UCAR Annual Meetings - 8 - 11 October 2007, Boulder, CO

Back to the Membership Committee Report

University of Delaware UCAR Membership Recommendation

On 16 April, 2007, the site visit team (Jack Fellows, Jim Miller and Diane Pataki) visited the University of Delaware in connection with its application for full membership in UCAR. The site team was hosted by Dr. A.D. Kirwan (Professor of Physical Ocean Science and Engineering, Dr. Lian-Ping Wang (Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering), and David Legates (Associate Professor of Geography). Most of the atmospheric and related activities take place within five of the seven university colleges. We met with representatives from the university and each of these colleges, including:

  • University Provost – Dr. Daniel Rich
  • Vice Provost for Research – Dr. Carolyn Thoroughgood
  • College of Marine and Earth Studies (marine studies, marine policy, oceanography, coastal processes, climate change, air-sea interactions, atmospheric and ocean boundary layers, carbon cycle) – Dr. Nancy Targett, Dean
  • College of Engineering (water resources, coastal engineering, fluids, cloud microphysics) – Dr. Thomas Buchanan, Chair of Mechanical Engineering.
  • College of Arts and Sciences (biological science, geography, climatology, solar physics, space weather) – Dr. George Watson, Assoc. Dean
  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (plant and soil science, ecology, biology, land use change, water quality, watershed management) – Dr. Tom Sims, Assoc. Dean
  • College of Human Resources, Energy, and Public Policy (climate change, energy transformation, sustainable development, carbon management, economics, political science, urban planning, environmental studies) – Dr. John Byrne, Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy.

We began our visit with a brief overview of UCAR and a general discussion with senior faculty and administrators about how UCAR membership could benefit the University of Delaware, and how the University of Delaware could actively contribute to and improve UCAR’s activities. That was followed by a thorough presentation by the Provost and each of the college representatives mentioned above. During the course of the day, the site team met with over 30 faculty and students and toured a range of research and education facilities. The site visit team was impressed by the enthusiasm shown by faculty and students for their research and by the level of interactions among the colleges on both research and policy activities – largely through more than 15 interdisciplinary centers and institutes. It was clear from the discussion and presentations that Delaware has a strong, multidisciplinary approach to atmospheric and related sciences.

The Delaware faculty has a number of existing collaborations with UCAR and NCAR research and education programs (e.g., climate and weather working groups, climate change, field programs, using NCAR supercomputers, solar physics, etc). Dr. Wang was among the first class of NCAR Faculty Fellowship recipients and has made extended visits to NCAR many times over the past few years. Its application for full membership is based on the desire of its faculty for more active participation in UCAR’s governance, programs and facilities. It is clear that many members of the Delaware Administration support these increased interactions with UCAR and have been planning the application for many years.

Delaware has 55 faculty and research staff and offer over 35 graduate degrees in atmospheric and related sciences. Over the past five years, they have awarded over 100 Ph.D. degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences. Research at Delaware includes all of the topics mentioned above in the colleges and much more. These research programs appear to be well recognized in the community and are funded by DOE, NSF, EPA, NASA, NOAA, and also private funds. Delaware facilities include:

  • A broad range of environmental observing facilities and equipment,
  • Space physics, ocean engineering, fluid mechanics, and computational labs,
  • the Cannon and Smith marine laboratories on the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, on the shores of Delaware Bay; this campus also supports a research vessel.

Recommendation: The Membership Committee concludes that the University of Delaware meets the membership criteria, and accordingly recommends that the Member’s Representatives elect the University of Delaware a UCAR member.