Richard Anthes a , Otis Brown b , Kelvin Droegemeier c , and Jack Fellows a
This article summarizes the activities of the past year's 40th anniversary celebration for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. (NCAR). NCAR's High Altitude Observatory celebrated its 60th anniversary, and NCAR's sponsor, the National Science Foundation (NSF), celebrated their 50th. These anniversaries provided the opportunity to reflect on past accomplishments as well as looking to the future. The article also relates the year-long community dialogue about issues important to the future of these organizations and the university community.
a - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder,
b - Rosenstiel School Division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
c - Department of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman Oklahoma
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2000. Formed in 1959, UCAR is a consortium of nearly 90 universities involved in the atmospheric and related sciences. On behalf of this community, UCAR oversees a broad range of programs that serve the research and education needs of the community, including NCAR and the UCAR Office of Programs (UOP). For more information about UCAR, NCAR, and UOP, please see http://www.ucar.edu/ucar/.
This article summarizes the anniversary celebrations and related activities and also provides a look into the future for these community organizations. During this exciting and productive year, the High Altitude Observatory (HAO), a part of NCAR since 1960, also celebrated its 60th anniversary, and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the primary sponsor of NCAR since the beginning, celebrated its 50th. UCAR management and the Board of Trustees used these milestones as an opportunity to reflect upon past achievements and to help set the agenda for the institution well into the 21st century.
The Annual Meeting of the UCAR Members' Representatives in October 1999 kicked off the year of celebration and planning. A forum at the 1999 members' meeting provided the basis for a UCAR community survey, carried out in May-June 2000. This survey asked for input on issues critical to the field including setting of research priorities and directions; interdisciplinary research; quality and quantity of graduate students entering the field; balance among areas of research; relationships among the academic, government, and private sectors; and diversity in our field. It also included specific questions about how the community interacts with UCAR, NCAR and UOP, and what additional or increased areas of service to the community UCAR should consider. The year-long community dialogue ended at the October 2000 members' meeting with a forum organized around the issues identified in the survey as most important to the universities. The results of the fora in 1999 and 2000, and the discussions with the community throughout the year, are being used to develop a new NCAR strategic plan as well as a UCAR strategic plan for education and outreach.
An important milestone for the celebration was the publication of UCAR at 40, a retrospective look at some of UCAR's and the community's greatest achievements, with emphasis on the last 15 years. This publication, which is a sequel to UCAR at 25 (http://www.ucar.edu/communications/ucar25/), features a narrative history, timelines, and commentary from some of UCAR and NCAR's most eminent collaborators, accompanied by many historical photographs. Susan Solomon (NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory), Robert Rosner (University of Chicago), Joachim Kuettner (UCAR), T.N. Krishnamurti (Florida State), Richard Reed (University of Washington), Denise Stephenson-Hawk (Spelman College) and John Zillman (Australia's Bureau of Meteorology) describe what NCAR has meant to their careers and to the national and international science community. The document includes original art, pointing up the artistry inherent in scientific creativity. UCAR at 40 is available in hard copy from UCAR and is on the web at: http://www.ucar.edu/communications/ucar40/.
The 1999 Annual Members' Meeting Forum began a year-long discussion on the implementation of two recent planning reports: the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) report, "The atmospheric Sciences Entering the Twenty-First Century" http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/atmos/) and NSF's "GEO 2000". (http://www.geo.nsf.gov/adgeo/geo2000.htm). The overarching question of the forum was:
How should the universities and UCAR/NCAR, working in partnership with the rest of the atmospheric sciences community, evolve to meet the highest-priority challenges and opportunities of the next several decades?
The forum was organized around four breakout groups, representing BASC's key contribution areas:
1. Protecting Life and Property (e.g., meteorology, weather research and operations,
U.S. Weather Research Program, space weather). Co-Chairs Kelvin Droegemeier
(University of Oklahoma) and Maura Hagan (NCAR).
2. Maintaining Environmental Quality (e.g., air pollution, ozone depletion, global
change, aerosols, U.S. Global Change Research Program). Co-Chairs Ken Demerjian
(SUNY Albany) and Linda Mearns (NCAR).
