Program Description - International Affiliates

A program to encourage and strengthen
international cooperation in atmospheric, oceanic and related sciences


In the 1980's with the increasing need to understand the global dimensions of various components of climate activity and research, UCAR Member institutions expressed interest in developing a strategy for stronger and more direct association with institutions outside of North America. In addition, many such institutions were interested in participation in UCAR activities and exchange of information and opportunities. Thus, the UCAR International Affiliates Program (IAP) was established to facilitate increased international scientific cooperation, collegiality and collaboration through a more formal affiliation between UCAR and its Member universities and institutions outside of North America with research or operational programs in the atmospheric and related sciences.

Scientists around the globe have long participated in and benefitted from cooperative international programs. Past program collaborations include: US/India Monsoon Research, US/China Atmospheric Sciences Protocol, GARP (Global Atmospheric Research Program), GATE (GARP Atlantic Tropical Experiment), MONEX (Monsoon Experiment), ALPEX (Alpine Experiment), TOGA/COARE (Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Program/Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment), and WOCE (World Ocean Climate Experiment). However, as the earth sciences move evermore toward a global systems approach to solving serious scientific problems and addressing important climate and weather impact questions, it becomes imperative that the international research community find ways to develop and strengthen mechanisms for collaboration in order to meet the many challenges and take advantage of the new opportunities.


The original principles guiding the establishment of the International Affiliates Program were: to create an environment supportive of communication, cooperation, and understanding; and the sharing of programs, resources, and strengths of the International Affiliates and the UCAR Members to enhance atmospheric and related sciences worldwide. These principles remain the cornerstone of the program.

The mission of the International Affiliates Program is

to foster the development of collaborative research and education programs among UCAR members, NCAR and other UCAR programs, and international academic, research, and operational institutions through

  • collaborative research efforts

  • exchange of students and visitors

  • exchange of data and community models

  • newsletters, websites, email exchange

  • exchange of teaching and other educational materials

To foster these collaborations, the International Affiliates members will be provided regular information regarding UCAR/NCAR programs, opportunities and plans, as well as information regarding those UCAR resources which would be of interest to International Affiliates and enhanced by international cooperation. In turn, the International Affiliates will provide UCAR with information on atmospheric science programs, data, and resources in their organizations and communities.


These guidelines were developed to include as many institutions in the IAP as are interested in participating:

  • Outstanding research is often carried out in institutions that do not grant degrees and that graduate education in research institutions outside of North America is often structured differently than at UCAR Member institutions. Therefore, the affiliation will not be dependent on International Affiliates' granting or not granting degrees as is the requirement for a UCAR Member. There should be flexibility concerning the level of the institution that is most appropriate for affiliation, recognizing the diversity of organizational arrangements in different countries.

  • There will be no fee for affiliation.
Participation in the program would be by invitation of the UCAR President, and formal acceptance by the appropriate chief executive officer of the affiliate institution.

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+1 303.497.1655

Kelly Plummer Sherrard
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+1 303.497.1658