ucar Highlights 2007

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UCAR at a glance

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HIGHLIGHTS Multimedia

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National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL)

Provides supercomputing resources, comprehensive data sets, scientific visualization tools and facilities, high-speed networks, and associated data-processing capabilities. Assists the atmospheric science community through the development of domain-specific software cyberinfrastructure and a broad research program in computer science. IMAGe brings mathematical tools to bear on fundamental geoscience problems and serves as a center of activity and integrator for the mathematical and geophysical communities.

  • Operations and Services Division (OSD)
  • Technology Development Division (TDD)
  • Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences (IMAGe)
Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL)

Provides observing facilities and instrumentation, including advanced radars, research aircraft, flux measurement systems, optical instrumentation for trace-gas measurement, and integrated sounding systems, to researchers in the atmospheric and related sciences. These facilities allow investigators around the globe to gather data required for their research programs.

  • Computing, Data and Software Facility (CDS)
  • Design and Fabrication Services (DFS)
  • Field Project Services (FPS)
  • In-Situ Sensing Facility (ISF)
  • Research Aviation Facility (RAF)
  • Remote Sensing Facility (RSF)
  • Technology Development Facility (TDF)
Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory (ESSL)

Performs fundamental studies of the dynamics of the Earth and Sun systems across spatial and temporal scales. Assesses how natural forcing (such as solar variability) and human-driven perturbations (such as chemical emissions and land-use changes) affect the evolution of the Earth system and ultimately the habitability of our planet. Research within ESSL is highly collaborative, with specialties focused in four major research divisions and one institute that organizes collaborative projects.

  • Atmospheric Chemistry Division (ACD)
  • Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD)
  • High Altitude Observatory (HAO)
  • Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division (MMM)
  • The Institute for Integrative and Multidisciplinary Earth Studies (TIIMES)
Research Applications Laboratory (RAL)

Conducts a comprehensive program of research, development and technology transfer in areas that currently include aviation, national security, numerical weather prediction, hydrometeorology, surface transportation, verification, and societal impacts. The JNT provides a testing and evaluation framework for new weather prediction model configurations and data assimilation methods and techniques before they are moved into operational use.

  • Aviation Applications Program (AAP)
  • Joint Numerical Testbed (JNT)
  • Hydrometeorological Applications
  • Program (HAP)
  • National Security Applications
  • Program (NSAP)
  • Weather Systems and Assessment
  • Program (WSAP)
Societal-Environmental Research and Education Laboratory (SERE)

Conducts multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research designed to support decision makers in their judicious use of climate, water, and weather data and information; brokers partnerships between NCAR scientists and their colleagues in the national and international university, government, and private sectors; invests in the 21st-century work force by supporting undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate career development; and provides leadership in (a) definition, planning, and execution of NCAR efforts in education, (b) development of appropriate social science components for NCAR research activities, and (c) research in the science of coupled natural and human environmental systems.

  • Advanced Study Program (ASP)
  • Center for Capacity Building (CCB)
  • Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE)


UCAR Office of Programs (UOP)

Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC)

Conducts a science project between the United States and Taiwan involving a constellation of six microsatellites. Launched in 2006, COSMIC satellites collect atmospheric remote-sensing data for weather prediction, climate, and ionospheric and gravity research.

Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET)

Serves the geosciences community by providing a wealth of high-quality multimedia education on a wide range of atmospheric, hydrologic, and oceanographic-related topics, aimed at a broad audience of users and available at no cost via its MetEd Web site, www.meted.ucar.edu. COMET also offers residence courses and workshops, and supports applied research through its Outreach Program.

Digital Learning Sciences (DLS)

Develops systems and services that enable scientific and educational organizations—universities, school districts, libraries, and publishers—to organize, manage, comprehend, and enrich online resources to improve learning outcomes and learner engagement. DLS is a collaboration between UOP and the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE)

In partnership with NASA and NSF, works with over a million students in more than 20,000 schools located in 109 countries. More than 40,000 teachers worldwide guide students in taking scientific measurements, using the Internet to report and analyze scientific data, and creating partnerships between students and international scientists.

Joint Office for Science Support (JOSS)

Collaborates closely with scientists and research managers to plan, organize, and conduct scientific programs in the most productive, efficient, and cost-effective ways. Supports planning efforts, research programs, and field experiments worldwide.

National Science Digital Library (NSDL)

Provides high-quality online materials for students, teachers, and professionals at all levels across the full range of disciplines in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). NSDL’s core integration activities are housed in UOP; other parts of the NSF-funded effort are distributed among several institutions, including primary partners Columbia and Cornell universities. NSDL serves as the digital library for NSF’s STEM education programs.

Unidata Program Center

Provides data, tools, and community leadership for enhanced Earth system education and research. Unidata is a diverse community of academic institutions vested in the common goal of sharing data, as well as tools to access, analyze, and visualize that data.

Visiting Scientist Programs (VSP)

Operates programs designed to support and broaden education and research in the atmospheric, oceanic, and related sciences through fellowships to researchers at graduate, postgraduate, and more advanced levels. VSP also supports advisory panels and review teams, workshops, and summer institutes for the university community and federal-agency sponsors.


University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

Corporate Affairs

Cultivates dialogue and facilitates relations among UCAR, its member institutions, policymakers and lawmakers, and the media.

Education and Outreach (EO)

Bridges the worlds of scientific research and education through exhibits, public visitor programs, workshops and proffessional development for Earth science educators, Web sites designed for learners of varied backgrounds, and diversity programs. SOARS works to increase the diversity of students pursuing careers in the atmospheric and related sciences through a four-year undergraduate and graduate mentoring program and learning community.

Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS)

Finance and Administration (F&A)

Conducts activities related to the planning, management, and accountability of the business, financial, human, and physical resources of UCAR.


UCAR Member Institutions
International Affiliates
Academic Affiliates