UCAR 2002 October Meetings Followup Site

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UCAR Annual Members Meeting Trip Report
Bill Decker, Associate VP for Research, The University of Iowa
October 8-9, 2002
Boulder, Colorado

Information, including a copy of the agenda, regarding the members meeting is available at:


Highlights and Significant Events

  • NSF has recommended renewal of the cooperative agreement for UCAR management of NCAR. However, there is every indication that management of NCAR will be formally competed in five years. See the "NSF Report" section of this report for more details.
  • A By-laws change was proposed and passed by a vote of the membership to increase the number of at-large members of the Board of Trustees by three over the next three years. (The vote was 42 out of 56 institutions present to vote with 38 or more needed for passage.) This will bring the size of the Board to 19 trustees, with 12 member institution representatives, 6 at-large representatives and the UCAR President as ex-officio. Rationale for the change is discussed at http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/oct02/nominating_committee/bylaw_change.htm.
  • Elected to the Board of Trustees from member institutions were: Mary Jo Richardson (Texas A&M), Eric Barron (Penn State), Lynne Talley (Scripps Institute), and Leonard Pietrafesa (North Carolina State). Elected (or re-elected) for at-large positions were: Ron McPherson (AMS) and Barbara Feiner (Washington University).
  • UCAR’s acquisition of new space at Center Green in Boulder was discussed and plans for its use were presented. In fact, the members meeting took place in this new facility, which includes improved conference facilities. Very nice!
  • New strategic plans for NCAR were overviewed. The theme of the plan is "NCAR as an Integrator." See http://www.ncar.ucar.edu/stratplan/.
  • Several significant infrastructure projects were discussed, including HIAPER and the Black Forest/Blue Sky supercomputing facilities. A "Community Instruments Workshop" for HIAPER is coming up in early November. See the "HIAPER" section of this report.
  • A lively forum on public/private/academic partnerships in meteorology and weather research was held at the conclusion of the first day of the meeting. Recommendations, which UCAR may pursue, call for ongoing discussions/workshops, surveys, and development of a common vision.

UCAR President's Report

See http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/oct02/ucar_report.pdf.

UNAVCO transition--University NAVSTAR Consortium will take over the UNAVCO facility in 10/03 to serve solid Earth community. They will be located in another facility within the Foothills Lab complex, thus enabling ongoing interaction with UCAR.

Space planning--see www.ncar.ucar.edu/SPEC/; Mesa Lab refurbishment underway-tower A to be vacated in October; haven't space for planned growth or to provide swing space during Mesa Lab refurbishment; get out of 3 leases to reduce cost; solve overcrowding and safety; Center Green space creates more effective meeting space; responds to NSF management review; utilized strategic plans at NSF recommendation to analyze space needs for short, intermediate, and long term needs; expenditures and people growth have outpaced space growth; considered space in 10-mile radius from Boulder; purchased some space at Center Green and leased others in Center Green; 5.65 acres, 101,573 square feet; Boulder Research and Administrative Network (BRAN) is close to Center Green and already interconnects other UCAR facilities and other agency facilities (e.g., NOAA)

NSF Reviews of UCAR/NCAR--NCAR divisions reviewed 9/11 to 10/19, management review 11/13-15; see web for NSF reviews and UCAR/NCAR responses (www.ncar.ucar.edu/review01); very positive overall; recognized management and scientific quality, recognized education efforts

NSF proposal--based on recent planning and reviews; reviews and panels through year; new cooperative agreement in 10/03

Fire/ice/hurricanes: wildfire simulations; Antarctic ship rescue; SuomiNet

NCAR Director's Report

See http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/oct02/ncar_report.pdf.

Major activities--scientific progress (508 NCAR author or jointly authored publications in 2001); NSF review and response; Bluesky advanced computing system; HIAPER (high-performance instrumented airborne platform for environmental research (initial airframe delivery); space planning; growth in junior scientific ranks; growth in female and minority groups; strong growth in visitors (1000 in 2001)

NCAR/University alliance--bi-directional sabbaticals, grad student programs, undergrad programs, early career faculty fellowship program, NCAR as more of a virtual center, emphasis on diversity, undergraduate summer leadership workshop, K12 master teachers workshop

Strategic initiatives—bio/geosciences, water cycles across scales, weather & climate assessment science, data assimilation science, education and outreach, wildfire, whole atmosphere community modeling (collaborators from 55 different universities, early career faculty workshop, planned for early 2003)

HIAPER--NSF workshop in November for instrumentation plans

Black Forest, Blue Sky community facilities--2 teraflop peak in 11/2001, 9.1 teraflop peak in 10/2002, one peta byte

Community climate system model v.2--released 5/17/02

Weather research and forecasting (WRF) model--planned operational implementation in 04

ESMF--earth system modeling framework-software engineering framework for high performance earch science modeling and data assimilation (www.esmf.ucar.edu)

Plans--national IT agenda, national space weather agenda, national climate/weather agendas, others

UCAR Forum: Public, Private, and Academic Partnerships

Work together on common vision for partnership in economic, research, and public ways in area of weather services and research; suggested workshops, surveys, UCAR/AMS workshop in spring 2003; February AMS workshop


Continuing resolutions until after elections; NSF up 11.7%; NASA 1.99% to 2.67%; NSF @ 15% growth; Homeland Security now reflects S&T component (SARPA-an acceleration fund); SEVIS/ISEAS/IPASS all reflect efforts to keep undesirables out; pressure to keep 04 budget down, OMB metrics for review of duplication, etc.; little discussion of climate change; science was linked to economy - will need to make case for "marginal expenditures" in future; agencies that operate labs may have difficulty competing with those that support individual investigators; tech talent act; national security and essential role of sciences; increased diversity in education; fire research; hosted congressional members at UCAR; building case for impact of weather research on economy & society; boost USWRP progress & strength-promoting USWRP collaborations fund ($20M)-see handout

