The leadership of UCAR and NCAR supports UVISIT to expand our visitor and exchange programs and respond to requests from our university community. UCAR has long offered such programs through NCAR’s Advanced Study Program (ASP) and UCP’s Visiting Scientist Programs (VSP). UVISIT builds on these offerings and emphasizes scientists and engineers from NCAR and UCAR spending extended, focused time at universities and colleges in the United States.
Next submission deadline: October 18, 2013 - See below to apply
The goals of UVISIT are to strengthen our community for the benefit of our science, provide participants with opportunities for intellectual growth and professional development, enhance collaboration between UCAR/NCAR/UCP (collectively known as UCAR) and the university/college community, increase our support for that community, and enhance participants’ understanding of university and college environments. Applications for participation should address as many of these goals as possible and will be judged accordingly.
Universities may request UCAR staff visits, and UCAR staff may apply to participate in UVISIT.
Visit lengths may vary, ranging from two weeks to an academic year, and must allow for significant involvement and immersion. The purpose of visits may vary also, but must meet the needs of the host institution as well as the individual applicant. Any applicant unsure of how to initiate a visit should contact Aneka Finley to discuss.
Examples of work include teaching courses or workshops, lecturing, giving tutorials, working with graduate students on dissertation-focused research, student mentoring, or participating in collaborative research with department faculty.
While in residence, UCAR staff should consider participating in the host institution’s outreach to community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and high schools.
Participation in UVISIT by NCAR and UCAR staff will be valued as community service in the performance evaluation process. Those eligible to apply include ladder track scientists and research engineers, project scientists, associate scientists, and other engineers.
UVISIT funds will be applied toward expenses such as travel and housing and will likely vary with each participant and circumstance.
Limited funding may be available for salaries in special circumstances and when not covered through other means. However, UVISIT funding is limited and will not cover the salaries of all participants.
Successful applicants should seek to demonstrate that salary costs will be covered entirely or partially by the host institution or by UCAR through vehicles such as sabbatical, collaborative, or professional development leave; or by research grants.
In cases of one-to-one exchanges, each home institution should cover their participating staff's salaries.
Application instructions and forms are at the links below.
Next submission deadline: October 18, 2013
UCAR’s University Visits in Scientific Interaction and Teaching program launched in 2013, and the first participants are returning from their time with university partners. We checked in with Michael Mills, a scientist in the NCAR Earth System Laboratory's Atmospheric Chemistry Division who also serves as NCAR’s liaison from the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) to the university community.
Mike spent two weeks in early July at the University of New Hampshire, where he worked with UNH faculty and students to provide training on the use of the various community models supported by NCAR.
What sparked your interest in participating in UVISIT?
My supervisor, Dan Marsh, who is currently doing a UVISIT stint at Columbia University, suggested I participate in the program. Given my role as the community liaison for WACCM, it makes sense from an outreach perspective to take advantage of the opportunity to visit with WACCM model users.
The visit to the University of New Hampshire let me spend one-on-one time with users. I had a chance to see exactly how they were using the model, which gave me a better understanding of their needs, as well as an opportunity to address their questions in person. While at UNH, I also answered questions about the other community models that NCAR supports: the Weather and Research Forecasting model (WRF) and the Community Earth System Model (CESM; WACCM is a component of the CESM suite).
How did you benefit from the experience?
My visit gave me an opportunity to talk to UNH researchers and students about how they were using and how they wanted to use WACCM, including the tools and other community model support that NCAR provides. I got great feedback on our tutorials, and that will have community-wide utility as I incorporate their experiences when refining existing and designing new tutorials. I ran several tutorials on interpreting and visualizing WRF results, and I worked one-on-one with a PhD student to produce WRF-derived visualizations of historical and future effects of climate on New England. I also had a chance to participate in strategizing one group's transition to new modeling experiments.
Is there anything you'd like to share with colleagues that might encourage them to participate in the program?
UVISIT is a good opportunity for collaboration and feedback. In my case, the program offered a chance to better understand where more support for WACCM users might be needed and how to best plan for and deliver that support. It gave me a chance to meet some of the people that I’d heard from within the user community, but had not yet met face to face. And it planted seeds for new collaborations.
How do you think UNH, your host institution, benefited from your visit?
I've been hearing from my hosts that the visit helped the UNH team to better understand the components of the WACCM model, as well as the structure of input and output variables for interpreting and visualizing simulation results. Some of our group discussions resulted in the development of algorithms and pseudocode necessary to use differential energy flux from UNH’s EPREM model at the top of the atmosphere and calculate vertical profiles of energy deposition and ion-pair production in WACCM. We worked together to outline the steps required to port WACCM to the university's new CRAY machine , which will provide unlimited ability to test the coupled models in-house. And I created a CESM resource guide that provides UNH students and researchers with easy access to CESM help in the form of online tutorial videos, the CESM forum, and NCAR’s helpdesk within the Computational and Information System Lab, among other resources.
Originally published in NCAR & UCAR Staff News.
NCAR senior scientist Phil Judge (High Altitude Observatory) is spending a 12-month sabbatical as a visiting professor at Montana State University. In addition to collaborating with members of the university's solar physics group, Phil is teaching two special topics courses focused on plasma physics, transport processes, and spectroscopy. Phil says the experience, made possible by NCAR and MSU funds, has been one of the most rewarding of his professional career. He jokes that "some of the students even seem to find it valuable," with one offering that Professor Judge "goes on some useful tangents that actually are relevant to my research!" MSU's Department of Physics reports that Phil brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that enriches its teaching curriculum and research. A win-win!
Jeff Kiehl, a senior scientist in the NCAR Earth System Laboratory is sold on the value of extended university visits. In his own words:
My faculty fellowship leave at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has allowed me to see the world anew. I am enjoying being in an academic environment that provides opportunities for making new connections in the areas of climate change and environmental studies. It is exciting to interact with faculty and students in these areas. It doesn’t hurt that the UC Santa Cruz campus, nestled in the redwood forests, provides a beautiful setting for my research! I have given a number of lectures already and have met with graduate students on the issue of communicating science. They are eager to look at this issue and I am learning as much from them as they are from me. I am also currently co-teaching a graduate class on how Earth’s hydrologic cycle has changed over time and where it is going in the future. I love academia and being here has provided me with the opportunity to give expression to my passion for teaching. Another purpose for my leave is to work on a book that I have wanted to write for a long time. The libraries at UC Santa Cruz are first class and have provided me with rich resources for my research and writing. I am halfway through my visit, but I already know that coming to UC Santa Cruz was the best decision I have made in a long time.