ucar Highlights 2007

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Who we are

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HIGHLIGHTS Multimedia

videoConnections—Weather, Climate, and the UCAR Community (7.5 minutes)

web iconAbout Us: UCAR/NCAR/UOP

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is a consortium with 70 university members, each of which grants doctoral degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences, plus an increasing number of academic and international affiliates and corporate partners. The UCAR mission is to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the university community, nationally and internationally; to understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related systems and the global environment; and to foster the transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on earth.

UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the UCAR Office of Programs (UOP). NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Various NCAR and UOP activities are also funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

A board of trustees selected by consortium members manages UCAR. This unique governance ensures that NCAR and UOP fully serve the atmospheric and related-sciences communities. When new scientific, technological, or educational tools emerge that may have a broader use in society, UCAR makes them available commercially through direct transfer or through the UCAR Foundation.

NCAR provides members, affiliates, and others with tools such as aircraft and radar to observe the atmosphere and with the technology and assistance to interpret and use these observations, including supercomputer access, computer models, and user support. NCAR and university scientists work together on research topics in atmospheric chemistry, climate, cloud physics and storms, weather hazards to aviation, and interactions between the Sun and Earth. In all of these areas, scientists are looking closely at the role of people in both creating change and responding to weather and climate.

The UCAR Office of Programs (UOP) creates, conducts, and coordinates projects to strengthen education, research, and technology in the atmospheric and related sciences. UOP helps organize multiagency experiments, supports satellite-based Earth and atmospheric monitoring, provides real-time weather data for education and research, manages postdoctoral fellowship programs for federal agencies, links universities and operational forecast offices, provides resources for constructing and organizing digital libraries, helps introduce students around the world to atmospheric observing, and trains working forecasters and university instructors in the latest meteorological research.

The UCAR Office of Education and Outreach (EO) addresses both K-12 formal education and broad public communication. Its work is carried out through the development and dissemination of Web-based material; the design and display of scientific exhibits, both at NCAR and in other facilities and museums; and the development of workshops that offer extensive scientific and pedagogical support to educators from across the country on how to integrate weather, climate, and global change topics into their curricula, along with training on specific activities for the classroom. EO also includes the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science program (SOARS), which aims to increase the pool of graduate students from underrepresented groups in the atmospheric and related sciences.