Currents: UCAR Community News
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Resources for virtual teaching
during COVID-19 closures
Message from the UCAR president Webinar: Teaching geoscience in quarantine
JupyterHub resources
MetEd online lessons
Online science education for K-12
This special edition of UCAR Currents lists resources for faculty and other members of our community to assist in transitioning to online teaching during this unique crisis. We've also included K-12 science resources for teachers and parents with children at home. Please scroll down to learn more, and feel free to forward to colleagues and friends.


Tony BusalacchiDear members of the UCAR community,

At UCAR, as with institutions across the globe, our day-to-day operations look radically different today than just two weeks ago. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak we convened our Crisis Management Team, closed our Colorado campuses on March 17, and instituted a mandatory telework policy for the foreseeable future. Our home base of Boulder and nearby metro hub of Denver have both instituted stay-at-home orders effective March 24. As many of you have experienced, similar orders are in effect across the country.

This upending of our daily lives poses huge challenges, both for our employees in Colorado and elsewhere across the country, as well as for all of you in our community. We know that for many of you, those challenges include finding new and virtual ways to educate and engage your students.

From our founding, UCAR’s purpose has been to provide support to the university community. That hasn’t changed in the intervening 60 years, and today in this newsletter we are highlighting a few of our resources that are available to help you during this transition to online teaching. Please also keep an eye out for the regular edition of UCAR Currents, which will be in your inbox late next week, for additional resources.

I also want to let you all know that our Crisis Management Team, which continues to meet regularly to find solutions to longer-term operational issues, has identified essential personnel who are key to making sure we can maintain the services the community relies on, including the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center and networking support.

Finally, I want to ask all of us to support each other. Please reach out to your colleagues, near and far, and check in with one another. We are all dealing with challenges that may not be obvious to others, such as an underlying health condition that may make us more vulnerable to the virus, a loved one who is sick, or trying to homeschool young children while working at the same time. Let us all respond to this crisis with support, understanding, and compassion. As I recently told UCAR staff, we may face uncertainty, but we face it together and we will get through it together.


Antonio J. Busalacchi
UCAR President

Teaching geosciences in quarantine

April 2, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time
COMET logoWith the coronavirus pandemic impacting everyone at many levels, higher education institutions are turning to distance learning to fulfill their mission. The COMET Program would like to assist you in this transition by sharing best practices and tools for connecting and engaging learners online.

COMET will host a webinar entitled “How to Be Alone Together…Teaching Geosciences in Quarantine” on April 2 from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time. The Webinar will be recorded and the recording will be shared for subsequent viewing.

Join the Zoom meeting:
Meeting ID: 368 720 081

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Meeting ID: 368 720 081
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To participate in the interactive exercises during the session, please download the app TurningPoint to your mobile device from the Apple or Google Play stores.


jupyterhub_unidata logo
One of the goals of Unidata’s Science Gateway project is to provide cloud-based JupyterHub servers tailored to the needs of university atmospheric science courses. In recent days, several instructors who have worked closely with Unidata in the past have requested JupyterHub resources to facilitate course-taking online during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Because many universities are responding to local public health mandates by transitioning to the use of remote-learning techniques and online-only courses, Unidata is actively extending its offer of JupyterHub resources to universities (or individual instructors) who could benefit from these cloud-based resources.


MetEd, COMET’s online training portal, hosts over 450 geoscience lessons, including over 200 that have been translated into other languages.

As universities shift to online courses for the rest of this academic year, faculty may find useful resources for online instruction on (after setting up free registration). There you will find resources such as the Tropical Synoptic Meteorology Curriculum;  Synoptic Analysis Lab Package; interactive tools, calculators and widgets, such as the Shallow-Water Wave Calculator; an extensive collection of images and media; and a list of online resources to accompany a college-level "introduction to meteorology" course. 

MetEd topics include but are not limited to: climate science, aviation weather, satellite meteorology, numerical weather prediction, hydrometeorology, oceanography, emergency management, and societal impacts. Most resources are freely available from MetEd after establishing a free MetEd account.



UCAR SciEd logoThe UCAR Center for Science Education has put together a collection of free K-12 educational resources offered by UCAR to support teachers with distance learning and families who are doing their own instruction about weather, climate, air quality, the Sun and space weather, and other Earth science topics.

The resources include educational games and simulations, videos, short articles, and online books about Earth and atmospheric science. There are also links to citizen science projects and classroom activities that will also work well for K-12 students learning from home.

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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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