4:27 p.m., March 24, 2009----The University of Delaware is now a member of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). This non-profit consortium of major research universities in North America serves as a hub for research, education, and public outreach in the atmospheric and Earth sciences.
Headquartered in Boulder, Colo., UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of the university community and the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Programs, which collectively provide member universities with a variety of collaborative research opportunities, services, and tools, from data modeling and visiting scientist programs, to aircraft, radar, and supercomputing facilities.
NCAR addresses pressing scientific and societal needs involving the atmosphere and its interactions with the ocean, land, and sun -- referred to as “Earth system science.”
Currently, NCAR and university scientists are working together to address research topics in atmospheric chemistry, climate, cloud physics and storms, weather hazards to aviation, and interactions between the sun and Earth.
“The University of Delaware is pleased to be a member of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research,” said Mark Barteau, senior vice provost for research and strategic initiatives and the Robert L. Pigford Chair of Chemical Engineering.
“UD researchers are leading a number of Earth and atmospheric studies locally and around the globe, on topics ranging from ship emissions to space radiation. Our involvement in UCAR will provide important new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. High-profile research initiatives focusing on the environment and the health of our planet are priority areas targeted in the University's Path to ProminenceTM strategic plan,” Barteau noted.
Barteau and Denny Kirwan, the Mary A. S. Lighthipe Chair of Marine Studies, are the University of Delaware's representatives to UCAR.
“UCAR is an important agency for research devoted to environmental problems and also has a powerful voice in science policy,” Kirwan noted.
Kirwan credits a visit to UD by Warren Washington, senior scientist and head of the climate change research section at NCAR, as a key catalyst in UD's decision to join the consortium.
As a result of the visit, Kirwan, David Legates, associate professor of geography, and Lian-Ping Wang, associate professor of mechanical engineering, formed an ad hoc committee to put together the UCAR application.
“The faculty response was remarkable,” Kirwan noted. “Important contributions came from all the science and policy programs throughout the campus. The UCAR site visit was a roaring success. The chairman of that committee, Jack Fellows, vice president for corporate affairs and director of UCAR's Office of Programs, told me had never seen such broad-based response before,” Kirwan added.
UCAR began as a consortium of research institutions with doctoral programs in the atmospheric and related sciences that first met in 1959. Its founders recognized the need for community and observational facilities and a world-class research staff, which together would allow the community to carry out complex, long-term scientific programs beyond the reach of individual universities.
The consortium now has 73 members, which include North American universities that grant doctoral degrees in areas related to atmospheric science, 21 affiliated members offering bachelor's and master's programs in the field, and 48 international affiliates.
Members of the private sector serve on governance boards, collaborate with researchers, contribute funding to specific projects, and participate in technology transfer activities.
Article by Tracey Bryant