3. Enhancing National Economic Vitality (e.g., societal impacts, value of weather and
climate information). Co-Chairs Jerry North (Texas A&M) and Bob Harriss (NCAR).
4. Strengthening Fundamental Understanding (e.g., basic research, disciplinary topics,
studies of specific phenomena such as tropical and extratropical cyclones). Co-Chairs
Kerry Emanuel (MIT) and Guy Brasseur (NCAR).
To address these issues in the context of their subject, each of the groups considered the following questions:
1. How can and should the community contribute to the BASC/GEO2000 goals
2. What facilities are needed to make these contributions?
3. What are the key education and human resource issues?
4. What are the key issues related to leadership, government, administration, and
Following the wide-ranging discussions in the breakout groups, the co-chairs summarized the major points in a plenary session (for more detail see: http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/oct99/followup/forum.html):
(a) Protecting Life and Property. Kelvin Droegemeier reported that the forecast and warning environment is changing rapidly, and the distinction between operations and research is becoming fuzzy. The private sector is playing a much greater role than in the past, and this trend is likely to continue. Issues such as intellectual property, data rights, responsibility for issuing severe weather warnings, and the respective roles of the government, academia and the private sector are at the forefront of concern. Barriers to progress include ineffective pathways from research to operations, insufficient interagency interactions and cooperation, and walls between the private sector and other communities. The group identified a number of possible roles and made recommendations for the university community and NCAR/UCAR. These included: (1) establishing partnerships with the private sector; (2) assessing the needs of users; (3) establishing priorities and developing goals to meet the needs; (4) conducting basic and applied research, in partnership with the operational community; (5) conducting proof-of-concept experiments on the viability of new techniques and systems; and (6) sharing knowledge and operational advances.
(b) Maintaining Environmental Quality. Ken Demerjian summarized three areas of special interest: CFCs and ozone, greenhouse gases and global change, and aerosols. The group identified three issues of importance to this community. First, research, operations, and policy in this area are inherently interdisciplinary and multiscale (local, regional, and global), but the federal agencies are not organized well to foster the needed studies. In addition, many scientists are reluctant to work with scientists from other disciplines. Second, access must be provided to interdisciplinary and integrated data sets through appropriate archives, and this requirement leads to cost and computer storage issues. Third, the community needs to make a greater effort toward developing instrumentation, including interdisciplinary instruments that could be used for a variety of research studies.
(c) Economic Vitality. Bob Harriss noted the primacy of the economy to national priorities. In a recent North America Free Trade Agreement meeting on transportation, there were signs of industry recognizing the importance of environmental science to the transportation sector. Environmental variables are rising to the top of issue lists in a dramatically changing global economy. Businesses are now regionally integrated and globally linked. Business issues are changing, from cost in the 1970s, to quality in the 1980s, to speed in the 1990s. Thus, there is a new focus on transportation and an interest in weather forecasting, air quality, and climate. Precision agriculture is an example of the need to integrate science, technology, and business. The group concluded that we need to build a broader and deeper set of strategic alliances with the business and public policy communities. These partnerships must be based on continuous dialogue, because competitive priorities change very rapidly. We should start with the industries we know best - weather, agriculture, energy and transportation. We should also explore opportunities for developing alliances with the fields of health sciences, policy, recreation, and weather derivatives. As issues like data and intellectual property continue to grow, it becomes more important than ever to establish stronger ties to university colleagues in business, law, and engineering. Barriers to progress include inadequate human resources; deficiencies in academic infrastructure; and promotion and tenure policies that inhibit multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary interactions.
(d) Fundamental Understanding. Kerry Emanuel reported on participants' concern that fundamental science is being compromised in favor of large, high-profile initiatives that are attractive to science managers trying to raise money from Congress. History tells us that major advances often come from "left field". Are we starving our left-field players? The group was also concerned about the apparent diminishing quality and quantity of graduate students entering the field. Possible causes included the perception among the best students that earth sciences are not rigorous, inadequate attention to science in K-12 education, low pay compared to high-tech jobs in the private sector, and the general lack of interest in science by today's youth.
