Nurture Intellectual Infrastructure for Scientific and Engineering Research

EOL scientists and engineers make new discoveries and developments that push the boundaries of observational and measurement science. Much of that is achieved through a vigorous set of internal and external collaborations and partnerships. Given a broad scope of its scientific and engineering activities, unique educational and training opportunities for the next generation of observational scientists and engineers lie in EOL. Our field campaigns provide opportunities to inform and excite the public worldwide about the importance of observational research and understanding the natural environment in which we all live. Imperative 4 is multifaceted and encompasses the following activities: 1) scientific and engineering research within EOL and in collaboration with our user community; 2) internships, new user training, and other educational efforts; and 3) outreach. 


Foster Scientific and Engineering Research in EOL

WMO Award

WMO logoHolger Vömel traveled to Madrid, Spain in September 2017 to attend the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observations (CIMO) Technical Conference, during which he received the WMO Award for Outstanding Research Paper on Instrument and Methods of Observations.  Established in 1985, this is a very prestigious award.  The awarded paper has had a significant impact on the WMO operational community. The winning paper titled “Reference quality upper-air measurements: GRUAN data processing for the Vaisala RS92 radiosonde” was published in the Atmospheric Measurement Techniques in December 2014.

AMS Editor's Award

Scott Ellis was among the 2017 American Meteorological Society (AMS) award recipients. Scott received the Editor’s Award from the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology and was lauded for his “consistently excellent reviews.” 

WMO Appointment

Mike Dixon (RSF) was recently appointed to the WMO Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO) Inter-Programme Expert Team on Operational Weather Radars (IPET-OWR).  This appointment gives NCAR opportunities to help make policy decisions with respect to software and data formats and to help out member states who do not have resources to develop software on their own.

NEXRAD Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

Tammy Weckwerth was named to the NEXRAD Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The purpose of the TAC is to assess the scientific merit of relevant research and development activities and to advise on the future direction and further analyses that should be performed to get that research or those products to a level to be considered for implementation on the national radar network.The link between the NEXRAD program and EOL’s S-Pol is strong because the programs are synergistic and complementary. The NEXRAD program supports some critical S-Pol hardware components and some S-Pol research activities while S-Pol research activities help improve the NEXRAD data quality.

Scientific output

In FY 2017, EOL Staff were involved in 60 publications and the publication of 2 NCAR Technical Notes. A sampling of these:

  • Stith et al., “Small ice and cloud droplets: What holography can tell us about clouds and precipitation in future airborne science campaigns”
  • Cooper, W. A., 2017: A Kalman Filter to Improve Measurements of Wind from NSF/NCAR Research Aircraft. NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN-540+STR, 73 pp, doi:10.5065/D61N7ZTS.
  • Diao, M., G. H. Bryan, H. Morrison, and J. B. Jensen, 2017: Ice nucleation parameterization and relative humidity distribution in idealized squall-line simulations. J. Atmos. Sci.,74, 2761-2787, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-16-0356.1.
  • Jensen, J. B., and A. D. Nugent, 2017: Condensational growth of drops formed on giant sea-salt aerosol particles. J. Atmos. Sci.,74, 679-697, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-15-0370.1.
  • Rauber, R. M., S. M. Ellis, J. Vivekanandan, J. Stith, W. -C. Lee, G. M. McFarquhar, B. F. Jewett, and A. Janiszeski, 2017: Finescale structure of a snowstorm over the northeastern United States: A first look at high-resolution HIAPER cloud radar observations. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 98, 253-269, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00180.1.
  • Hayman, M., K. J. McMenamin, and J. B. Jensen, 2016: Response time characteristics of the fast-2D optical array probe detector board. J. Atmos. and Ocean. Tech,, 33, 2569-2583, doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-16-0062.1.
  • Vömel, H., K. Young, and T. F. Hock, 2016: NCAR GPS Dropsonde Humidity Dry Bias. NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN-531+STR, 8 pp, doi:10.5065/D6XS5SGX.
  • Serafin, S., L. Strauss, and V. Grubišić, 2017: Climatology of westerly wind events in the lee of the Sierra Nevada. J. Appl. Met. and Clim., 56, 1003-1023, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-16-0244.1.
  • Sachsperger, J., S. Serafin, V. Grubišić I. Stiperski, and A. Paci, 2017: The amplitude of lee waves on the boundary-layer inversion. Quart. J.  Royal Met. Soc., 143, 27-36, doi:10.1002/qj.2915.
  • Weckwerth, T. M., K. Weber, D. D. Turner and S. M. Spuler, 2016: Validation of a water vapor micropulse DIAL. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 33, 2353-2372, doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-16-0119.1.
  • Hubbert, J., 2017: Differential reflectivity calibration and antenna temperature. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 34, 1885-1906.
  • Geerts, B., and Co-Authors, 2017: The 2015 Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) field project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 98, 767-786. doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D -15-00257.1
  • Oncley, S. P., O. Hartogensis, and C. Tong, 2016: Whirlwinds and hairpins in the atmospheric surface layer. J. Atmos. Sci., 73, 4927-4943, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-15-0368.1.
  • Stephens, B., M. Long, R. Keeling, E. Kort, C. Sweeney, E. Apel, E. Atlas, S. Beaton, J. Bent, N. Blake, J. Bresch, J. Casey, B. Daube, M. Diao, E. Diaz, H. Dierssen, V. Donets, B. Gao, M. Gierach, R. Green, J. Haag, M. Hayman, A. Hills, M. Hoecker-Martínez, S. Honomichl, R. Hornbrook, J. Jensen, R. Li, I. McCubbin, K. McKain, E. Morgan, S. Nolte, J. Powers, B. Rainwater, K. Randolph, M. Reeves, S. Schauffler, M. Smith, K. Smith, J. Stith, G. Stossmeister, D. Toohey, and A. Watt, 2017: “The O2/N2 Ratio and CO2 Airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS) Study.” Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0206.1.


