UCAR, NSF sign agreement for NCAR management

The five-year agreement includes the possibility of a five-year extension

Sep 21, 2018 - by David Hosansky

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has signed an agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue management of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for five years. The agreement, for up to $630M subject to the availability of funds, was signed this week.

The National Science Board, which oversees NSF, authorized it to negotiate the new cooperative agreement with UCAR following a competitive review process for the management of NCAR.

"NCAR is among the nation's greatest scientific success stories,” said William Easterling, the head of the NSF Directorate for Geosciences. “NCAR's success is, in no small measure, a product of its consistently excellent oversight by UCAR and I am delighted to see the long-standing and highly successful collaboration between UCAR and NCAR continue."

UCAR, a Boulder, Colorado-based nonprofit consortium of 117 colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences, has managed NCAR since its founding in 1960. NCAR is also based in Boulder, and it has facilities in Wyoming and Hawaii.

 “The fundamental research that is performed at NCAR is critical for advancing our ability to predict weather, water, climate, and related processes in ways that benefit communities and the nation every day,” said Sarah Ruth, the section head at NSF who oversees NCAR. "We are very pleased to continue our productive partnership with UCAR in managing this essential work.”

Five-year agreement with possibility of extension

The agreement will take effect on October 1, the beginning of the 2019 fiscal year. It will run until September 30, 2023. The agreement may be extended for another five years with the approval of the National Science Board, contingent upon the availability of funds and NSF’s assessment of satisfactory performance.

NCAR is a world-renowned center of research and education in the Earth system sciences, with a focus on weather, water, climate, space weather, and air quality. It manages leading geoscience facilities for NSF, including an advanced supercomputing center and specialized research aircraft, that are used by researchers across the nation.

"We are deeply gratified by this vote of confidence from the National Science Board and NSF, acknowledging the historic and highly successful partnership among NSF, NCAR, and the academic community," said UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi. "Our top priority is to continue to be the best possible steward of the NSF investment in NCAR as we advance Earth system science in service to society."

"We are looking forward to continuing our effective partnership with NSF and NCAR," said Susan Avery, chair of the UCAR Board of Trustees and president emerita of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. "The broad perspectives that UCAR Member Institutions bring to the management of NCAR help to strengthen critically needed research as the nation faces mounting costs associated with severe weather, climate change, and the ongoing threat of solar storms."

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