3.0 Community Survey
As a follow-up to the 1999 forum, in May 2000 UCAR conducted a survey of its constituent communities (universities, sponsors and colleagues in the government and private sectors), with emphasis on the universities. The survey sought quantitative data to assess the quality and number of interactions with UCAR programs and to understand future needs and expectations of the broad community including member and affiliate universities and colleges, sponsors, facility users, scientific collaborators, and participants in governance. The survey also asked for personal views on the broader issues affecting the research community that were identified in the 1999 forum, including the need for:
|More inter- and multidisciplinary research in a primarily discipline-organized research environment;|
|More and better instrumentation development and education in instrumentation;|
|Better understanding of the sources, characteristics, and uses of observations;|
|Better data access and management tools;|
|More community input in determining research priorities;|
|An appropriate balance of the nation's research resources among field research, modeling, theory, and laboratory work;|
|Increasing the quality and quantity of graduate students attracted to the atmospheric and related sciences; and|
|Increasing diversity at all levels in the workforce of the atmospheric and related sciences.|
The web-based survey consisted of four parts. Part I asked about the background of the respondent and how he or she had interacted with UCAR in the past. Part II asked the respondent to indicate all specific UCAR programs or activities with which he or she had some significant association in the past ten years. Part III included questions about challenges, issues and future activities. Finally, Part IV asked about specific divisions or programs within NCAR, UOP, and UCAR.
The response from the community was strong: 29.2%, or 599 of 2,048 polled, returned the survey. Approximately 80% of the respondents were from universities, and most indicated atmospheric science/meteorology as their primary discipline. However, there were a significant number of respondents from disciplines such as oceanography, astronomy/solar physics, physics, computer science, and geology/geophysics. Many people provided thoughtful comments; these totaled approximately 3,000, covering over 250 pages of single-spaced text!
A summary of the responses is presented at: http://www.ucar.edu/may2000survey/PublicResults.html. We assured the respondents that their replies would be kept confidential; thus, the statistical results are given without the comments. In general, people wrote of their frustrations with graduate student recruitment, the importance of interdisciplinary efforts, and attendant difficulties in obtaining funding for such efforts. They wrote about the need for student understanding of observations, data sources, and analysis; frustrations with low pay in our field compared to others; and the need for experimental science and basic research as well as directed research.
While we realize that each person who looks at these results may arrive at somewhat different conclusions, we would like to offer our personal interpretation of some of the results. First, and most important, the high response rate of nearly 30% and the very large number of comments indicate that the community has strong interest in UCAR activities and programs and in the issues raised in the survey. In addition, the results show strong interest by the community in a broad UCAR program of science, facilities, education, and outreach - a program reflecting the breadth of interests in the community.
When asked to identify their relationship with UCAR over the past ten years, respondents indicated strong participation in all twelve categories presented. The five categories of greatest participation, listed in decreasing number of responses, were: (1) users of data sets or data streams, (2) visitors to UCAR, (3) collaborators, (4) users of UCAR software, and (5) users of community models. This broad range of activities, in addition to the many users of UCAR computational and observational facilities, indicates to us the importance of having a broad scientific program at UCAR as well as first-class community facilities. The interest in a broad UCAR was confirmed again in Part III. When asked what increased areas of service to the community UCAR should consider, respondents voiced widespread support for increased activity in all eleven categories presented. Leading areas, listed in decreasing number of responses, were: (1) data sets and data streams; (2) educational, training, and recruiting materials; (3) community workshops on topics of interest; (4) provision of real-time data to universities; and (5) instrumentation and community models (tied for fifth place).
The community also expressed strong interest in participating in UCAR activities. Of most interest were: (1) collaboration with UCAR scientists, educators, or other staff; (2) use of community models; (3) UCAR governance activities; (4) participation in UCAR educational activities; and (5) use of UCAR computational facilities.
To briefly summarize results from other parts of the survey, the community perceives that research priorities are determined more by the needs and priorities of the funding agencies than they should be. It feels that interdisciplinary research should be increased but that the federal agencies and, to a lesser extent, the academic community are not organized adequately to carry out this research effectively. There is continued concern about the balance among observational research, theory, and modeling. While respondents indicated a significant (and we suspect growing) interaction with the private sector, there is a perception that the quality of these interactions could be improved. The community strongly supports increasing diversity in the field.
