Director's Message

 Vanda Grubišić, EOL Director

 Vanda Grubišić, EOL Director

 

It has been another busy and successful year for EOL as demonstrated by the extent and exceptional quality of service the Laboratory has provided to the observational science community, and the leadership and accomplishments in other aspects of our mission to develop and deploy observing facilities and to provide expertise and data services needed to advance scientific understanding of the Earth System.

Field program planning and implementation is a significant part of EOL’s mission and an important part of NCAR’s Strategic Imperative to provide observational facilities and data services that meet the needs of the science community. In the past year, EOL supported a number of NSF field campaigns and investigator teams by providing our end-to-end service that encompasses everything from guidance in field program planning, to operation of EOL-managed Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities and instruments in the field, to help with the design and fabrication of specialty instruments, to data services and data management. This past year EOL provided support to five NSF-funded research campaigns (VERTEX, Perdigão, SNOWIE, Eclipse 2017, IDEAL) and to three NSF-approved instrumentation tests (Eclipse, WE-CAN, ARISTO 2017). We have also provided support or partnered in other ways in several projects by NASA (EPOCH), NOAA (EPOCH, SHOUT, VORTEX-SE-2017), and DOE (ACE-ENA, LAFE). EOL’s work on these campaigns entailed direct support of more than 50 scientists, 30 graduate and 20 undergraduate students, and the science teams for these campaigns came from more than 30 different institutions. 

New science drivers and technological advances call for continued development of our facilities and services. To inform the evolution of our facilities and service and to anticipate new needs by the community we support that is reflective of the current science and technological frontiers, EOL regularly engages in organizing and holding community workshops. This past year we organized and convened three such workshops: 1) The Community Workshop on Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Atmospheric Research, 2) the Lidar Radar Open Source Environment (LROSE) Workshop, and 3) the Community Workshop on Developing Requirements for In-situ and Remote-Sensing Capabilities in Convective and Turbulent Environments (C-RITE). The reports and recommendations from these workshops will serve as key guidance to EOL, NCAR, and NSF in making informed decisions on future developments.

Recommendations from the past workshops are reflected in our current portfolio of developments, such as the Airborne Phased Array Radar (APAR), the diode-laser based Water Vapor Differential Absorption Lidar (WV DIAL), and LROSE all being rooted in the strong expression of need and statement of support by our user communities. This past year we made major strides in all three of these high-priority developments but also in a number of other developments in the Laboratory. The development element of EOL’s mission goes hand-in-hand with the culture of innovation that is best exemplified by a number of patents EOL holds. That number was increased by one this year to a total of 32 patents awarded to EOL scientists and engineers over the years.

Data has been and will continue to be the ultimate product from field campaigns EOL supports. In addition to continuing to provide trusted data management and stewardship of field campaign data from current and past campaigns, this year our team undertook a pilot project to improve ways users will be able to search through EOL’s Data Archive. This pilot project was part of the NCAR Data Stewardship Engineering Team (DSET) activities and this new capability, currently limited to EOL’s Arctic data holdings, allows users to search through the data by project, category, platform, instrument, and by using NASA’s standard Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) for science keyword searches.

Through partnership with COMET and the Millersville University, we have continued to advance our new effort at providing instructional modules on instrumentation and observational research through the NSF-funded Synergistic Environments in Graduate and Undergraduate Education (SEGUE) project.

This Annual Report highlights the activities of our teams over the past year in supporting field campaigns, advancing developments, assisting in education of current and future scientists and engineers, and in public outreach.

Vanda Grubišić

Director, NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory