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

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 STRATEGIC GUIDANCE FOR THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION’S SUPPORT OF THE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES 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 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW 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-13 978-0-309-10349-7 International Standard Book Number-10 0-309-10349-5 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 2007 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 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 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, State University of New York, Stony Brook 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 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 NRC Staff AMANDA STAUDT, Study Director CURTIS MARSHALL, Program Officer CLAUDIA MENGELT, Program Officer ELIZABETH A. GALINIS, Research Associate

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation‘s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ROBERT J. SERAFIN (Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado M. JOAN ALEXANDER, NorthWest Research Associates, Boulder, Colorado 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 NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director PAUL CUTLER, Senior Program Officer AMANDA STAUDT, Senior Program Officer CURTIS MARSHALL, Program Officer IAN KRAUCUNAS, Program Officer CLAUDIA MENGELT, Program Officer ELIZABETH A. GALINIS, Research Associate LEAH PROBST, Research Associate ROB GREENWAY, Senior Program Assistant KATIE WELLER, 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 Preface This report comes out at a time of significant opportunities and challenges for the atmospheric sciences. More than ever before, society is recognizing the value of weather, air quality, climate, and space weather forecasts and demanding more sophisticated products and services. The last several decades have brought impressive advances in our knowledge of the atmosphere and the Sun, while illuminating just how much more we have to learn. New observational and computational tools have greatly expanded research capabilities. Yet, the national investment in atmospheric research has remained relatively flat over the past decade, presenting a challenge to those who must decide how best to allocate the available resources. 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 formed the Committee on Strategic Guidance for NSF’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences. In essence, the committee was 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. (See Box P-1 for the full statement of task.) The committee approached its task in two phases. In the first phase, the committee met four times to gather information, interact with the

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation‘s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences 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 ATM 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. broader atmospheric sciences community, 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, met with the heads and chairs of the University Corporation for Atmospheric

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation‘s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences Research (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). In September 2005, we released an interim report, Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation’s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report, that provided some preliminary insight in response to the charge from NSF. The interim report was quite well received by NSF and the broader atmospheric sciences community and served to spark many thoughtful responses. The committee welcomed this feedback received in written form as well as at briefings of the report held for NSF staff, for a fall 2005 meeting of the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate in Boulder, Colorado, and during town hall sessions at the December 2005 fall AGU meeting and at the January– February 2006 annual AMS meeting. In particular, the committee was urged to go further in exploring many of the issues raised in the interim report, such as opportunities for high-risk, potentially transformative research, and to consider some aspects that were not highlighted in that report, including supercomputing and training the next generation of atmospheric scientists. The committee took seriously this input during its deliberations for the second phase of the study. In this final report of the committee, we reiterate many of the findings and recommendations of the interim report, make some modest changes to some of them, and offer several new ones. Many 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, Jay Fein, and their 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 the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) were very helpful in providing information about UCAR/NCAR activities and in planning the committee’s meeting in Boulder, Colorado. Most notably, all the input received from the broader atmospheric sciences community has been instrumental in shaping the committee’s thinking; we especially acknowledge the comments of the individuals listed in Appendix C. 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 Research Associate Elizabeth Galinis. John Armstrong Committee Chair

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation‘s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences 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: David Atlas, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Silver Spring, Maryland Sarbani Basu, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut William H. Brune, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Carol Anne Clayson, Florida State University, Tallahassee Clara Deser, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Paul Dusenbery, Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado Delores J. Knipp, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Venkatachalam Ramaswamy, Princeton University, New Jersey Gerard Roe, University of Washington, Seattle Gabor Vali, University of Wyoming, Laramie

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation‘s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or 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 Thomas Graedel, Yale University. 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 Contents     SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   7      Atmospheric Sciences at the National Science Foundation,   8      Study Strategy and Report Roadmap,   12 2   MAJOR ADVANCES IN THE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES   14      Introduction,   14      Case Studies of Major Achievements in the Atmospheric Sciences,   17      1.  Improvements in Severe-Weather Forecasting,   17      2.  Development of the Dropsonde,   22      3.  Identifying Causes for the Antarctic Ozone Hole,   28      4.  Development of Community Computational Models,   30      5.  Development of the Wind Profiler to Observe Turbulent Scatter,   35      6.  Emergence of Space Weather as a Predictive Science,   40      7.  Understanding the Oxidative Capacity of the Troposphere,   43      8.  Identifying the Importance of Tropospheric Aerosols to Climate,   45      9.  The Role of Mauna Loa Measurements in Understanding the Global Carbon Cycle,   52      10.  Improving El Niño Predictions,   54      11.  Development of Helioseismology,   58      12.  Reading the Paleoclimate Record,   64      Analysis of the Case Studies,   67

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation‘s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences 3   THE CHANGING CONTEXT FOR ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE   71      Intellectual and Societal Context,   72      Research Support,   76      Demographics,   80      Observations: Technology Development and Emergence of Field Programs,   86      Atmospheric Science Observational Tools and Training,   89      Information Technology and Computational Modeling,   94 4   MODES OF SUPPORT AND KEY ACTIVITIES   101      Grants,   101      High-Risk Potentially Transformative Research,   107      Small Centers,   109      Large National Center,   112      Cooperative Agreements to Support Observing Facilities,   121      NSF-wide Initiatives,   124      Field Programs,   124      Educational Activities,   131 5   COLLABORATIONS ESSENTIAL TO THE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES   136      Cross-Disciplinary Integration,   136      Interagency Programs,   138      International Research Environment,   141      Facilitating Collaborations,   146      Inter-sector Collaboration,   147 6   FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   150      Principles for Successful Support of the Atmospheric Sciences,   150      Employing a Diversity of Modes of Support to Meet ATM Objectives,   152      Fostering High-Risk, Potentially Transformative Research,   154      Enhancing Cross-Disciplinary, Interagency, and International Coordination,   155      Meeting Supercomputing Needs,   157      Supporting Field Programs, Data Archives, and Data Analysis,   158      Developing Observational Tools,   159      Effectively Utilizing Centers,   161      Recruiting and Training Top Students in the Atmospheric Sciences,   163      Defining Future Strategic Directions,   165      Ongoing Strategic Guidance for ATM,   168

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Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation‘s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences     REFERENCES   170     APPENDIXES     A   Statement of Task   179 B   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff   181 C   Individuals Who Provided Input to the Committee   189 D   Acronyms   192

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