The greatest concern expressed in the survey is over the quantity and perceived
quality of graduate students. This result confirms the findings of a separate
survey conducted by UCAR earlier this year. An article by R. Anthes in the spring
2000 issue of the UCAR Quarterly introduces this issue and provides some interesting
demographics about the atmospheric sciences workforce; it is available at: http://www.ucar.edu/communications/quarterly/spring00/president.html
. UCAR Trustee Gabor Vali summarizes the results from the graduate student survey
http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~vali/grad_stud_recruit.html . The UCAR trustees have taken a special interest in this issue and will continue to investigate ways for the community to address it.
Finally, the community provided much input to specific divisions and programs in NCAR and UOP in Part IV of the survey. The management and staff of these activities are considering this input as they assess their programs and plan for the future.
4.0 UCAR Members' Forum 2000
The UCAR Members' Representatives Annual Meeting (Fig. 1) in October 2000 completed the year-long celebration and community dialogue. Part of this meeting was dedicated to a second forum, with the following five breakout sessions:
|Observational Facilities, Instrumentation, and Field Program Support. Chair: Ron Smith (Yale University)|
|Computing Facilities and Community Models. Chair: Chris Bretherton (University of Washington)|
|Data: Real-time and Archived Data, Data Sets, Data Streams. Chair: John Merrill (University of Rhode Island)|
|Education and Training. Chair: Gene Takle (Iowa State University)|
|Recruiting Graduate Students. Chair: Dennis Thomson (Pennsylvania State University)|
Richard Anthes, Juan Arratia, Tom Windham, David
Houghton, Bruce Berryman, Mary Jo Richardson, Ron McPherson, Gary Isom, David
Prior, Susan Ustin, Unidentified, Ron Smith, Noboru Nakamura, Matt Hitchman,
Vince Idone, Brian Lamb, Fred House, Glenn Shaw, Fred Samazzi, Jindra Goodman,
Don Perkey, John Merrill, Laney Mills, Richard Clark, Fred Stafford, Unidentified,
Bill Gutowski, Leo Donner, Roland List, Darrell Strobel, Randolph Ware, Jay
Hobgood, Lynn LeBlanc, Donald Hagen, Stephen Mudrick, Stephen Monismith, Richard
Grotjahn, Kelvin Droegemeier, Carlyle Wash, Unidentified, Ben Herman, Don Wuebbles,
David Kingsmill, Gabor Vali, Ken Demerjian, Richard Kleeman, Ken Pickering,
John Raynor, Ernest Agee, Susan Kilham, Unidentified, Thomas Schroeder, Unidentified,
Jim Hudson, Paul Croft, Lodovica Illari, Len Pietrafesa, Tim Rosenberg, Paul
Wennberg, Anastasios Tsonis, Everette Joseph, Eugenia Kalnay, David Straub,
Unidentified, James N. Petersen, Jochen Stutz, Chester Newton, Dennis Thomson,
Len Fisk, John Raitt, Clark Wilson, Unidentified, Otis Brown, Fred Carr, Claes
Rooth, Peter Gerity, Peter Rabideau, William Winn, John Dutton, Patricia Hagen,
Unidentified, Chris Bretherton, Brian Farrell, Greg Carmichael, Peter Taylor,
Joel Norris, Joe Zabranski, Blaine Blad, Donald Foss, Tim Doggett, Roberta Johnson,
Peter Ray, Jack Fellows, Frank Lin, Katy Schmoll
These five themes were the key areas identified in the 1999 forum and the community survey. Each of the breakout groups reviewed the relevant Forum 1999 and survey responses, listened to ideas on how best to respond to these issues, and then provided feedback. The breakout groups were also asked to discuss a range of questions developed in cooperation with the UCAR University Relations Committee on how to encourage more interactions between UCAR and the community.
