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Antonio Busalacchi

Dear Colleagues,
As the holiday season approaches, I am very pleased to report that, after two and a half years, UCAR and NCAR facilities fully reopened to staff in October. The Mesa Lab exhibit area welcomed back the public last month, and it has been a pleasure to resume in-person field trips for schoolchildren as well as tours for those visiting the building. Large meetings with members of our extended Earth system science community have also returned to our campuses. In recent months, our Multimedia Services and Event Services staff supported more than 50 events with roughly 2,100 guests. 
While many of our staff are working full time onsite, others are working remotely or coming into the office on certain days, as guided by our new work model that governs flexible work arrangements. This approach is working well in allowing employees to maintain their work-life circumstances and focus on both productivity and wellness, while we as an organization can hire a more diverse workforce as location is no longer a limiting factor in hiring. 

I greatly enjoyed greeting so many of you at our annual Members Meeting in October after the event had been fully remote in the previous two years. The hybrid meeting drew 156 in-person participants and an additional 83 online. Everyone had many opportunities to network with one another. The hybrid breakout sessions focused on topics of interest to the universities, including the development of coursework using NOAA’s Unified Forecasting System, communicating science to the media and policy makers, and mentoring. Another highlight was the lightning session, which featured a series of short presentations designed to help people reconnect with some of the services and opportunities offered by NCAR and UCAR Community Programs (UCP). 

The annual Members Meeting offered opportunities for productive discussions.
As many of you know, UCAR has chosen Andrew Rosenberg to serve as the interim director of its new Center for Ocean Leadership. Andy is an oceanographer and biologist by training and brings extensive programmatic and policy experience to his new role, including serving as deputy director of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and founding director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. For more about Andy’s distinguished background, please see the announcement of his hiring.

Andy is chairing the search committee to hire a permanent center director, and he is ensuring the smooth transition of programs that were once housed in the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, which dissolved at the end of September, to UCAR’s new center. This transition to UCP will strengthen the ties between the atmospheric and ocean research communities and further facilitate scientific study of the Earth as a coupled system. Andy and I will present a Science Solutions talk, “UCAR’s Center for Ocean Leadership: Advancing the study of Earth as an interconnected system” at the American Geophysical Union conference in Chicago next week. If you would like to attend, it will be held from 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, December 14, in the AGU Central Theater. In addition, I also invite those of you who are attending the AGU meeting to drop by our newly renovated booth in the exhibit hall to say hello and connect with colleagues. 

We have posted an opening for a high-level NCAR position: director of the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory. That person will also serve as an NCAR associate director. Please feel free to share the job posting. We will also be posting an opening in the next few days for a second prominent NCAR position: director of the Earth Observing Laboratory and NCAR associate director. In addition, we will begin a search shortly for a new director of the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory and NCAR associate director. If you know of qualified candidates, please encourage them to watch for updates about these positions on our Careers website.

After some delays related to supply chains and other issues, we are anticipating delivery of the Derecho supercomputer in about a month. Once the system is installed at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, it will be used for a set of initial research projects under the Accelerated Scientific Discovery (ASD) program. The 19.87-petaflops system will then become available for a broader array of research studies once it is fully tested next year.
The UCAR traveling climate exhibit is being displayed again.
Finally, I am very happy to report that the UCAR traveling climate exhibit, “Real People, Real Climate, Real Changes,” has been restarted for the first time since the pandemic. It was displayed this fall at the Welty Environmental Center in Beloit, Wisconsin, thanks to two co-sponsors: the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It will next be displayed through mid February at the Houma Public Library in Houma, Louisiana, with co-sponsorship by the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center. A full tour schedule for 2023 will be announced shortly. The exhibit, developed by NCAR Education, Engagement & Early-Career Development and the UCAR Center for Science Education, is designed to share the science of climate change, how it impacts people's lives, and what people are doing to address this challenge.

I want to wish all of you an enjoyable and relaxing holiday season, and a healthy and happy New Year.

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