EOL also contributed to a YouTube video titled "CESM Simulation: Ocean impact on atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide":

The theme of the 2017 American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting (AM), which took place 22-26 January 2017 in Seattle, WA. was “Observations Lead the Way”, and as such was of high importance for EOL. Many EOL staff gave presentations featuring EOL observing systems, data sets, new developments and activities, and research. These included three invited presentations by EOL authors or co-authors: Tammy Weckwerth on measuring boundary-layer moisture for convection initiation studies; Tammy Weckwerth and Scott Spuler as co-authors with Dave Turner (NOAA) on progress and prospect on obtaining lower tropospheric profiles of water vapor and temperature by remote sensing; and Britt Stephens as part of the ORCAS science team on early results from the ORCAS campaign, an invited presentation led by Eric Kort (U Michigan).

Promote Educational Efforts

Three New Instrumentation Education Videos

Three new videos highlighting EOL facilities and staff, created for the Synergistic Environments in Graduate and Undergraduate Education (SEGUE) project, are now available online through the UCAR/UCP/COMET program:   

Principles of Meteorological Instrumentation and Measurements

Engineering for Scientific Discovery

From Measurements to Modeling

These modules are designed for educating early graduate-level students on the topic of meteorological instrumentation and measurements is now available. 

LAOF Guidebook Moved to iBooks

The Guidebook to the National Science Foundation’s Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) can now be downloaded for free on iBooks or as a PDF.  It had previously been contained within an app but is now more accessible and easily updated.

HIPPO Outreach Site

The HIPPO Outreach Site has been migrated to the EOL website. Originally hosted as a stand-alone website, the content now lives on the EOL site for easier maintenance. Luis Gonzalez, a TIP intern working with Alison Rockwell, completed this project.

EOL Internships

EOL hosted three Technical Internship Program (TIP) participants  in FY 2017:

  • Dustin Raiken, a student from Front Range Community College worked as a DFS instrument maker intern, mentored by Karl Schwenz
  • Robyn Collins, a student at Red Rocks Community College, worked a DMS CHORDS programmer and was mentored by Mike Dye and Mike Daniels
  • Luis Gonzalez Gomez, a student at Red Rocks Community college, was mentored by Alison Rockwell while working on a web development project in PMO


EOL also hosted three Summer Undergraduate Program for Engineering Research (SUPER) interns in FY 2017:

  • Matt Daily, a student at the University of California - Santa Barbara, worked on extending the post-processing and display capabilities of Aeros, EOL’s real-time and post-processing data display program, and was mentored by Chris Webster in RAF. This was Matt's second year as a SUPER intern.
  • Alfredo Morales, a student at the University of Florida, worked on creating a new data acquisition box, mentored by Teresa Campos in RAF
  • Terrie Yang, a student at the University of California - Berkeley, worked on improving CHORDS and was mentored by Mike Daniels and Mike Dye in DMS


Support Outreach 

Cheyenne Frontier Days Outreach Event

NSF approved a request by EOL to display the NSF/NCAR C-130 and the University of Wyoming King Air aircraft as well as one Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR) Doppler on Wheels during the 2017 Cheyenne Frontier Days. This request was prompted by UCAR President’s desire to celebrate UCAR/NCAR partnership with organizations in Wyoming as part of Cheyenne’s 150th Anniversary celebration. The static display of these facilities will be part of a larger display of aircraft at the U.S. Air National Guard side of the Cheyenne Regional Airport.  The event is scheduled for 26 July and concurrent with the annual air show featuring the USAF Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron. Several staff from UCAR’s President’s Office, NCAR/CISL, NCAR/EOL, the University of Wyoming, and the CSWR will be tasked to interact with the public and answering questions. In addition to showcasing NSF’s Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities, we want to raise awareness that Wyoming and Colorado are hubs of atmospheric research and emphasize the role of NSF in enabling those activities. Based on past visitor numbers, it is anticipated that the static display could reach as many as 2,000 people during the one-day event.

Per request by the UCAR President’s Office, EOL displayed the NSF/NCAR C-130 on 26 July during the 2017 Cheyenne Frontier Days. The static display was part of a larger display of aircraft at the Wyoming Air National Guard side of the Cheyenne Regional Airport. In addition to showcasing one of NSF’s premier Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities, the display also included the University of Wyoming King Air and one of the Doppler on Wheels managed and operated by the Center of Severe Weather Research (CSWR). Twenty-two staff from EOL, UWY, CSWR, and CISL interacted with the public and answered a range of questions related to these facilities and the research that is routinely carried out by these airborne and ground-based platforms. One of the main goals of our participation was to raise awareness that Wyoming and Colorado are hubs of atmospheric research and to emphasize the role of the National Science Foundation in enabling those activities. We estimated that staff interacted with as many as 2,220 people during this one-day event. 


Atmospheric Response to a Total Solar Eclipse (ARSTE), an educational deployment of two ISFS towers, was recently approved by NSF to observe the solar eclipse in Grand Island, Nebraska. ARSTE is lead by Dr. Scott Gunter of Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.

On ground, ISFS supported the ARTSE educational deployment, allocated to Dr. William Gunter from Columbus State University from 18 to 23 August 2017. Two ISFS stations were deployed to Grand Island, Nebraska as part of an undergraduate class called “Meteorology of the Solar Eclipse”, which focused on the link between the sun and atmospheric processes. One of the stations was installed at Stuhr Museum as part of the “Gem Over the Prairie Eclipse Event” to provide additional information to the public and attracted close to 5,000 people during the event.