Participants and proceedings of Forum 2000 can be seen at: http://www.ucar.edu/governance/meetings/oct00/followup/members_followup.html; the following is a brief summary of the discussions, including findings and recommendations:
a. Observational Facilities, Instrumentation, and Field Program Support. Ron Smith summarized the relevant survey questions and issues and then NCAR's Dave Carlson and Jeff Stith presented UCAR and NCAR planning relative to these community responses. The session participants in response to these presentations provided the following suggestions for UCAR and NCAR to consider:
|·||Increase NCAR staff and support for observing systems;|
|·||Help develop a website catalog of instruments;|
|·||Help enhance low-cost observing systems;|
|·||Improve flexibility in the ATD deployment pool;|
|·||Improve the process for community input into the ATD priority-setting process;|
|·||Assist in the private-sector cloning of observing systems;|
|·||Increase post-docs in instrumentation through the NCAR Advanced Study Program and other programs;|
|·||Provide teaching kits, online instruction, and/or short courses at NCAR or elsewhere on instrumentation; and|
|·||Help improve data format, software support, and data delivery in field campaigns.|
b. Computing Facilities and Community Models. Chris Bretherton summarized the issues and then NCAR's Maurice Blackmon, Al Kellie, Bill Kuo and Joe Klemp presented UCAR and NCAR planning including the current state of community modeling such as the Community Climate System Model, MM5 (the Penn State/NCAR mesoscale model), WRF (Weather Research and Forecast), MOZART (Model for OZone And Related chemical Tracers); the UCAR/NCAR computing facilities available to the community; and UCAR/NCAR's strategic plan for the next five years in this area. A panel of Leo Donner (Princeton), Jimy Dudhia (NCAR), Joel Norris (Scripps), Kelvin Droegemeier (University of Oklahoma), and session participants provided a number of perspectives including:
|·||The NCAR-based community models and computing facilities are an invaluable and vibrant community asset.|
|·||Community governance is a social experiment too ... different groups are taking different governance approaches.|
|·||Providing either physics/numeric options or relative ease of modification is important for science applications.|
|·||A host of challenging computer science issues are involved in providing optimal frameworks for modeling, analysis, and visualization. These will have to involve all of the modeling groups, NCAR's Scientific Computing Division, and community experts.|
|·||Informal and non-judgmental user workshops help bring the modeling community together, foster mutual awareness/cooperation, and "air the warts".|
|·||Effective model diagnosis/improvement requires community organization and communication.|
|·||The community will always push the limits of possible applications of community models(e.g., regional climate modeling with MM5).|
|·||Continual work is necessary to enhance the user interface including embedded documentation, graphics, etc. to minimize spin-up time.|
|·||Model codes - portability and efficiency of use on NCAR computers are both priorities.|
|·||A community model requires much work, skill, and help from NCAR people to progress most effectively. Special institutional support and ideally some cross-agency commitments will be needed to keep these facilities cutting-edge.|
c. Data: Real-time and Archived Data, Data Sets, Data Streams. John
Merrill summarized the survey questions and issues and then UOP's Dave Fulker
and NCAR's Steve Worley summarized UCAR/NCAR activities that are intended to
improve access to real-time data flows, enhance data usability, facilitate data
discovery, or support community interactions.
