Currents: UCAR Community News
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APRIL 2021
Dear UCAR community,

I want to personally thank all of you who reached out to your colleagues and friends at NCAR and UCAR last week after the devastating mass shooting in Boulder, which resulted in the deaths of 10 people. Your compassion and understanding were appreciated.

The grocery store where this shooting happened sits at the foot of the hill in south Boulder where the NCAR Mesa Lab is based, and it is often frequented by our staff. We have confirmed that none of our employees or visitors were among the victims. I am grateful for this news, but my heart is with those who were affected by this tragedy. 

Please read my full statement on our news website.

UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi



This year's Community Earth System Model Workshop will be held June 14-27 and will take place entirely on Zoom and youtube. Registration and the call for presentations and posters will open soon. Check the website for details.

The 2021 Advanced Studies Program colloquium, The Science of Subseasonal to Seasonal (S2S) Predictions, will be held virtually from July 12-23. Applications are due March 15.
Applications are due June 15 for the UCAR Next Generation Fellowships, which offers two years of support for graduate students in three tracks: Earth System Science, Diversity & Inclusion, and Public Policy.
Nominations for UCAR's Board of Trustees and governance committees are due June 11. 
The Developmental Testbed Center will be hosting a virtual workshop Jun 7-9 for professors teaching Numerical Weather Prediction classes. The workshop is aimed at participants who would like to learn about containerization and cloud computing in order to integrate these technologies into their classrooms.
Join the NCAR Explorer Series email list to stay abreast of the latest virtual lectures, conversations, and events, all of which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home anywhere in the world.


FY22 budget request roll out:

The White House is set to release a preview of President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2022 budget request in the near future, with the full, more detailed budget expected to be sent to Capitol Hill later in April or even in May. During his first press conference since taking office, Biden indicated his science and technology priorities include increasing federal funding for research and development as a share of gross domestic product from the current level of about 0.7% to nearly 2% and focusing on quantum computing, industries of the future, and more.

COVID relief and infrastructure package:

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law last month. In addition to more relief for universities, extended unemployment benefits, and other COVID-related provisions, the package included $600 million for the National Science Foundation to “fund or extend new and existing research grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships, fellowships, and apprenticeships, and related administrative expenses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”

On Wednesday the Biden administration unveiled the broad outline of the president’s $2.3 trillion proposal for an infrastructure/highway and economic stimulus package focused on boosting job growth. The plan proposes corporate tax increases to offset its costs. The proposal is extremely broad in scope, with only about 5% targeted for actual roads and bridges. It includes a proposed $180 billion for investments in research and development and another $100 billion in workforce development.

A similarly sized proposal that will focus on social services is also in development, but no date for its release has been announced. Several House committees have already started introducing and marking up bills that will become part of the eventual House version of the infrastructure and jobs package, which they want to move through the legislative process this spring and summer.

National Science Foundation bills:

Before Congress adjourned for Easter break, there was a flurry of activity regarding new legislative proposals to reform and expand the National Science Foundation (NSF). The House Science Committee introduced the NSF for the Future Act last week, which is a bipartisan bill that proposes an approximate doubling of NSF’s budget over five years. The bill is seen as an alternative proposal to the Endless Frontiers Act that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) introduced in the last Congress, which would have grown the NSF budget and directed the agency to do more applied research.

Schumer and Young are now planning to incorporate parts of their Endless Frontiers Act into a new bill they are drafting that focuses on bolstering U.S. competitiveness and countering economic threats from other countries. Additionally, House Science Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) reintroduced his Securing American Leadership in Science and Technology Act, which would double the budgets of certain science agencies over 10 years including NSF.

Solar geoengineering:

The National Academies released a report last week recommending the U.S. spend $100 million to $200 million over five years on exploratory research into methods to curb global warming by altering the atmosphere to reflect more sunlight. While cautioning that solar geoengineering should not be viewed as a substitute for climate mitigation or adaptation, it recommends an initial research program that should focus on “developing policy-relevant knowledge, rather than advancing a path for deployment.”

Cabinet nominee confirmations:

While President Biden has yet to name his pick to lead NOAA, he has now announced that former Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) is his pick for NASA Administrator. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will likely schedule his confirmation hearing during April. Separately, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced that former NOAA head Jane Lubchenco is going to be the OSTP’s deputy director for climate and environment, a role that is not subject to Senate confirmation. In addition, NASA has joined the White House’s National Climate Task Force after the agency’s initial absence raised eyebrows given its key role in federal Earth science research.


Many of our community events are hosted by the Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science, or CPAESS. To learn how CPAESS can support your event, visit

8th International Radio Occultation Working Group Meeting - IROWG-8 
April 7-9, 12 and 13

Space Weather Workshop
April 20-22
Registration deadline is April 9.

NOAA GeoXO Atmospheric Composition Town Hall
April 29

PIRATA-24/TAV (24th Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic /Tropical Atlantic Variability Meeting)
May 10-14
Registration deadline is May 2.

Tropical Pacific Observing Needs Workshop to Advance Process Understanding and Representation in Models Workshop
May 24-26
Registration deadline is May 17. Abstract submission deadline is March 5.

NASA 2nd Eddy Cross Disciplinary Symposium
June 7-10
Poster abstract submission deadline is April 23. Registration deadline is May 26. 


A juvenile sea turtle floating below the surface of the water in an oil painting.


An exquisitely detailed global ocean model simulation from NCAR has given scientists rare insight into where baby sea turtles may go in their “lost years” after they scramble off the sandy beaches where they are born and swim into the open ocean.

Read more


Four screen shots from the animated videos: Why the wind blows, All about blizzards, Meet a hurricane, and What's the polar vortex?


UCAR SciEd recently produced a series of 17 short animated videos on a variety of atmospheric science topics. These “quick bite” videos introduce topics people often experience but may not be able to explain. The topics range from weather phenomena such as bomb cyclones and hurricanes to urban heat islands and sea level rise. Each short and fast-paced video includes animated characters (a yeti, dog, and palm tree) that just might show up in other places in the future!


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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 2021, All rights reserved. About our banner image: Visualization of present-day total water vapor as seen in the Community Earth System Model (CESM), see NCAR VizLab animation for more information.

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