As a newly appointed member of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s board of trustees, ESSIC director Antonio Busalacchi will begin his term at the consortium in February.
UCAR, which was founded in the late 1950s, now brings together experts from more than 100 member universities and colleges, all of which offer degrees in the atmospheric or climate sciences. While UCAR provides support for its member universities, its overall aim is to advance the field of atmospheric science as a whole. In this role, it oversees the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a federally funded research institution.
“NCAR has been the touchstone for atmospheric sciences in a number of ways,” Busalacchi said. “They have their own cadre of research scientists, but scientists from all over the world and all over the United States come there to collaborate and to do their research because of the facilities.”
Busalacchi was contacted by the president of UCAR, who asked if he would consider becoming a candidate for a position on the board of trustees. University representatives elected him in the fall, and Busalacchi will soon begin his three-year term. The board of trustees is responsible for managing NCAR policy and budgetary matters, and Busalacchi will serve on the audit and finance committee.
“In addition to managing NCAR, UCAR also is involved in trying to help advocate for the atmospheric sciences,” Busalacchi said. “UCAR is representing the community at large. It speaks with a louder voice than any one individual university could as it pertains to the atmospheric sciences.”
As the “public face” for atmospheric science, Busalacchi said, UCAR also works to promote the private sector weather enterprise, and helped develop the COSMIC constellation of satellites, a joint U.S.-Taiwan project.
“It’s a new and novel way of using the GPS technology and the constellation of GPS satellites to profile water vapor and temperature in the atmosphere,” he said. “It’s a new approach to observations and remote sensing.”