|TO:||Board of Trustees|
|UCAR University Relations Committee|
|UCAR Academic Affiliates|
|FROM:||Richard A. Anthes|
|SUBJECT:||President's Report for October 2001 meetings of Board of Trustees, UCAR|
|Members' Representatives, University Relations Committee and Academic Affiliates|
Ladies and Gentlemen:
This report includes some of the highlights of UCAR's corporate, education and outreach activities since the October 2000 meetings. Following the end of UCAR and NCAR's year-long 40th anniversary celebration, it covers an exciting period of strategic planning and accomplishments. Led by Roberta Johnson, we developed UCAR's first strategic plan for education and outreach (http://www.ucar.edu/educ_outreach/stratplan.html ). NCAR has nearly completed its new strategic plan, and you will hear more about this at the October meetings; you may read the draft at http://www.ncar.ucar.edu/stratplan/. NCAR has made major progress on the acquisition of two major community facilities - HIAPER (High Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research) and ARCS (the Advanced Research Computing System). Two significant field programs have been successfully completed in 2001, ACE-Asia and EPIC (East Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes). Somewhat sadly, the Electra was retired after 30 years of service to the scientific community. We have made good progress in refurbishing the Mesa Lab (you will be slightly inconvenienced by the work in progress at the October meetings), and we are making significant progress toward building an addition on the Foothills Lab campus.
This report, and the NCAR and UOP reports, contain additional details on the above items.
NCAR report: http://www.ncar.ucar.edu/Board/Oct01.html
UOP report: http://www.uop.ucar.edu/botoct01/
In addition, I refer you to the February 2001 power point presentations from Tim Killeen, Jack Fellows, and me to the Trustees: http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/feb01/ppt.html .
1.0 UCAR's Corporate Activities
1.1 Conclusion of UCAR and NCAR 40th Anniversary Celebration
As you know, the annual meeting of the UCAR Members' Representatives in October 2000 ended a year of celebration for UCAR and NCAR's 40th anniversary and planning for the future. UCAR management, the Board of Trustees, and the UCAR and NCAR directors used this milestone as an opportunity to reflect upon past achievements and to help set the agenda for the institution well into the 21st century. AeroVironment Chairman, Paul MacCready, keynoted the final NCAR and UCAR anniversary event, the banquet at the Mesa Lab on the evening of 10 October. A retrospective on the year and a photographic scrapbook of the anniversary banquet may be found on UCAR's 40th anniversary web site http://www.ucar.edu/40th/.
Following the 40th year activities, Trustee Chairman Otis Brown, URC Chairman Kelvin Droegemeir, UCAR V.P. for Corporate Affairs Jack Fellows and I wrote an article for the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) "UCAR and NCAR at 40." Summarizing the year of celebration and planning and the community survey conducted during 2000, the article appeared in the June 2001 issue of BAMS. Reprints will be available to all at the October meetings. If you are not going to be at the meetings and would like a copy, please let me know.
1.2 Graduate Student Applications and "Recruiting For The Discipline"
During the past two years the UCAR Trustees have spent considerable time studying an issue regarding the decline in quantity, and possibly quality, of graduate student applications to UCAR universities. My article in the Spring 2000 issue of the UCAR Quarterly introduces this issue and provides some interesting demographics about the atmospheric sciences workforce: http://www.ucar.edu/communications/quarterly/spring00/president.html .
As summarized in my report last year, UCAR carried out an anonymous survey of all UCAR Members in March 2000. We asked them to provide information over the past five years on the number of graduate student applications, students admitted, and students actually entering universities.
The response of the UCAR Member institutions was good with 36 institutions out of 63 (57%) providing the requested data. UCAR Trustee Gabor Vali analyzed and interpreted these data and their trends; his report is available at: http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~vali/grad_stud_recruit.html .
We discussed the issue of graduate student recruitment in the UCAR 2000 Members' meeting forum and in the AMS-UCAR Heads and Chairs meeting immediately following the forum. The bottom line was that many people felt that there was a problem and asked UCAR to continue the survey on an annual basis. As a result, we sent an updated survey to all Member Representatives in March 2001 and a reminder in September. I will report on any new results at the October meetings.
Following the October 2000 meetings, Gabor Vali, Dennis Thomson, David Houghton, Jack Fellows, Susan Friberg, and I submitted a paper summarizing and interpreting the survey results to BAMS: "Wanted: More Ph.D.s --- Graduate enrollments in the atmospheric sciences." It will appear in January 2002 in the first edition of BAMS under their new format. In the meantime it may be read at: http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/oct01/pres/grad_enroll .
Finally, UCAR is developing a recruitment website that is aimed at recruiting undergraduate students into graduate studies in the atmospheric sciences. I will report on this effort at the Members meeting.
1.3 Review of NCAR and UCAR
The NSF and UCAR SPEC (Scientific Programs Evaluation Committee) reviews of NCAR and UCAR began in 2001, the third year of the present five-year cooperative agreement with NSF. The previous reviews were completed in 1998. The process in this cycle is similar to that of the previous cycle, except that the schedule is more compressed. All NCAR divisions will be reviewed separately, after which NCAR and UCAR management and the overall NCAR program will be reviewed.
In May all NCAR divisions submitted documents to the NSF summarizing their research accomplishments and plans, linkages to other groups, activities in education/training and knowledge transfer, and management information. These documents were reviewed anonymously by NSF selected reviewers. Following their written reports, review panels selected by NSF will visit each division during September and October. These reviewers will submit written reports to NSF and UCAR following the site visits. The SPEC will participate in the NSF panel site visits and will write a separate report to the UCAR Members. More information about the SPEC is presented in section 3.1.
Under specific guidelines from the NSF, UCAR and NCAR management prepared a document summarizing UCAR's and NCAR's accomplishments over the past three years in the areas of science, facilities, education and outreach, technology and information transfer and community advocacy; the management structure in place and management accomplishments; the strategic planning and priority setting process; and external linkages. This document, UCAR Management of NCAR - Science, Facilities, Education and Service will be anonymously reviewed by individuals selected by NSF. Following this review, a panel of NSF reviewers, with SPEC Chairman Bob Duce and the past-SPEC Chair Franco Einaudi will carry out an on-site review of NCAR and UCAR management on 13-15 November 2001.
