STRATEGIC GUIDANCE FOR THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION’S SUPPORT OF THE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES

AN INTERIM REPORT

Committee on Strategic Guidance for NSF’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu



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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report STRATEGIC GUIDANCE FOR THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION’S SUPPORT OF THE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AN INTERIM REPORT Committee on Strategic Guidance for NSF’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation under Contract No. ATM-0405530. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-10008-9 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report COMMITTEE ON STRATEGIC GUIDANCE FOR NSF’S SUPPORT OF THE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES JOHN A. ARMSTRONG (Chair), IBM Corporation (retired), Amherst, Massachusetts SUSAN K. AVERY, University of Colorado, Boulder HOWARD B. BLUESTEIN, University of Oklahoma, Norman ELBERT W. FRIDAY, University of Oklahoma, Norman MARVIN A. GELLER, Stony Brook University, New York ELISABETH A. HOLLAND, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado CHARLES E. KOLB, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts MARGARET A. LEMONE, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado RAMON E. LOPEZ, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne KENNETH OLDEN, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina SUSAN SOLOMON, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado JOHN M. WALLACE, University of Washington, Seattle ROBERT A. WELLER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts STEPHEN E. ZEBIAK, Columbia University, Palisades, New York National Research Council Staff AMANDA STAUDT, Study Director CLAUDIA MENGELT, Associate Program Officer ELIZABETH A. GALINIS, Senior Program Assistant

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ROBERT J. SERAFIN (Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado M. JOAN ALEXANDER, Colorado Research Associates, Boulder FREDERICK R. ANDERSON, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Washington, D.C. MICHAEL L. BENDER, Princeton University, New Jersey ROSINA M. BIERBAUM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MARY ANNE CARROLL, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor CAROL ANNE CLAYSON, Florida State University, Tallahassee WALTER F. DABBERDT, Vaisala Inc., Boulder, Colorado KERRY A. EMANUEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge DENNIS L. HARTMANN, University of Washington, Seattle PETER R. LEAVITT, Weather Information Company, Newton, Massachusetts JENNIFER A. LOGAN, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts VERNON R. MORRIS, Howard University, Washington, D.C. THOMAS H. VONDER HAAR, Colorado State University/CIRA, Fort Collins ROGER M. WAKIMOTO, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Ex Officio Members ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR., University of Maryland, College Park ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, New Jersey National Research Council Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director PAUL CUTLER, Senior Program Officer AMANDA STAUDT, Senior Program Officer CLAUDIA MENGELT, Associate Program Officer LEAH PROBST, Research Associate ELIZABETH A. GALINIS, Senior Program Assistant ROB GREENWAY, Senior Program Assistant DIANE GUSTAFSON, Administrative Coordinator ANDREAS SOHRE, Financial Associate

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report Preface In the 1950s, there was growing concern that meteorological research was falling short of its potential for improved understanding and of the recognized needs for meteorological information in scientific, economic, and national security contexts. In response, the National Academy of Sciences formed the Committee on Meteorology “for the purpose of bringing together scientists from meteorology and related physical and geophysical fields to view in broad perspective the present position and future requirements of meteorological research and to recommend the general outline of a program that would accelerate progress in this important field” (NAS/NRC, 1958). That committee produced an interim report, Research and Education in Meteorology (NAS/NRC, 1958) that had six major recommendations: Present support for meteorology at the universities and kindred institutions should be increased immediately by 50 to 100 percent, to be directed toward support of basic research. A National Institute of Atmospheric Research should be established. It is recommended that the AMS take the initiative and responsibility for increasing its activities in stimulating interest in meteorology 10-fold or more [….] Representatives of departments of meteorology at the universities should form an interuniversity committee to consider curricula, student recruitment, fellowships, and textbooks. The Chief of the Weather Bureau should be offered the help of a committee of university meteorologists in the educational and personnel development programs of the Bureau.

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report The university meteorological committee and other interested meteorologists should acquaint themselves fully with the availability of fellowships and scholarships in the sciences, and take the responsibility for providing guidance and direction for well-qualified students to obtain such assistance toward their education in meteorology. Several of these recommendations were acted upon; in particular, there was a significant increase in funding for the field and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) were created (Mazuzan, 1988). Several further reports produced by the National Academies from 1959 to the present have continued to play an important role in shaping the activities of research in meteorology and atmospheric sciences more broadly (e.g., NAS/NRC, 1960; NRC, 1977a, 1998). The National Academies again have an opportunity to provide input on how atmospheric sciences research in the United States will evolve. The National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Division of Atmospheric Sciences (ATM) has asked the National Academies to perform a study that will provide guidance to ATM on its strategy for achieving its goals in the atmospheric sciences. This request reflects a desire by NSF to get a broad view of the health of the atmospheric sciences and to get some guidance on how best to direct resources in the future. In response to NSF’s request, the National Academies have formed the Committee on Strategic Guidance for NSF’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences. In essence, the committee is asked to consider how ATM can best accomplish its goals of supporting cutting-edge research, education and workforce development, service to society, computational and observational objectives, data management, and other goals of the atmospheric science community into the future. The committee will provide guidance on the most effective approaches, that is, modes of support and activities, for different goals and on determining the appropriate balance among approaches (see Box P-1 for full statement of task). This interim report of the committee aims to provide some preliminary insight in response to the charge from NSF. The committee will also deliver a final report in fall 2006 in which the study charge will be fully addressed. Over the past year, the committee has met four times to gather information and conduct deliberations. At several of these meetings, members of the atmospheric sciences community were invited to share their perspectives on study questions, both in sessions devoted to specific issues and in an “open mike” session when any comments were welcome. In addition, the committee made available a Web site through which members of the community could contribute comments (http://dels.nas.edu/basc/strat.shtml), met with the heads and chairs of the UCAR universities, and held town hall sessions at the December 2004 fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and at the January 2005 annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). This input has

