Busalacchi named to second term as UCAR president

UCAR Board of Trustees approves renewal based on steady leadership and vision

Mar 4, 2021 - by David Hosansky

Antonio J. Busalacchi, an expert in Earth’s climate system and experienced scientific administrator, has been named to a second five-year term as president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi
Antonio Busalacchi. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)

The UCAR Board of Trustees approved Busalacchi’s renewal based on his record of steady leadership and vision. Under Busalacchi’s leadership, UCAR in 2018 signed an agreement with the National Science Foundation to continue its management of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). More recently, Busalacchi has guided the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic by setting up telework procedures to ensure the health and safety of employees while successfully maintaining staff productivity.

“All of us on the Board of Trustees have been very impressed by Tony’s focused leadership and laudable record of achievements, especially in such challenging times,” said Susan Avery, the chair of the board. “I am looking forward to the next five years as UCAR further strengthens its partnerships and continues its leadership role in advancing Earth system science for the betterment of society.”

Since taking the helm of UCAR in 2016, Busalacchi hired NCAR director Everette Joseph; modernized UCAR operating practices and hired a chief operating officer, Lory Wingate; established the UCAR Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion under Carolyn Brinkworth; and increased the visibility of UCAR among national policy makers. He also oversaw the development of UCAR’s 10-year strategic plan that emphasizes partnerships, innovation, and service to advance Earth system science for a better world.

During Busalacchi's time as president, the number of UCAR member colleges and universities has reached 120, an increase of 10%, thereby strengthening the organization’s engagement in areas such as hydrology and oceanography, and with minority-serving institutions.

“I am deeply honored by the support and confidence of the Board of Trustees, as well as from the university community and NSF,” Busalacchi said. “I look forward to furthering our efforts to better understand the Earth system and working with federal agencies in the Biden administration such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Energy, as well as the university community and private sector, to provide meaningful benefits for humanity.”

Prior to his UCAR appointment, Busalacchi served as director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center at the University of Maryland, where he was professor of atmospheric and oceanic science. He has held numerous scientific leadership positions, including chairing or co-chairing many committees for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and its National Research Council (NRC) as well as the World Climate Research Programme. 

In 2016 Busalacchi was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He is also a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Busalacchi  earned his master's and Ph.D. in oceanography and bachelor of science in physics from Florida State University. He is author or co-author of more than 120 peer-reviewed papers related to atmosphere-ocean interactions.


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