Following these reviews UCAR will submit a proposal to NSF to continue the management of NCAR for another five years, beginning in FY2004.
1.4 Legislation Affecting the UCAR Community
UCAR monitors a variety of pending legislation that would affect the university community.
Database Legislation. Although there has yet to be significant legislative action this year, there continues to be discussion among House and Senate congressional staff, universities, librarians, and industry regarding creation of database protection legislation. The academic community is concerned that if Congress approves a database protection bill, access to scientific data will be compromised. The progress of these discussions is extremely slow, and the parties have not reached agreement on the issues. Furthermore, the switch in control of the Senate to the Democrats has created even more uncertainty about how the issues will be resolved. We will continue to monitor the situation and let you know if anything develops.
The National Weather Service Mission. Over the last several years, there have been repeated attempts to restrict the National Weather Service (NWS) from providing any service or product that a private sector company might be able to provide. In addition to the effects on NWS services, there are possible implications for UCAR and NCAR programs should such legislation move forward. Earlier this year, several individuals from UCAR and the AMS met extensively with staff from both the House and Senate committees to discuss this issue. We emphasized the importance of maintaining the NWS supported research and data programs including Unidata and COMET.
With the change in control of the Senate, it now appears that the Senate will oppose any legislation to modify the NWS mission; however, we will continue to monitor the legislative arena for any changes. In the meantime, NOAA has requested that the National Academy of Sciences study the public-private partnership. I will participate on this panel, which will study the appropriate balance between NWS's mission and the private sector; other members of the panel include Dick Greenfield (AMS) and Roger Pielke, Jr. (University of Colorado).
National Science Foundation Funding. The Bush Administration's request for NSF in FY02 was well below the 17% increase requested last year; however, the House Appropriations Committee chose to provide a 9.6 % increase for NSF. The Senate was not as supportive, only providing a 5.7% increase, despite the fact that Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski and Ranking Member Kit Bond were the lead authors of a letter calling for a doubling of the NSF budget over five years.
Since the expected budget surplus has shrunk to $158 billion, almost all of which is from Social Security trust funds, it is unclear whether the final appropriation for NSF will even match the funding proposed by the Senate. We will continue to advocate for the highest funding level possible for NSF.
Climate Change Legislation. In the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Kyoto Protocol negotiations, several members of the scientific community were recruited by the White House to recommend enhanced activities to advance this country's climate and climate change impacts research. In addition to agency staff, Eric Barron of Pennsylvania State University and UCAR Trustee Charlie Kennel of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography were involved along with NCAR's Warren Washington, Kevin Trenberth, and Bob Harriss. The White House plan for the work and how it is to be funded should be announced this fall. Initial reports are not optimistic for the creation of major new initiatives or new funding.
2.0 Education and Outreach Activities
2.1 Education and Outreach Strategic Planning
In partnership with the university community, UCAR promotes scientific literacy and advances all levels of education and training in subjects related to Earth's atmosphere. The Office of Education and Outreach (EO) was established this year in response to requests from research and educational institutions, including UCAR's member universities and academic and international affiliates, that UCAR increase its ability to leverage and disseminate information about scientific research and applications for the benefit of wider audiences.
Under the direction of Roberta Johnson, the new EO Office has accomplished:
(1) the functional integration of services and programs supporting K-12 education, exhibits, education and tours, informal science, web-based computer outreach, and the NCAR Science Store; (2) the physical co-location in Foothills Lab Building No. 4 of key staff responsible for EO's administration and K-12 education, exhibits, informal science, and web-based outreach; and (3) the completion of the EO strategic plan whose goals and objectives are guiding new collaborative initiatives and the enhancement of current programs and services. Many of EO's programs address concerns about the declining number of graduate student applications and the lack of diversity in the atmospheric sciences by bringing the excitement and importance of the discipline to a wide audience of young and future scientists. UCAR's Education and Outreach Strategic Plan is available at http://www.ucar.edu/educ_outreach/stratplan.html .
2.2 Project LEARN
Project LEARN (Laboratory Experience in Atmospheric Research at NCAR) came to a conclusion last spring with the conversion (and assistance from COMET) of LEARN modules to an online format. The website was released to the public concurrent with its presentation during workshops at the National Science Teachers Association conference. The website focuses on two of the LEARN modules (Cycles of the Earth and Atmosphere and Ozone in Our Atmosphere) and includes background information, hands-on activities using simple materials, authentic assessment tools, science standards, and information on current scientific research in teaching. These modules have been classroom tested, and there has been demand to make them more accessible to a broader audience. They may be accessed on: http://www.ucar.edu/learn/ .
Over its four-year funding period, LEARN reached thousands of teachers and students. The overall purpose of this project was to increase teachers' knowledge of and interest in the atmospheric sciences so that they were better prepared to present scientific content to all students in ways that are interactive, relevant, and meet the educational standards of school districts, states, and the nation.
Project Learn teachers in NCAR Scientist's Charlie Knight's lab
2.3 Informal Science Education
Super Science Saturday. Nearly 3,000 students, teachers, and family members participated in Super Science Saturday 2001. The outreach event, designed to promote public science literacy and enrich the science experiences of area students and teachers, was held on 25 October at the Mesa Laboratory. NCAR, UCAR, and UOP staff presented "Frighteningly Good Science" demonstrations to enthusiastic audiences throughout the day, and a 30 foot interactive rope spider and biodiversity exhibit dominated the Mesa Lab Fountain Plaza. Multiple workshops on the scientific process, science photography, and science fair projects rounded out the event. This year's Super Science Saturday event was funded in part by Friends of UCAR.