NSF Report (Cliff Jacobs – ATM/NSF)

Renewal recommended

May – NSB approached with recommendation

GEO considered impact of renewal vs. recompete on U.S. Science; decided recompete not warranted due to:

-new director

-new attention to role in support of academic community

-new Strategic Plan

-NSF should give management a chance

-new diversity


Recommended 5 years with management review in 2˝

So NSF requested 5 year proposal from UCAR; intend to recommend to NSB in May; new cooperative agreement by 10/03; seeking ~50-75 page document on science and facilities themes, education, leadership

High profile action at >$500 million; so to be consistent with NSF policy for recompetition of all major activities, expect to recompete at end of 5 years; has been 50 years without competing management of NCAR

Review of NCAR exposed no critical issues; helpful suggestions – wanted more not change or cessation – involved weeks of review and 10s of panelists

Review process – COI issues due to community served; have identified 10-15 panelists, proposal is out for review; onsite panel; will seek to resolve problems

UOP Director’s Report

See http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/oct02/uop_report.pdf.

Focuses: education and training; research support and technical development

Digital libraries: NSDL, DLESE, THREDDS, COMET providing collections; want to provide portals into the library

www.dlese.org (V1.5 available now): future versions on 03 for stds-based searches, 06 for georef/data focus

NSDL: sponsored by NSF/HER (www.nsdl.ucar.edu in December 02)

COMET: new sponsors, new courses and websites

Unidata Program Center: new director, Mohan Ramamurthy, in January 03; my.unidata portal, data viewers, training workshops, thematic servers; THREDDS tools, user workshops

Visual Science Program: 30 at 20 universities and 18 federal labs; recruitments for postdocs, others

Joint Office for Science Support: IHOP, ATLAS, VAMOS, SALLJEX

COSMIC: launch of satellites planned for 9/05 (Constellation Observation Systems for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate); payload preliminary design review completed August 02; radio occultation science workshop August 02.

GPS S&T: 73 SuomiNet receivers up by December (www.suominet.ucar.edu)

UNAVCO moving out in September 03

SPEC Report (Bob Duce, Chair of SPEC)

Participated in NSF reviews

See www.ncar.ucar.edu/review01

UCAR/NCAR well managed; impressed with NSF support and synergy; praised plans

NSF recommendations: level national agenda in atmospheric science, link research and operations, interactions with other disciplines, WMO involvement, measures of excellence, monitor HIAPER, long range SP, environmental and social impacts group, links to federal labs and institutions for management practice, explore rewards for personnel and community service

Recommendations to NSF: pay attention to role of NCAR as FRDC, reverse erosion of core funding, encourage other parts of NSF to support NCAR

SPEC recommendations beyond NSF recommendations: science programs for divisions should track with NCAR science programs, take leadership role in development of comparable capabilities, serve as ambassadors for NCAR in promoting collaboration, improve cross-division collaboration, all science staff should be involved in planning, encourage the excellent education and outreach, increased interaction with Congress

For future reviews: more discussions/fewer presentations; closed session with junior scientists, better tracking of science programs, community-wide input, improve "Accomplishments" document

University Relations Committee Report (Chris Bretherton, Chair URC)

Non-core proposal review – must justify

  • appropriate to NCAR/UCAR
  • no unfair competition
  • meaningful university collaboration
  • develops community resources
  • if co-sponsored, must support and enhance NSF core program

URC reviews ~10 proposals a year (20%); spot reviews

Feel process is working
Have guideline for co-sponsoring: use 30% leveraging effect (NSF $)/(co-sponsor) for explicit justification of co-sponsorship (typically about 10%)


Krista Laursen and 6 FTEs form project management team

Integrated Project Teams

Infrastructure: Data Acquisition, Data Display, Research Electrical Systems, Engineering & Design

Instrumentation: Chemistry, Radiation & Remote Sensing, Aerosols and Microphysics, State Parameter & Air Motion Sensing, Inlets & Airflow Analysis

Preparation for Operations: Operations & Maintenance, Safety & Certification

Green Airframe: S/N677 rolled out 6/4/02 then delivered to Lockheed-Martin for outfitting

IPT meetings: 3 meetings between UCAR/NCAR, NSF/Gulfstream/Lockheed Martin; review modifications to be made

Design Reviews & Technical Interchange Meetings: 9/02, 12/02, 2/03, 6/03

Statement of Work: document being prepared for final review and acceptance

Configuring HIAPER: Gulfstream has provided airflow data to influence instrument placement

Community Instrument Workshops: 11/4-6/02 at UCAR-CG

-identify science thrusts and types of measurement

-ensure broad community knowledge of aircraft

-discuss NSF Announcement of Opportunity for proposals to build instruments

External review of HIAPER: 12/11-13/02


Student Recruiting Website

This recruiting website is intended to be a community-wide resource. Perhaps UI web sites should point to it???


Education and Outreach Report


Support K12 → postgraduate

Improve public science literacy

Improve diversity in field

Summer leadership workshop for undergrads

(Sharing info with other colleges, other parts of Iowa?)

Mesa lab tours and exhibits: ~80K visitors/year

Doing major exhibit upgrade

NCAR and UCAR education and outreach websites

www.windows.ucar.edu; windows to universe project

Web weather: www.ucar.edu/educ_outreach/webweather
www.ucar.edu/educ_outreach/volunteer; collaborations with scientists; assist scientists in their own outreach efforts

This page updated 2002-10-18 14:43 -07 by Michelle Flores