Session participants then offered various perspectives on these activities, including the view that data are most valuable when easily accessible and usable. Among the suggestions were that UCAR should:
|·||Continue and extend efforts to improve access to data holdings and real-time data flows (e.g., radar data);|
|·||Enhance data usability through software and metadata advances, and data discovery tools;|
|·||Explore innovative ways to reduce data access costs and address bandwidth constraints; and|
|·||Exploit distributed approaches and develop collaboration technologies that lead toward a goal of scientists as "curators" of data sets that exhibit quality, completeness, and integrity and address related complexities such as preservation and cross-platform calibration consistency.|
d. Education and Training. Gene Takle summarized the issues and then UCAR's Roberta Johnson, Mary Marlino, and Tim Spangler presented the current and proposed education and outreach activities across UCAR. Kaye Howe (Howe and Associates) and Peter Gerity (New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology) commented on the changing landscape of universities and education delivery/pedagogy including:
|·||Aging of traditional (i.e. tenured, lifelong careers in universities) faculty and shift to part-time, non tenured faculty;|
|·||Increasing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work that may affect the traditional disciplinary and departmental management structure of universities;|
|·||Higher standards for tenure at same time that faculty expectations for tenure and promotion are increasing;|
|·||Changing backgrounds, age, experience and possibly quality of incoming students and students' expectations of universities;|
|·||Less flexible, more directed budgets with the direction coming from outside the universities and rising expectations for university involvement in job creation and economic growth;|
|·||Changes in pedagogy including decreased emphasis on conventional lecturing and increased use of technology, collaborative learning, teamwork and immersive learning environments;|
|·||Increased use of computer/network-based learning and distance education; and|
|·||Emergence of new competitors, especially in distance learning, challenging the instructional dominance and economic base of traditional universities.|
The session participants then provided the following community perspectives
on UCAR and NCAR planning:
|·||Support partnerships (including with for-profits) that blend content and delivery systems.|
|·||UCAR should not get into curriculum development but should focus on creating high-quality modules that can be used in multiple applications.|
|·||Inform students of the career potential of training in atmospheric sciences. It is not a failure if students don't go to graduate school in atmospheric science.|
|·||Support pre-college programs that convey the excitement of science and include discovery and hands-on experiences.|
|·||Help universities develop effective tools for assessing the quality of atmospheric science programs and student preparation.|
|·||Provide workshops, content materials, and facilities to allow faculty to create courses or components of courses relating to the atmospheric sciences (at the pre-college, college, and university level).|
|·||Support laboratories and simulations in the virtual learning environment to engage students.|
|·||Develop a website to continue the dialogue and develop working groups and community proposals.|
e. Recruiting Graduate Students. Dennis Thomson summarized the results from the graduate student survey and gave the participants a quick quiz on whether and how UCAR might be involved in recruiting activities for the community. The results of that quiz showed that all session participants thought UCAR should play a role in the recruitment of graduate students. NCAR's Al Cooper (Advanced Study Program) presented UCAR's ideas on possible recruiting activities and a brief survey of ASP post-docs on why they went into science and when they chose atmospheric science as their major field. The majority chose atmospheric sciences during their undergraduate studies. The session participants then provided their perspective on UCAR recruiting ideas including:
|·||Assume a more proactive role in graduate recruitment activities including a possible UCAR/AMS recruiting website for the discipline.|
|·||Expand the initial UCAR Board of Trustee graduate student survey into a longitudinal study tracking demographics of students and professional careers.|
|·||Continue programs that increase human diversity in the field, particularly individuals from underrepresented groups in the sciences (e.g., African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc.).|
|·||Continue high-quality and responsive community support activities such as Unidata and COMET.|
5.0 Public Events and Other Anniversary Activities
Anniversary events were launched on 12 October 1999 with a public program entitled "Visualizing Our Planet: Past, Present and Future", presented to an overflow audience of about 700 Boulder adults and children. Fritz Hasler (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) and Don Middleton (NCAR Scientific Computing Division) led this stimulating demonstration of scientific visualizations.
A week later, John Firor delivered the second Walter Orr Roberts Distinguished Lecture at the Boulder Public Library, speaking on "A View of Grand Canyon to a Vision of Science in the Twenty-first Century". Firor discussed the inspirational moments in his life that led to his career choice and his introduction to NCAR's first director Walt Roberts and subsequent work in Boulder as director of HAO and, later, of NCAR. He also shared words about the responsibility of scientists in a post-Vannevar Bush world where science is no longer assumed to be a value-free, completely objective enterprise. A synopsis of Firor's talk may be found on the web at http://www.ucar.edu/40th/Activities/vision.html.
On 30 October 1999, Super Science Saturday was held at NCAR's Mesa Lab and attracted more than 2,000 visitors (Fig. 2). This event was designed to promote public science literacy and enrich the science experiences of area students and teachers. With a Halloween theme, UCAR staff demonstrated "Frighteningly Good Science" including Halloween chemistry, and area museums hosted activity tables with a "creepy crawly" theme. The NCAR Chromakey exhibit provided visitors the opportunity to perform their own live weathercast on closed circuit TV. Workshops for kindergarten through eighth-grade students offered ideas and methods for creating meaningful science-fair projects and photography for science.