Science Exhibits. Signage throughout the Mesa Lab's exhibits has been systematically upgraded, including the addition of banners on each side of the building's main entrance. An assessment of all exhibits is currently underway, as is the development of a strategic plan for the exhibits program.
Visiting students explores flow tank
Donor Mural. A Donor Mural for the Mesa Laboratory was designed and fabricated for installation when work on the Mesa Lab front entrance is completed during the first half of 2002. The tile mural features an image of the I.M. Pei building by Boulder artist Gayle Crites surrounded by the names of companies and individuals who have contributed to the exhibits and educational initiatives at NCAR/UCAR.
Art Exhibits. Exhibits by 15 local and regional artists were hung in the Mesa Laboratory's two public galleries, many highlighting natural phenomena and the connection between science and art. The Student Art Showcase brings the Boulder Valley School District and the St. Vrain School District together annually at NCAR to honor student artists and to reflect on environmental themes. In April, 150 art pieces by area students were displayed, and award-winning artists and their families were honored at an evening reception.
2001 Student ARt Showcase Winners
2.4 Education and Tour Program
The Education and Tour Program (ETP) provides visitor access to UCAR/NCAR - primarily onsite, but also through various remote formats. In FY 2001, we arranged 660 guided tours of UCAR facilities for about 13,000 visitors. For almost 10,000 preschool- through college-level students, we shared UCAR information that complemented their school curricula.
Science fair winners pose with UCAR E and O staff during a visit to HAO's vacuum chamber.
Visiting adults represented as much content variety as did the school groups. Examples in FY 2001 included an ElderHostel storm-chasing class from Nebraska, architects from the American Institute of Architects' annual meeting, and the government head and mayors of Tuvalu, Ukraine, whose visit here was sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
Other ETP projects of note this year include finishing construction of a "virtual tour" for electronic visitors to UCAR's website, which will be online by fall, and the creation (with partners, NOAA and Colorado State University) of a new day-long annual workshop called the Rocky Mountain Weather Workshop. It was intended especially for amateur and volunteer weather observers, but also featured an evening presentation on weather photography that was open to the public.
CSU's Nolan Doesken addresses volunteer weather observers
Windows to the Universe. The Windows to the Universe (W2U) internet site (http://www.windows.ucar.edu/ ) brings together scientific content on the Earth and space sciences with interdisciplinary content on the arts and humanities. W2U provides a rich educational tool that satisfies the curiosity of a wide spectrum of learners as they seek to understand the world and space around us. A primary thrust of the project is to provide scientific content in a larger context, both relative to other sciences as well as to the humanities, and to bring to light the interdisciplinary nature of the geosciences and their relevance to history and culture. With three levels of content, W2U's resources have become a major educational resource for millions of learners from around the world, including students (K-12 through undergraduate), teachers, and adults who seek scientific content and inquiry activities on the internet. In the year 2000, 3.9 million users visited Windows to the Universe. This year, we expect to serve around 4.8 million users.
Throughout 2001, we have continued to maintain Windows to the Universe by editing and updating pages and responding to our users. Sections that underwent major revisions included Comets, Mars Missions, General Space Missions, Planetary Moons, History of Astronomy, Geology, and About the Project. As part of the ongoing process of maintaining the site, information was updated in the Headline Universe, Ask-A-Scientist, and Teacher Resource activity sections. We recently finished collaboration with the Old Dominion University HIGH TIDE project in which W2U expanded its ocean content pages. We are also continuing our collaborations with the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa, and NASA OSS. During the next year, major developments are planned in earth system science.
Web Weather for Kids. This web site (http://www.ucar.edu/40th/webweather/ ) was created in 1999 - 2000 with the goal of motivating middle school children to explore and experiment with the exciting body of scientific knowledge contributing to our understanding of dramatic and severe weather events. With support from NSF's Geoscience Education program, Web Weather for Kids' award-winning prototype site was in the process of expansion throughout this year. The new site will adapt and broaden the former site's inquiry activities and information about thunderstorms, lightning, and tornadoes into a revised format providing inquiry questions, science content, human-interest stories, games, and teacher tips. Major additions to the site include sections about how clouds form, cloud identification, hurricanes, and blizzards. The site's one-time weather forecasting contest will be translated into an on-going opportunity for students, teachers, and parents to predict the weather in either one or several prominent U.S. cities on a daily basis. These exciting enhancements to Web Weather for Kids will be available online in early 2002.
During June, students in grades 5 - 8 provided the Web Weather for Kids team very helpful feedback about the site's new design during usability testing sessions made possible by the DLESE (Digital Library for Earth System Education) laboratory. Web Weather for Kids was presented to middle and high school teachers during a workshop at the Spring 2001 American Geophysical Union meeting, and a paper about the website was invited for the January 2002 meeting of the AMS conference's session about UCAR's Education and Outreach programs.
Global Change Instruction Program (GCIP). GCIP provides materials on global change topics for undergraduate, survey-level classes. The four newest GCIP modules will be put on the web in their entirety, and those currently published through University Science Books will appear in abbreviated form until print stocks run out. The video primer "Modeling the Earth" is being distributed through Scott Resources, Inc.
3.0 Corporate Affairs
UCAR Corporate Affairs activities include three components: governance, communications and development, and government affairs.
3.1 Corporate Affairs Governance Activities
The UCAR Governance office plans and coordinates the activities, responsibilities, and requirements of the UCAR Board of Trustees and its committees, as well as for the members and their committees. This office is also responsible for such projects as the student recruiting website, AMS/UCAR curricula guide database development, and the UCAR top-level website. UCAR governance activities undertaken since the October 2000 meeting are as follows:
The Board of Trustees. (Otis Brown, University of Miami, Chairman) The Board held three regular meetings over the past year: October 2000 and February 2001 meetings in Boulder and the June 2001 meeting in Washington D.C. The minutes from these meetings are available on the web at: http://www.ucar.edu/governance/bot/bot_minutes.html .