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report BOX P-1 Statement of Task for Committee on Strategic Guidance for NSF’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences At the request of ATM, this committee will perform a study that will provide guidance to ATM on its strategy for achieving its goals in the atmospheric sciences (e.g., cutting-edge research, education and workforce development, service to society, computational and observational objectives, data management). In doing so, the committee will seek to engage the broad atmospheric science community to the fullest extent possible. The committee will provide guidance on the most effective approaches for different goals and on determining the appropriate balance among approaches. In essence, the committee is asked to consider how ATM can best accomplish its mission of supporting the atmospheric sciences into the future. Specifically, this study will consider the following questions: What are the most effective activities (e.g., research, facilities, technology development, education and workforce programs) and modes of support (e.g., individual principal investigators, university-based research centers, large centers) for achieving NSF’s range of goals in the atmospheric sciences? Is the balance among the types of activities appropriate and should it be adjusted? Is the balance among modes of support for the atmospheric sciences effective and should it be adjusted? Are there any gaps in the activities supported by the Division and are there new mechanisms that should be considered in planning and facilitating these activities? Are interdisciplinary, foundation-wide, interagency, and international activities effectively implemented and are there new mechanisms that should be considered? How can NSF ensure and encourage the broadest participation and involvement of atmospheric researchers at a variety of institutions? The study will not make budgetary recommendations. The committee will deliver its results in two parts: (1) a short interim report in fall 2005 that provides a preliminary sense of the committee’s overarching conclusions; and (2) a final report by fall 2006 that further considers community input and provides the committee’s full analysis and recommendations.

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report been quite helpful in shaping the committee’s thinking; we especially acknowledge the comments of the individuals listed in Appendix C. As we develop our final report, we hope to further engage the atmospheric sciences community in discussions of this interim report. In this coming year, we plan to hold town hall sessions at both the AGU and AMS meetings again and to retain options for individuals to submit comments through the Web site. Several individuals have assisted the committee in gathering information about the current status and evolution of the atmospheric sciences as well as in organizing meetings. We especially appreciate the efforts of Jarvis Moyers and his colleagues at ATM, who graciously accommodated multiple requests for detailed information about the division’s activities, budgets, and grants over the past 30 years. Richard Anthes, Susan Friberg, and their colleagues at UCAR and Tim Killeen and his colleagues at NCAR were very helpful in providing information about UCAR/NCAR activities and in planning the committee’s meeting in Boulder, Colorado. Finally, it is a pleasure to recognize the outstanding work of the study director, Senior Program Officer Amanda Staudt, who brought to our task both broad knowledge of atmospheric sciences and great skill in the conduct of National Research Council studies. She was ably assisted by Associate Program Officer Claudia Mengelt and Senior Program Assistant Elizabeth Galinis. John Armstrong Committee Chair

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: M. Joan Alexander, Colorado Research Associates, Boulder David Atlas, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Silver Spring, Maryland William H. Brune, Pennsylvania State University, University Park James B. Edson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts Cassandra Fesen, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire Jerry Mahlman, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado James C. McWilliams, University of California, Los Angeles Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego Gerard Roe, University of Washington, Seattle Gabor Vali, University of Wyoming, Laramie Carl Wunsch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by George Hornberger, University of Virginia, and Eugene Rasmusson, University of Maryland, College Park. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   9      Atmospheric Sciences at the National Science Foundation,   10      Principles for Successful Support of the Atmospheric Sciences,   12      Looking Forward to the Committee’s Final Report,   14 2   THE CHANGING CONTEXT FOR ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE   17      Research Support and Demographics,   18      Scope and Cross-Disciplinary Approach,   23      Information Technology and Computational Modeling,   24      Observations: Technology Development and Emergence of Field Programs,   26      International Research Environment,   30      Educational Activities,   34      Societal Relevance and Expectations,   36 3   MODES OF SUPPORT AND ISSUES OF BALANCE   39      Grants,   39      Small Centers,   46      Large National Center,   48      Cooperative Agreements to Support Observing Facilities,   55      NSF-wide Initiatives,   58      Interagency Programs,   58      Field Programs,   62      Ensuring a Balanced Program,   66

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report     REFERENCES   69     APPENDIXES         A  Statement of Task   73     B  Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff   75     C  Individuals Who Provided Input to the Committee   83     D  Acronyms   87