointed out that the subcommittee only reviewed
the proposed budget and did not see the final budget. In the written response
it was noted that only one proposal had cosponsorship over 20% and that
this proposal was ultimately strengthening the core program.
thanked the subcommittee for their report and thanked everyone for the
resulting dialogue. A new subcommittee was appointed: Bretherton (Chairman),
Ken Pickering, and Ting.
Also at this time
it was agreed that the next Spring meeting of the URC would meet at the
University of Maryland. This venue would facilitate visits from NSF, ENSEP,
and NASA officials. Meeting dates will be suggested by Pickering and then
the committee will be polled via e-mail on availability.
gave his thoughts on how to stimulate interest from universities. A few
of his suggestions were to highlight the joint activities of universities
and NCAR, and to target money toward initiatives that require collaboration
between university and NCAR scientists. A collaborative grant proposal
for a fundamental science project with NCAR and the universities was discussed.
He emphasized that there has to be a reason for the university community
to learn about NCAR. He added that the burden is on the URC to educate
the universities on NCAR activities. The Member Liaison Program was mentioned
as another avenue to increase interaction between universities and NCAR;
a follow-up on the effectiveness of this program was suggested.
once again thanked Clark for hosting the URC at Millersville University
The committee adjourned