Last October the Trustees welcomed two new members: Eugenia Kalnay from the University of Maryland and Soroosh Sorooshian from the University of Arizona. In addition, Leo Donner (Princeton University) and Gabor Vali (University of Wyoming) were re-elected as institutional trustees, and Patricia Woodworth (University of Chicago) was elected as a Trustee-at-Large. I want to thank Julia Nogues-Paegle (University of Utah) who has served two consecutive three-year terms on the Board and, thus, is not eligible to run again this year. Julia has been a great collaborator, and we look forward to working with her again in the future.
University Relations Committee. (Kelvin Droegemeier, University of Oklahoma, Chairman). As has become the custom, the Committee attended the Members Meeting and convened for the URC Meeting immediately thereafter last October. In April, Ken Pickering, Trustee Eugenia Kalnay, and other faculty and staff at the University of Maryland welcomed the URC for the first day of their spring meeting. For the second day of meetings, the committee met at Howard University and was hosted by Dean Orlando Taylor, Everette Joseph, and other faculty and staff. Detailed summaries of each of the meetings can be found in the URC report at: http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/oct01/urc/report.html .
During the upcoming meeting on Wednesday afternoon, 10 October, the URC will continue planning a session at the January 2002 AMS Annual Meeting in Orlando to acquaint students with UCAR and the research and service activities at NCAR and UOP. We will let you know the final dates and times later this fall so you can encourage your students and faculty who will be in Orlando to attend this session.
One of the major responsibilities of the URC is to review NCAR and UOP non-core proposals for university involvement and competition issues and to report to UCAR on their findings. A subcommittee of the URC, that is tasked with reviewing NCAR and UOP proposals, found no significant issues and determined that this past year's proposals have met the established guidelines. Kelvin Droegemeier will report in more detail on the subcommittee's findings in his URC report to the Members.
For further information on the URC, the Committee website can be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/governance/committees/urc/index.html .
The Membership Committee. (Mary Jo Richardson, Texas A& M, Chairwoman) The Committee met in Boulder this past May to review renewal applications from nine Member institutions. Under Mary Jo's able leadership, we have streamlined the process such that during the 2002 cycle, the committee will meet by conference call only and conduct the majority of the review work by email if there are no new UCAR membership applications this coming year.
The Committee's report can be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/governance/committees/membership/membership_comm.html .
The Members' Nominating Committee. (Paola Rizzoli, MIT, Chairwoman) The Committee met in June prior to the UCAR Board Meeting in Washington, D.C. to determine the slate of candidates you will vote on during Wednesday morning's election of Trustees and Member Committees. We're very proud of this year's slate of trustee and committee candidates and very much appreciate their willingness to serve UCAR and the community through these governance mechanisms.
You will also see that the Nominating Committee has included a memo on an item for discussion during the meeting - the need for increased breadth of experience on the UCAR Board in order to meet the expanding challenges and opportunities to the atmospheric sciences community. I look forward to talking about this issue with you. The Nominating Committee Report can be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/oct01/nom_report/ .
The Scientific Programs Evaluation Committee (SPEC). (Robert Duce, Texas A& M, Chairman) The SPEC, elected in October 2000, has the responsibility to attend the NSF Reviews of NCAR Divisions and the UCAR Management Review as observers; appoint other community members to serve as observers; and to make a report to the UCAR Members on how the reviews were conducted and on any other issues of concern to UCAR or the broader community.
As background for some of the new Members Representatives, Affiliates, and URC members: UCAR as operator and manager and NSF as sponsor have the responsibility to determine that the research conducted and service provided by NCAR are of high quality and that the objectives of the Center are being accomplished. Prior to 1993, the UCAR Members' Representatives, through the SPEC, conducted the necessary reviews to fulfill this responsibility. In the current cooperative agreement between UCAR and the NSF for the operation and management of NCAR, NSF has the responsibility for conducting scientific program reviews. The cooperative agreement provides for UCAR to appoint up to two observers to each of the NSF on-site panel reviews. The present SPEC committee has appointed one (or, in some cases, two) of its own members to observe each of the eight NCAR divisional reviews and for the UCAR Management review and, in addition, has appointed other members of the community as observers.
The on-site panel reviews began on 11 September and will run intermittently through 15 November when the UCAR management review concludes. For your information, the review dates and SPEC observers are as follows: (* denotes SPEC members)
ESIG 11-13 September Eric Barron (Penn State)* and Bert Semtner (NPS)*
ASP 25-27 September Franco Einaudi (NASA)* and Gene Takle (Iowa State)
HAO 10-12 October Susan Avery (CU)* and Pat Reiff (Rice)*
MMM 17-19 October Chris Fairall (NOAA)* and Chris Bretherton (UWA)
SCD 16-18 October Bert Semtner (NPS)* and Lisa Sloan (UC-Santa Cruz)*
CGD 23-25 October Eric Barron (Penn State)* and Terry Nathan (UC-Davis)
ACD 24-26 October Susan Avery (CU)*, Barry Huebert (U of Hawaii)
ATD 30 Oct-1 Nov Chris Fairall (NOAA)* and Daniel Jacob (Harvard)*
UCAR and NCAR Management Review:
13-15 November Robert Duce (Texas A&M)* and Franco Einaudi
I want to take this opportunity to thank the SPEC and community observers for participating in this very important activity.
Other Activities. This office has also been working with AMS to build an on-line database which will become the next generation AMS/UCAR Curricula Guide. You'll be receiving information about submitting the data from your department this fall. This should serve as a valuable resource to potential undergraduate and graduate students as well as for all of you. And, in addition to being a stand-alone resource for the research and academic community and students, it will be linked to the student recruiting website also under development by this office.
And last but not least, in August we were happy to organize a two-day visit from six graduate students from the University of Arizona. URC Member Eric Betterton encouraged some of his students who knew little about NCAR to spend a couple of days here learning about the scientific research and observing facilities. It was great to have them here and we hope to be able to organize similar visits in the future. On a personal note: if these students are any indication of the new crop of atmospheric scientists, our science will be in very good (and bright) hands!
