NCAR welcomes third Early Career Faculty Innovators cohort

Two-year program promotes collaboration across disciplines to solve complex science problems

Feb 14, 2023 - by Ali Branscombe

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is pleased to announce six faculty members have been selected for the third cohort of the Early Career Faculty Innovator Program. 

This program accepts and funds faculty members from social, policy, and behavioral science departments at U.S. universities for two years as they partner with NCAR scientists and engineers to solve weather and climate challenges. This year’s cohort will be focusing on reducing damage and disruption to critical infrastructure from weather and space weather hazards, improving weather and water predictions,  and climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

“NCAR is proud to support interdisciplinary research that focuses on finding actionable solutions to complex scientific problems,” said NCAR Director Everette Joseph. “I am particularly excited to see that half of this year’s innovator cohort come from minority-serving institutions – an academic group we are actively seeking to collaborate and support more frequently.” 

This year’s cohort features the first project to focus on infrastructure impacts from space weather, and four of the six funded projects are working with marginalized communities to find actionable solutions to issues like wastewater management and environmental justice.

“These kinds of partnerships are necessary for helping bring the extraordinary science we do at NCAR to the people who need it most,” said Joseph. 

The 2023 - 2025 Cohort:

Introducing the university faculty in the third Early Career Faculty Innovator Program cohort and their research projects:


Maura Allaire Maura Allaire: Assistant Professor, Urban Planning and Public Policy

University of California, Irvine

Advancing equity in wastewater adaptation to climate change
Shinwoo Choi Shinwoo Choi: Assistant Professor, Social Work

Texas State University

Climate change, infrastructure disruption, and extreme weather resilience:  cases of environmental justice (EJ) communities in Texas
Sara Meeriw Sara Meerow: Associate Professor, Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Arizona State University

Models for planning multifunctional and equitable green infrastructure to mitigate rising stormwater and heat risks in cities
Edward Oughton Edward Oughton: Assistant Professor, Geography and Geoinformation Sciences

George Mason University

Uncertainty quantification of space weather socio-economic impacts from critical infrastructure failure
Amy Quandt Amy Quandt: Assistant Professor, Environmental Geography

San Diego State University

Climate change adaptation through agroforestry: an integrated socio-economic and biophysical assessment in two semi-arid regions
Kevin Smiley Kevin Smiley: Assistant Professor, Sociology

Louisiana State University

Social responses to climate change attributed flooding in south Louisiana


Learn more about the Innovators and their projects


See all News