Lyndon State College’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences (ATM) has been voted in as a full member of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research/National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR/NCAR). NCAR is the world’s premier atmospheric research organization; UCAR is the administrative entity that runs NCAR and its research programs. The move to member from affiliate member status allows Lyndon’s ATM faculty to vote and run for office on UCAR’s governing boards, and to have the opportunity to work more closely with NCAR research activities.
In 1960, NCAR began operations in Boulder, Colo., as a program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Originally, only Ph.D. granting North American institutions whose contributions to atmospheric sciences had been reviewed could be members of NCAR and thus UCAR governing board members. In the late 1980s, a special membership category of affiliate member was created to give other schools a chance to join, but not vote, in UCAR/NCAR activities.
When this affiliate member category was created, Lyndon’s ATM department was in the first group of five non-Ph.D. granting institutions to be reviewed and admitted to affiliated membership. This review quantified the department’s strengths in curriculum, research activities, contributions to the atmospheric sciences and to UCAR/NCAR, and institutional support of the department. At UCAR’s annual meeting in early October, 2013, they voted to have only one membership category for all reviewed programs; as a long-time affiliate member, Lyndon was “grandfathered” in as a full member.
ATM Professor Bruce Berryman said, “It has indeed been a badge of honor to be associated with such an elite group. Membership has served our department very well in name recognition, growth in the quality of our program, and opportunities for students. We have taken advantage of many direct benefits during the past 25 years including faculty attending UCAR meetings and attending NCAR workshops, obtaining NCAR grants for visits by the KingAir aircraft, the Doppler on Wheels radar (twice), and a space weather scientist. We were the first undergraduate program to do all these things. We have received 20 computers for our classrooms and have sent students seven times to NCAR training sessions during the summer.”
NCAR is a federally funded research and development center devoted to service, research and education in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR’s mission is to understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related physical, biological and social systems; to support, enhance and extend the capabilities of the university community and the broader scientific community – nationally and internationally; and to foster transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth. The NSF is NCAR’s primary sponsor, with significant additional support provided by other U.S. government agencies, other national governments and the private sector.