University of Arizona students outside Fleischmann Building on 17 August 2001:
Left to right: Feiqin Xie, Natalie Murray, Rebecca Matichuk, Ken Kehoe, Nicole Kempf and Michael Garay.
- UCAR at 40, ( http://www.ucar.edu/communications/ucar40/) the publication produced last year to commemorate our 40th anniversary, won top honors from the Society for Technical Communication, an international society of writers, editors, and designers. The color magazine was named Best of Show for the Rocky Mountain region and garnered first place in international competition. The publication has been a popular tool for publicizing NCAR, UCAR, and atmospheric science more generally; for example, it is being sent to all panelists involved in NSF's review of NCAR management.
- ClimateStock (http://www.ucar.edu/communications/climatestock/ ), funded by the EPA, brings video footage on climate issues to weather broadcasters and other television producers. The program has been selected in a peer-reviewed competition as an example of "Best Practices for Communication of Science and Technology to the Public" and will be showcased at a national conference in Washington, D.C. co-sponsored by DOE and NIST.
Media. With the growth in cable and Internet news outlets, our media relations activities continue to expand and evolve. This year we hosted film crews from CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and Australian 60 Minutes and had scientists featured on many national and local television and radio shows. In the past 12 months, we have issued 38 press releases and 12 media advisories, which are increasingly picked up on news websites such as CNN, the Weather Channel, and the Environmental News Network. We have produced in-house a first video news release (ftp://ftp.ucar.edu/communications/camex.qt ), featuring NCAR's role in CAMEX-4, NASA's fourth Convection and Moisture Experiment. Top media stories of the year: Tom Wigley's probability analysis in Science predicting a 4-7 degree global temperature increase over the coming century, RAP's cloud-seeding project in Mexico, and MOPITT measurements of global CO pollution.
Visuals. This year UCAR's archive of visuals became part of UCAR Communications. We are in the process of digitizing the image collection to create a new Digital Image Library that will be available to the community as well as to staff.
Staff. David Hosansky has joined UCAR Communications as editor of the monthly in-house newsletter Staff Notes. A Pulitzer Prize nominee, David has relocated from Washington, D.C., where he wrote on environmental and other topics for the Congressional Quarterly, the World Bank, World Resources Institute, and Brookings Institution. Bob Henson becomes editor of the UCAR Quarterly.
3.3 Office of Development and Government Affairs (ODGA)
Congressional Activities. Many of UCAR government affairs activities are accomplished with the extensive involvement and/or guidance of Lewis-Burke Associates in Washington, D.C. April Burke and her staff (Mark Burnham and Phillip Harman, in particular) provide assistance with and advice concerning UCAR events held in Washington, advocacy strategy, and agency and Hill contacts. They alert us to relevant issues concerning legislation, as well as provide us with analysis of (pending) bills.
Written Testimony. UCAR provided written testimony on the President's FY 2002 request regarding the budgets of NSF, NASA, NOAA, DOE, FAA and the USGS. Both the House and Senate versions of these documents may be found on the web at: http://www.ucar.edu/oga/advocacy_activities/testimony.html.
Live Testimony before Congressional Committees. Kevin Trenberth testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the science of global climate change and issues related to reducing net greenhouse gas emissions. Kevin's testimony may be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/oga/climate_change_hearing.htm .
I testified before the Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies, House Appropriations Committee regarding the FY 2002 budget. My testimony may be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/oga/advocacy_activities/testimony.html.
Rick testifying before the House Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies
Blue Ribbon Panel Comments. Tim Killeen appeared before the Committee on Organization and Management of Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics (COMRAA) and presented comments on behalf of the community. These may be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/oga/advocacy_activities/astronomy_killeen/killeen_comraa_statement.html .
Letter Campaign. During the past year, UCAR continued its letter-writing campaign on behalf of the community to support/provide comment on budgets for NSF, NOAA, NASA, FAA, and DOE as well as on relevant issues of concern to the atmospheric science community. I sent letters to all House and Senate Members on the Budget and Appropriations Committees and Leadership regarding FY 2002 budget allocations and appropriations. Letters were forwarded to senators asking them to support the initiative to double NSF's budget, and letters of thanks were sent to those congressional members who support increased funding for R&D.
Action Alerts. UCAR issued Action Alerts this year to ask UCAR members to:
- Comment on the House and Senate Budget Committees on FY02 Allocations for
- Encourage their Senators to cosign the Bond-Mikulski letter to double the NSF budget, and
- Comment on the House and Senate Appropriations Chairs regarding allocations to subcommittees.
Additional alerts will be issued throughout the fall as the FY 2002 budget goes to conference. Those persons in the community who have communicated with Members of Congress directly, and/or forwarded the Action Alerts to appropriate colleagues and kindly copied their letters to us include:
|Ernest Agee||Eugenia Kalnay|
|Ferdinand Baer||Mike Newchurch|
|Eric Betterton||Gary Ostrander|
|Blaine Blad||Len Pietrafesa|
|Chris Bretherton||Peter Ray|
|Rich Clark||Paul Roebber|
|Ted DeLaca||Claes Rooth|
|Ken Demerjian||Robert Roper|
|Kelvin Droegemeier||Steven Rutledge|
|Ellen Druffel||Mark Schwartz|
|Brian Farrell||Glenn Shaw|
|Bill Gutowski||Fred Stafford|
|Ben Herman||Chuck Wilson|
|David Houghton||Don Wuebbles|
|Barry Huebert||Joe Zabransky|
We thank these people for their efforts and urge more of you to join us as future Action Alerts are issued!
Capitol Hill Briefings. In an effort to continue to spread the word about atmospheric sciences research and issues, the ODGA coordinates timely briefings. No briefings were held last fall because of the national election. This spring, we sponsored the following Capitol Hill briefings for Members of Congress and staff:
"Hurricanes: The Danger, The Impacts, The Outlook," Rebecca Morss (NCAR), Baxter Vieux (University of Oklahoma), Mark DeMaria (NOAA/CIRA), Bill Gray (CSU), Chris Landsea (NOAA/HRD).