Fig. 2. Participant costumed as a tornado, at the NCAR Super Science Saturday on 30 October 1999. She's standing next to the NCAR tornado exhibit.
In February, UCAR's 40th anniversary website unveiled Web Weather for Kids in time for the AAAS' National Public Science Day. Students were invited to participate in an on-line forecasting contest in competition with a popular local television forecaster (a student won!). Shortly after it was posted, this site won The Unisys Prize for Online Education, being recognized by the award team of Unisys, AAAS, and the Franklin Institute as "a model for collaboration and a powerful example of how the web can meaningfully affect classroom practice". Several months later, it was named by Denver's Westword newspaper the "Best of Denver 2000 Scientific Web Site for Kids". Web Weather may be found on the web at: http://www.ucar.edu/40th/webweather/ .
In April, for the University of Colorado's Conference on World Affairs, UCAR and NOAA (celebrating its 30th anniversary) teamed to present two panels on space weather and climate change. In addition to several NCAR participants, panelists were recruited from across the country including Boston University, the World Resources Institute, NASA, the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, and UCLA.
The major 40th anniversary public event was held in mid-June and was attended by what may have been the highest-ranking, largest NSF contingent ever to visit Boulder. NSF director Rita Colwell, deputy director Joe Bordogna, and Geosciences director Margaret Leinen were accompanied by ATM director Jarvis Moyers and the head of ATM's UCAR and Lower Atmospheric Facilities Oversight Section Cliff Jacobs for several days of celebration and scientific and educational presentations. On 18 June, the Bubble and Balloon Festival (Figs. 3 and 4) attracted over 5,000 visitors (many of them under the age of four) from neighboring Front Range communities. That afternoon, Dr. Colwell and the Boulder City Manager Ron Secrist cut the ribbon to officially open Atmospheric Odyssey, UCAR's new atmospheric sciences exhibit at the Mesa Lab. The next day, Colwell gave a public talk at the University of Colorado about the NSF's research expeditions in Arctic regions.
Fig. 3 Bubble and Balloon Festival 18 June 2000
Fig. 4 NCAR Director Designate Tim Killeen and NSF Director Rita Colwell at the Bubble and Balloon festival,
18 June 2000.
On 16 June, Henry Lansford, former public information officer of NCAR, introduced a screening of Woody Allen's Sleeper (Fig. 5) at the Boulder Public Library. Allen shot most of the movie in the Denver-Boulder area, including at NCAR's futuristic Mesa Lab. About 20 NCAR staff appeared in the movie as extras at a wage of $20 per day, minus a $3 commission for the talent agency. The highlight of the event came when Allen was hoisted up the side of the north tower, and then was replaced by a stunt man for a plunge to the ground.
Fig. 5 Woody Allen dangles alongside the north tower of the Mesa Lab during the filming of "Sleeper" in 1973.
In June, a new NCAR science store at the Mesa Lab opened to the public, offering visitors and staff books, including UCAR staff publications, as well as other scientific and educational products related to the atmospheric sciences. The goal of the science store is to extend and enrich NCAR/UCAR's public and educational outreach efforts to the roughly 65,000 visitors who come to the Mesa Lab each year. Profits from sales will go to the Friends of UCAR fund to support education programs.
On 20 September, HAO scientist Tom Bogdan spoke at the Boulder Public Library about "Living with a Turbulent Sun: The History and Scientific Discoveries of NCAR's High Altitude Observatory." Tom recounted the history of HAO, including the key year of 1940 when Walter Orr Roberts, a recent graduate of Harvard University, chose the high altitude of Climax, Colorado to set up a solar observatory. After World War II, the observatory became part of the University of Colorado (CU), formed the core of the original Astrogeophysics Department at CU, and later merged with the fledgling NCAR in 1960, all under Roberts' leadership.
