Directors Message

Welcome to the 2017 Annual Report of the Advanced Study Program. This report highlights ourprograms accomplishments in 2017.

The Advanced Study Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) manages opportunities for educational and professional development for graduate students, postdocs and early career scientists and engineers, and research sabbaticals for faculty. ASP provides early career researchers and engineers access to NCAR’s world-class research, engineering and computing facilities with the goal of promoting the advancement of science and innovation, especially in emerging areas of the geosciences. The two-year ASP Postdoctoral Fellowships aim to further the development of early career scientists in the field of atmospheric and related sciences through their collaboration with NCAR scientists and research programs. Fellows research advances are reported separately in the NCAR Laboratory Annual Reports. Through its other components, the Graduate Visitor Program (GVP), the Faculty FellowshipProgram (FFP), and the Summer Colloquium, ASP promotes research activities, fosters graduate education, and develops partnerships between NCAR scientists and their colleagues in universities and other institutions.


The postdoctoral program continues to be the flagship program of the ASP. We awarded 9 new postdoctoral fellowships in Spring 2017. These new fellows have already arrived and are participating in ASP activities and NCAR research and development work. FY17 saw significant expansion of the professional development service for postdocs and graduate students. The one-day postdoc retreat covered topics such as time management and career planning, and introduced the new Individual Development Plan that all postdocs can use to structure their time at NCAR. In September 2017, we celebrated National Postdoctoral Appreciation Day for all NCAR and UCP postdocs with a formal reception and an opportunity to have a professional headshot taken for websites or LinkedIn profiles, supporting postdocs job searches. scientists-celebrate- national-postdoc-appreciation-week

Between the Faculty Fellowship Program and the Graduate Student Visitor Program, the ASP supported 137 months of long-term visits to NCAR in FY17. Most of the GVP awards include an advisor visit to collaborate with the graduate student and hosting NCAR staff. We welcomed 27 graduate students from 25 universities in 2017. Graduate students received career planning support through ASP led seminars and workshops and in individual counseling meetings with the ASP Director. Hikes and social meetings round out the summer experience for them. The 2017 Colloquium “The Interaction of Precipitation with Orography” was organized by scientists at NCAR, Yale University, University of Washington, Utrecht University, University of Miami, Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University and served 26 students from 21 universities.


ASP will continue to engage and develop the scientific workforce of the future through its core visitor and fellowship programs. We will continue to provide community building and career development elements of the ASP that will be accessible to all graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at NCAR. Annual retreats and bi-monthly career development seminars, bi-weekly teas, training opportunities in leadership, time management and supervisory skills, and ongoing mentoring services support our graduate students and postdocs to take leadership roles in the community upon leaving ASP.

In 2018 we are hosting two ASP Colloquia. The summer colloquia “SYNTHESIS OF OBSERVATIONS AND MODELS IN STUDIES OF SHALLOW AND DEEP CLOUDS” in June 2018 and the Fall Colloquium “School on Solar Spectropolarimetry” in October 2018 will be led by teams of NCAR scientists and university faculty. In addition to receiving excellent scientific training in the two-week colloquia, participants will have the opportunity to explore NCAR and will receive guidance on career planning and professional development. ASP will continue to provide organizational and mentoring support for the activities of the Early Career Scientists Assembly. Additional details along with other ASP plans are included in this report.

Rebecca Haacker
ASP Director