"Energy Policy and Weather Information," David Rogers (NOAA), Woodrow Whitlatch (PG&E), Bill Neff (NOAA), Brad Hoggatt (Aquila Energy), Nick Keener (Duke Power).
The AMS co-sponsored these briefings. We are now planning climate briefings for targeted committee staffers - these may occur in September.
Visits to UCAR. David Radzanowski, NSF Budget Examiner, Office of Management and Budget (OMB); Bryan Hannegan, Staff Scientist, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; Christine Boesz, NSF Inspector General; Ed Blansitt, Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Commerce (DOC); and staffers from NOAA and the DOC budget offices.
Visits to the Hill. UCAR administration and staff and the Lewis-Burke staff were involved in arranging and making congressional, administration, and agency visits that often involved teaming with AMS and AGU. Visit topics included the budget resolution, transition documents, FY02 appropriations, NWS commercialization, climate change, and USWRP. Because of the national elections, there were many new staffers to meet, and the following offices were targeted: House and Senate Science Committee/Subcommittee; House and Senate Appropriations/Subcommittee; Senate Budget Committee; Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; Senators Allard (CO) and Campbell (CO) and Congressman Mark Udall (CO); Congressman David Price (NC); NSF, NOAA and DOE administration; Office of Management & Budget. Visits to the Hill were made by UCAR Trustees Dennis Thomson to Senator Arlen Specter's office, Soroosh Sorooshian to Congressman Jim Kolbe's office, and David Houghton to Senator Herb Kohl's office.
ODGA sponsored NCAR scientist Scott Doney's participation in the annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day (CVD) and arranged Hill visits for him. This experience was judged to be so beneficial by Doney that ODGA will now sponsor scientist participation on an annual basis.
Events/Meetings. UCAR participated in the annual CNSF (Coalition for National Science Funding) exhibit and reception for Members of Congress and Staff, highlighting NSF-sponsored programs and projects.
Tim Killeen and Congressman Vern Ehlers (MI) at CNSF
I chaired a breakfast honoring House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert
(NY), hosted by Congressman Mark Udall. Participating organizations included
the American Geological Institute (AGI), American Geophysical Union (AGU), American
Meteorological Society (AMS), Geological Society of America (GSA), National
Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and UCAR.
Congressional Science Fellowship. UCAR co-sponsors a congressional science fellowship program with the AMS. The first fellow, Tim Benner, completed his fellowship year recently, and the second fellow, Ana Anruh, began her fellowship in August. The fellows spend a year in Congress, either at a committee or in the office of a member of Congress, providing science advice on a broad range of issues.
AMS-UCAR Summer Policy Colloquium. UCAR supported the first annual AMS/UCAR Summer Policy Colloquium. The ten day colloquium provided 37 attendees with extensive background on the changing societal needs for weather, climate and related information, and the policy processes affecting them. The colloquium was designed to give insight into the legislative processes in the nation's capital and communicate some of the leading and sometimes controversial subjects in the field of atmospheric sciences. These range from global climate change and international data exchange to the private sector and the workings of Congress and the White House. Like the congressional science fellowship, one goal of the colloquium is to create future leaders from the atmospheric science community who will have some background in policy and legislative matters.
Publications. UCAR produced a number of government affairs communications tools, including:
- Washington Updates. These are distributed periodically to the UCAR community via e-mail. Updates provide information on appropriations activities in particular as well as current information on relevant bills and initiatives.
- Science Briefs. This publication highlights atmospheric sciences research and its relevance to society. It is sent to over 1,000 congressional members, staffers, agencies, and briefing attendees.
- OGA Web Page. This site includes federal budget information, testimony, news and updates, advocacy priorities, and useful links and may be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/oga/index.html .
- A National Priority: Building Reslience to Natural Hazards. This Natural Hazards Caucus Work Group document was produced by UCAR (which is a member of the Caucus Work Group) and may be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/communications/awareness/2001/hazards/. This publication was used heavily to communicate with the incoming Bush administration.
- Improved Weather and Climate Services for the Nation: A Blueprint for Leadership. This brochure is a joint UCAR/AMS document that was used heavily to communicate with the incoming Bush administration. It is located at: http://www.ucar.edu/communications/awareness/2001/weather/ .
- Congressional Natural Hazards Caucus Fact Sheet: Hurricanes. This document was produced by ODGA for the Congressional Natural Hazards Caucus and may be found at: http://www.agiweb.org/workgroup/hurricanes0701.pdf.
Walter Orr Roberts Institute. The 2000 Walter Orr Roberts Distinguished Lecture honored NOAA's Susan Solomon, and the 2001 lecture honored NCAR's Tim Brown. Both lectures were held in the Boulder Public Library Auditorium before capacity audiences and were taped for broadcast by Boulder's cable television station.
We continue to build the Roberts Forum website web-accessible versions of the Capitol Hill briefings and the Roberts Distinguished Lectures. The Forum may be accessed at: http://www.ucar.edu/40th/Roberts/.
Two editions of Science NOW, an atmospheric sciences newsletter for K-12 teachers, were produced and widely disseminated by the Institute and SIRS Mandarin, Inc. This is an ongoing collaboration; topics covered the MOPITT satellite instruments monitoring trace gases (Fall 2000 issue) and Susan Solomon's research on weather affecting the demise of Robert Falcon Scott's 1912 Antarctic expedition (Spring 2001 issue). A Fall 2001 issue is being written now on space weather.
Friends of UCAR. The annual Friends of UCAR drive for education projects raised $8,658. Funds supported Super Science Saturday and the Mesa Lab Student Art Showcase as well as provided a substantial matching contribution to the NSF GEO grant for the Web Weather for Kids website. Many thanks to those of you who have joined Friends. Contributions from Trustees, Member Representatives, Academic Affiliates, staff, and others are most welcome as we start our FY 2002 campaign. A brochure for Friends of UCAR may be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/friends/index.htm .
