Science Consortium Welcomes UMass Amherst, Six Other New Members

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The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a nonprofit based in Boulder, Colorado, announced this week that UMass Amherst has joined 116 other North American colleges and universities in its consortium, which focuses on research and training in Earth system science.

UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research with sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Its programs offer a suite of creative resources, tools and services in support of its education and research goals, which include promoting research collaborations, managing resources and engaging in effective advocacy. It also provides services in support of members’ education and research goals.

In addition to UMass Amherst, new member universities are UMass Lowell; the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Duke University; Louisiana State University; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and the University of Saskatchewan.

Consortium president Antonio Busalacchi says, “It is an honor to welcome these great universities to UCAR. The work of university researchers and educators is more important than ever as they train the next-generation workforce and collaborate with partners in government and the private sector to advance our understanding of the Earth system for the betterment of society.”

Raymond Bradley, director of the UMass Amherst Climate System Research Center (CSRC), says, “Our campus now joins the leading universities in atmospheric science across the United States as a partner in the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. This is fitting recognition of our first-class research program in climate science and paleoclimatology. We now have a seat at the table in defining and promoting the direction of atmospheric and climate science research in the United States.”  

Michael Rawlins, CSRC associate director who with Bradley led the application process, adds that faculty in the departments of environmental conservation, geosciences, civil and environmental engineering, and electrical and computer engineering gave talks and interacted with UCAR representatives during a site visit in April. He points out, “UMass Amherst faculty will now have access to UCAR’s community programs, which strengthen education, research and technology in the atmospheric and related sciences.” Among many other functions, these programs provide real-time weather observations and analysis tools for education and research.

Other programs help members organize multiagency experiments, workshops and conferences. Two faculty from campus will become member representatives and will participatein the annual meeting of UCAR members and serve as liaisons between colleagues on campus and the UCAR president, board of trustees and governance committees.