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Dear UCAR community,

Last month, we lost one of the guiding lights in our field. Mike Freilich, who served on the UCAR Board of Trustees, was a champion for Earth system science who understood that to push our science forward we must study the Earth from a systems approach. I know that many of you reading this email had your lives and your careers touched by Mike and that you join us in mourning this loss. We will continue to honor Mike's legacy at UCAR and beyond as we continue striving to better understand the Earth system for the benefit of society.

Please read our full statement on Mike's passing.

UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi


The three next gen fellows 2020


UCAR is pleased to announce the fourth cohort of the Next Generation Fellows. The fellowship program provides support to rising Earth system science students from underrepresented communities.

The 2020 Next Generation Fellows are:

  • Akilah Alwan (left), Auburn University, Diversity and Inclusion Fellow
  • Yelizaveta “Liza” Khmara (center), University of Miami, Public Policy Fellow
  • Samar Minallah (right), University of Michigan, Earth System Science Fellow

Learn more.

MetEd logo
The COMET® Program will soon release a university users reference guide to the 800+ hours of lessons available on its MetEd website. Lesson content will be mapped to common required undergraduate meteorology courses. The first part of the guide will be ready next week, with additional mappings added throughout the semester.
Requests are now being accepted for U.S. CLIVAR-sponsored workshops. Submissions are encouraged from the US climate science community and its collaborators. All documents must be submitted by Sept. 25. The next call for workshops will be in spring 2021. 
The deadline to register for the MultiCore 10 Workshop is Sept. 23. The purpose of this workshop, which will be held virtually the week of Sept. 28, is to provide a forum for open discussion to better understand the application of new high performance computing technologies for the next generation of weather, climate, and Earth system models.
The final presentations of participants in NCAR's Summer Internships in Parallel Computational Science (SIParCS) are now online.


Budget and appropriations update:

The Senate has not yet announced when they will mark up their versions of the FY21 appropriations bills, making it increasingly likely that the appropriations process will extend past the election and potentially into next year. This also means that the House and Senate will need to pass – and the president will need to sign – a continuing resolution to fund government agencies and programs past Oct. 1, when the new fiscal year begins. This continuing resolution may end up attached to the next COVID-19 relief package, should Senate Republicans and House Democrats settle on a final deal by that time.

NSF moves toward “systems approach” for Earth sciences:

NASEM logoThe National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine kicked off a new study last week that is aiming to develop a vision for a “systems approach” that could revise how the National Science Foundation (NSF) manages its Earth system science portfolio. The study committee will consider ways to integrate work across all major components of the Earth system, including the interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and human activities over different timescales. It will also identify research infrastructure, computational capabilities, and workforce development needed to support the vision. Committee members are also probing NSF’s approach to funding the field, given the tension between the agency’s mandate to advance fundamental research and the increasing prevalence of practical applications in Earth system research, which are more heavily supported by the mission-driven federal agencies.

COVID relief package:

Senate Republican leaders and the White House continue to discuss what the size and scope of a coronavirus relief package prior to the November elections might look like. They face the difficulty of finding a deal that can pass their own conservative caucus and muster enough support from House Democrats, who passed a much larger and more ambitious package of more than $3 trillion earlier this summer (the HEROES Act). The Senate Republicans may offer for negotiations a much smaller package (less than $2 trillion) limited to provisions and additional funding for the postal service, legal liability protections, $300 in weekly unemployment insurance benefits, and additional funds to support struggling hospitals/state and local governments/schools. It would also provide funding for COVID-19 vaccine and drug development and distribution, testing, and contact tracing. Such a package is unlikely to include any additional funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or NSF.

New federal interagency meteorological services council convened:

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NOAA created the Interagency Council for Advancing Meteorological Services last month, and the council’s inaugural meeting was held on Aug. 27. The council’s co-chairs are the heads of OSTP and NOAA. The council will assume the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology’s responsibilities and work to identify relevant needs for research, observational infrastructure, and operational services across more than a dozen agencies.

Satellite data from GOES-16

NOAA surveys market for commercial weather data sources:

NOAA plans to issue a request for information in September to learn what types of data and observations companies plan to collect via satellite. Based on the responses, NOAA will decide whether to conduct a new Commercial Weather Data Pilot program like the one used to evaluate commercial radio occultation data.

White House, NSF, DOE announce $1B for new research institutes:

The White House OSTP, NSF, and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced over $1 billion in awards for the establishment of 12 new artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum information science (QIS) research institutes nationwide. The NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography has its primary hub at the University of Oklahoma. Principal organizations in this academic-public-private collaboration include NCAR/UCAR, the University at Albany, Colorado State University, North Carolina State University, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, University of Washington, Del Mar College, and NOAA, as well as Google, IBM, NVIDIA, and Disaster Tech.



New research has determined the average global temperature at the peak of the last ice age, which helps scientists better understand today's relationship between carbon dioxide levels and warming temperatures.

Read more.


The Rising Voices Center has identified research topics that are important for better understanding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Native Peoples, including pressures caused by a changing climate.

Read more.


An augmented reality hailstone sits on a desk.


NCAR has developed a number of web-based augmented reality capabilities that require only a phone or other mobile device without having to download a separate app. This includes the ability to place the record-breaking Vivian, South Dakota, hailstone in your home or on the hood of your car, for example.


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A community email group for exchanging timely information about  job openings, events, and other opportunities in the Earth system science community.
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Copyright ©UCAR 2019, All rights reserved. About our banner image: Visualization of present-day total water vapor as seen the Community Earth System Model (CESM), see NCAR VizLab animation for more information 

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