4.0 Finance and Administration
4.1 Mesa Lab Refurbishment
The ML refurbishment is proceeding. The Tree Plaza was completed in June and work is underway on the fountain plaza (see photos). Replacement of the main driveway circle in front of the Mesa Lab will begin in the spring.
Recently completed tree plaza (June 2001)
Old fountain plaza being torn up (July 2001)
4.2 Debt Refinancing
On 22 August 2001, the Executive Committee of the UCAR Board authorized the issuance of a new series of debt to refinance all of the 1991 series ($26.7M) and all or a portion of the 1996 series ($7.2M). The County of Boulder has given preliminary approval of the refinancing with final approval expected in September 2001. UCAR also received an upgrade in its bond rating from Standard and Poor's from "A" to "A+" and also received its first rating of "A1" from Moody's. Bond ratings are based on an analysis of our financial condition, essentially providing an evaluation of the possibility of default on the bonds. The ratings we received are strong and comparable to many state and private university ratings.
Current fixed long-term rates are in the low 5% range, an exceptionally low level for fixed rate financing. The interest rates on the bonds are currently 6.98% on the 1991 series, 7.85% on the 1996B series and 5.49% on the 1996A series, so the savings will be substantial. UCAR also plans to extend the maturity dates on the 1991 and 1996 series to 2032.
4.3 Foothills Building Addition
UCAR is working with the City of Boulder to obtain approval to build an addition at Foothills Lab. The primary rationale for the addition is to alleviate the need for leased space. UCAR currently leases space at two facilities. The other rationale is to ease the crowded conditions on the Mesa. We anticipate that construction of the new facility will begin in 2002.
4.4 Workforce Diversity
UCAR continues to make significant strides in response to the recommendations made by the American Physical Society review of the status of women scientists and by an internal Diversity Task Force. Actions taken to date include the establishment of five-year career development plans for all employees, development of a pilot program for mentoring early career scientists, the early stages of developing of a mentoring/career coaching program for all employees, a study to determine whether changes should be made in the way that vacation and sick leave are earned and taken to improve "family friendliness." Additionally, we are developing a management training program aimed at better preparing our managers to address communications and consistency issues raised by the various reviews. We are revising all of our policies to ensure that they are clear and concise. Finally, we have conducted a survey that will help to guide our approach to child day care and elder care needs of the staff. The survey had a response rate of 53% of all employees; we are in the process of analyzing the results and developing a plan to address the issues raised.
4.5 Inspectors General Symposium
On 15 August 2001, UCAR hosted a symposium given by Christine Boesz, National Science Foundation Inspector General (IG) and Edward Blansitt, Department of Commerce Deputy IG. The symposium addressed a new regulation regarding research misconduct under federally sponsored awards, as well as a discussion of the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act and the Chief Financial Officer's Act and their impact on federal awardees.
4.6 Technical Training Initiatives
With the opening of the Corporate Technical Training Center this year, we are expanding our onsite technology training to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of this training. We conducted a survey of all UCAR employees to solicit their interest in specific technology courses. Over 200 employees responded, indicating interest in various programming and systems administration courses. We will begin offering these courses in Fiscal Year 2002.
5.0 Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS)
SOARS, ( http://www.ucar.edu/soars )an education and outreach program, was implemented to create a multiyear pipeline to bring students from groups that are historically underrepresented in science into careers in the atmospheric and related sciences, including engineering, mathematics, and social sciences. SOARS is dedicated to increasing the number of African American, Native American, and Hispanic and Latino American students enrolled in graduate programs in the atmospheric and related sciences. SOARS was launched in 1995 with support from UCAR, NSF, and the university community. Since 1996, DOE-Global Change Education Program, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NOAA Office of Global Programs and the University of Colorado Cooperative Institute of Research in Environmental Sciences have joined as sponsors.
At the heart of SOARS is a ten-week summer immersion program at NCAR or the laboratories of a SOARS sponsor, where protégés are provided opportunities to experience working as research scientists. Each summer, protégés conduct research projects and participate in an eight-week scientific writing and communication workshop. Protégés define their individual research project, conduct research, write a formal research paper, and present their research results at a SOARS-sponsored colloquium. Protégés receive a competitive stipend, housing, local transportation, and round-trip airfare to participate in the summer program.
During the academic year, SOARS protégés benefit from continued interactions with their mentors, contact with their peers, and financial support to present their summer research at regional, national, and international conferences. Protégés also receive information about education and career opportunities, counseling and guidance on the graduate school application process, and may receive SOARS financial support for graduate school.
2001 Summer Highlights. Twenty-one protégés from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico participated in the 2001 summer program. Ten protégés returned for their second, third or fourth SOARS summer; 11 were new to SOARS. Each was paired with science research and scientific writing mentors. Mentors participated in an orientation program that included a three-hour workshop on the mentoring relationship. First- and second-year protégés were also paired with community mentors. The ten returning protégés arrived one week before the program started and participated in a three-day leadership and mentoring workshop. They served as peer mentors to one or more new protégés.
Each protégé prepared a formal research paper and presented their research results at the 6-8 August SOARS Protégé Colloquium. At least 12 protégés will be presenting their summer research results at student or professional conferences during the 2001-2002 academic year. The summer 2001 protégés, their mentors, and their research topics are listed at http://www.ucar.edu/soars/researchtopics2001.html .
SOARS protégés summer 2001. (Front row, left to right): Tamara Singleton, Kate Dollen, Rynda Hudman, Erik Ulysses Noble, Yarice Rodriguez, Maribel Martinez. (Back row, left to right): Fabiola Navarro, Resa M. Kelly, Segayle C. Walford, Andrew Church, Pauline Datulayta, Shanna T.L. Pitter (behind), Monica Rivera, Theresa Jo Johnson, Bradley C. Navarro, J. Summer Sands, Sarah Tessendorf, Michael Ray Johnson, Ernesto Muñoz-Acevedo, Casey C. Thornbrugh, Yasmin Rodriguez. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)
1996-2001 Program Results. From the 1996 inaugural summer through FY 2001, a total of 62 protégés have participated in SOARS. Participants' ethnicity and gender are outlined in Table 1.