On 9 October, HAO hosted a 60th anniversary scientific symposium followed by a banquet. Symposium sessions included "Energetics of the Thermosphere: New Opportunities", "60 Tenacious Years of Coronal Investigation", "Space Weather: Geomagnetism Comes of Age", "Solar Dynamo and Interior: A Helioseismic Reappraisal", "Weather, Climate and the Variable Sun", and "From Khartoum to Solar-B: Changing Views of the Dynamic Solar Atmosphere". Seven former HAO employees who began their appointments over half a century ago attended the banquet. Norman J. Macdonald, a meteorologist in HAO from 1957 to 1959, reminded the participants of HAO's - and Walter Orr Roberts' - longstanding commitment to elucidate the physical processes that underlie solar-terrestrial interactions.
The year of celebrations came to a close on 10 October with a gala reception and banquet for trustees, members' representatives, and special guests. AeroVironment chairman Paul MacCready gave a visionary keynote speech for this final NCAR and UCAR anniversary event.
Recognized at the banquet were special guests including signers of the Preliminary Plans for a National Institute for Atmospheric Research published in 1959 (the "Blue Book") (Fig. 6): Roscoe Braham; Reid Bryson; Tom Malone; Harlan Cleveland, dean emeritus of the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and key player in launching the World Weather Watch in 1961; Earl Droessler, former head of the Section on Atmospheric Sciences at NSF and contributor to the success of NCAR in the early days; and Quigg Newton, eighth president of the University of Colorado and a leader in transferring HAO from the university to NCAR.
Fig. 6 UCAR president Rick Anthes and signers of the "Blue Book"-Reid Bryson, Tom Malone, and Roscoe Braham
- at the 40th anniversary banquet, 10 October 2000.
6.0 Summary and A Look Ahead
The 40th anniversary of UCAR and NCAR blended celebration with examination of issues of importance to the community and planning for the future. The fora in the UCAR members' meetings of 1999 and 2000 and the community survey highlighted issues of importance to the community and confirmed community support for a broad UCAR program of interdisciplinary science, education, and facilities. Key issues for the future include: recruitment and retention of high-quality graduate students; increasing human diversity in the atmospheric and related sciences; keeping pace with the state of the art in observational and computational facilities and community models; dealing effectively and creatively with real-time and research data sets; and increasing the interactions between UCAR and the universities. UCAR management, working with the board of trustees (Fig. 7), the University Relations Committee, advisory committees of the NCAR divisions and the UOP programs, and NSF, are developing strategic plans based on the extensive interest and input provided by the community during this anniversary year.
Fig. 7 UCAR Board of Trustees, October 2000. Standing, left to right: Otis Brown (chairman), Ron Smith, Len Fisk, Rick Anthes, Julia Nogues-Paegle, Leo Donner, Lyn Hutton, Ron McPherson, Charlie Kennel, Gabor Vali, Conway Leovy. Seated: Mary Jo Richardson, Dennis Thomson, David Houghton. Not pictured: Paola Malanotte-Rizzoli, David Skaggs.
We would like to thank all of the members of the community who participated in this year of dialog and festivity, and we look forward to many more years of collaboration and accomplishments together.
We acknowledge the tremendous contributions of the following people to the 40th anniversary: Anatta, Tim Barnes, Eron Brennan, Randy Catton, Susan Cross, Laura Curtis, Phyllis Darcy, Lynne Davis, Michelle Flores, Susan Foster, Susan Friberg, Zhenya Gallon, Bob Henson, Bethany Hobson, Karon Kelly, Gloria Kelly, Janet Killeen, Gordon Kinn, Susan Montgomery-Hodge, Lana Soller, Rene Munoz, Debbie Naugle, Diane Rabson, Carol Rasmussen, Nita Razo, Velma Ryan, Cindy Schmidt, Carolyn Simerly, Betty Singleton, Karen Smith-Herman, David Soule, Susan Warner, and Lucy Warner.
We also acknowledge with thanks the 40th Anniversary corporate
sponsors: A.G. Edwards Investment Banking, Bank One, Deloitte & Touche,
Faegre & Benson, Friends of UCAR, Geosciences Directorate of the National
Science Foundation, Holland & Hart, Marsh, Pacificare, TIAA-CREF, University
of Colorado Federal Credit Union.