Table 1. Protégé ethnicity and gender, 1996-2001
|Ethnicity and gender||
Number of protégés
Percent of protégé population
|Asian American & Pacific Islander||
SOARS is having a positive impact on the scientific community. Nine protégés have completed their master's degrees and are SOARS alumni. Six alumni have entered the professional scientific workforce; three are enrolled in Ph.D. programs, two in meteorology and one in environmental engineering. Thirty-eight protégés have completed bachelor's degrees in an atmospheric or related science; two have completed associate's degrees. During the past six years, many SOARS protégés have participated in scientific conferences and coauthored papers published in peer-reviewed journals. A list of the publications is available at http://www.ucar.edu/soars/pubs_sep01.htm . The list of presentations is available at http://www.ucar.edu/soars/pres_sep01.htm .
Three SOARS protégés (Sharon Pérez-Suárez, Stephanie Rivale, and Jennifer Price) were recently recognized for successfully completing their master's degrees and the SOARS program. Left to right: Jewel Prendeville, NSF staff associate for Diversity and Education; Milton Constantin, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education program manager; Sharon Pérez-Suárez; Stephanie Rivale; Jarvis Moyers, NSF Atmospheric Sciences division director; and Thomas Windham, SOARS program director. Not pictured: Jennifer Price. (Photo by Wendy Pagel)
In Fall 2001, 17 SOARS protégés are enrolled in graduate programs in the atmospheric and related sciences. Three are AMS graduate fellows; three have passed their Ph.D. qualifying exams, two in meteorology and one in computational and applied mathematics. No SOARS protégé (including the 12 who left the program before completing a graduate degree, five to pursue careers in other fields and seven due to unsatisfactory performance) has withdrawn from college or university without having completed an undergraduate degree with a major in an atmospheric or related science.
An immediate impact of SOARS is that during the summer months, NCAR has become a much more diverse research center. SOARS mentors have many opportunities to learn about the diverse backgrounds and life experiences that protégés are bringing to their science careers. In an interview for the SOARS Newsletter, Maura Hagan, an HAO scientist and SOARS Steering Committee member stated, "The protégés broaden the perspective of NCAR scientists. For me, this program is as much for the present as it is for the future."
Through their interviews in the NSF-sponsored video, High Hopes: Careers in the Atmospheric Sciences, the experiences of SOARS protégés may encourage younger students from groups historically underrepresented in science to think about careers in the atmospheric sciences. The High Hopes video is used in middle school and high school classrooms to encourage students to consider advanced studies in the atmospheric sciences.
SOARS: A Model Program. Jeffrey Gaffney, chief scientist for DOE's Global Change Education Program visited SOARS several times. His observations and experiences led Gaffney to adapt the SOARS model in designing GCEP's Summer Undergraduate Experience. Other programs that have incorporated elements of the SOARS model include The City University of New York Carl Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, The University of Colorado Boulder Summer Multicultural Access to Research Training Program, and Universidad Metropolitana's Model Institutions for Excellence in Science Project, San Juan, P.R. SOARS is conducting a longitudinal study to learn what aspects of the program are working best and how they might be transferred to other disciplines and agencies.
6.0 Intellectual Property and the UCAR Foundation
Following the sale of WITI Corporation, UCAR Foundation's for-profit subsidiary, to LifeMinders, Inc., UCAR and the UCAR Foundation formed a joint task force to investigate the feasibility of creating a new company to market products and services based on UCAR technology. Key parameters for creating and operating this company included the following:
· Ensure a complementary mission to NCAR/UOP programs
|-||Conduct no scientific research|
|-||Market UCAR scientific R&D and prototype solutions|
|-||Develop unique strengths related to NCAR/UOP applied research and technologies|
· Target industry weather-risk opportunity areas that are
|-||Not being well addressed|
|-||Likely to benefit from NCAR/UCAR expertise|
· Become the teaming partner of choice for NCAR/UOP programs
|-||Discover and cultivate commercial research and prototyping opportunities
|-||Off-load operational services and support functions|
|-||Become client interface responsible for delivering final product/services, ongoing support and training|
· Specialize in a systems-integration approach that, in close consultation
and UCAR, designs, deploys, and supports tailored systems or services that address
the client's special requirements.
In response to the task force's report and recommendations, the UCAR Foundation created Intelligent Weather Solutions, Inc. at its March 2001 meeting. The stated mission of the company is to provide advanced probabilistic weather, climate and environmental forecast information and decision-support services to the energy, agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing industries. The company is currently developing a business plan and marketing strategy.
In other IP/technology commercialization activity since October 2000, seven technology disclosures have been made for intellectual property protection, evaluation, and potential commercialization, and one patent has been issued: The Best-In-Time Forecasting System (RAP). In addition, during this time period, ten patent applications were filed: three from RAP, three from ATD, two from GST, one from COSMIC, and one from ACD.
The UCAR Foundation (UCARF) continues to focus on the commercialization of UCAR technologies through licensing. For FY2001, the UCAR Foundation generated $169,500 year-to-date, in licensing revenue, 90% of which will be returned to the NCAR divisions and UOP programs that developed the technology that generated the revenue.
The UCAR Foundation is either actively licensing or seeking licensees for the following technologies or programs:
NextCast Forecasting System
Windows to the Universe
Low-Level Wind-Shear Alert System (LLWAS)
NCAR Improved Moments Algorithm (NIMA )
Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS)
PC-based Integrated Radar Acquisition System (PIRAQ)
Bistatic Doppler Radar Network (BiNet)
GEMPAK Analysis and Rendering Program (GARP)
Self-Guided Recoverable Airborne Instrument Module (a.k.a. Recoverable Dropsonde)
Storm Predictability Detector.
Information about these and other UCAR technologies that are available for licensing can be found on the UCAR Foundation's website: http://www.fin.ucar.edu/ip/techtransfer.html .
END OF REPORT -