Tag Archives: NCAR

The List: Week of Oct. 22


(Photo/Stefan Bucher) (flickr)

If you have an interest in energy, there are two great events this week for you! Go to a seminar about wind farms on Monday or protest against fracking in Colorado on Tuesday. Or if you’re looking for more hands on activities, take your kids to Super Science Saturday hosted by NCAR.

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The List: Science and Environmental Happenings in and Around Boulder

Open burning and its connection to air quality and atmospheric chemistry will be discussed at "Fire in the System," March 12. Here an August 2000 wildfire burns in Bitterroot National Forest, Montana. (Photo/Alaska Forest Service/John McColgan).

by Marisa McNatt

This week, Boulder offers opportunities to learn about governing hurricane risk, as well as greenhouse gas emissions from open fires and how open fires affect local weather and the atmosphere on a global scale. A course on how to make an organization sustainable for the long-term is offered on CU-Boulder’s campus.

“Characterizing, Creating and Governing Florida’s Hurricane Risk,” hosted by the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CSTPR). March 12.

What? Jessica Weinkle, a postgraduate student in CU-Boulder’s Environmental Studies doctoral program, will lead the seminar. Weinkle studies risk governance, science policy and insurance catastrophe models. She became interested in natural hazards, risk perception, and the use of climate and weather forecasts in policy and society while earning her master’s in Climate and Society at Columbia University.
Where? CSTPR Conference Room. Map
Time? 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Cost? Free

“Fire in the Earth System,” hosted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research (UCAR). March 12.
What? Open burning — which includes wildland fires, waste burning, and prescribed forest and agricultural burning — plays an important role in local and regional air quality, the atmospheric chemistry on a global scale and climatic processes. Because of their significant contribution to carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually, fires are comparable to anthropogenic non-burning sources in the same region.
This presentation highlights advances in predicting fire emissions, quantifying the impacts of fire on atmospheric processes, and using this knowledge for societal benefits. Christine Wiedinmyer, an NCAR scientist in the Atmospheric Chemistry Division/Integrated Science Program, will lead the seminar.
Where? Foothills Lab 2, room 1022. Directions
Time? 3:30 p.m.
Cost? Free

“Organizational Change for Sustainability,” hosted by CU-Boulder’s Sustainable Practices Program. March 16.
What? This course provides insights and information for making an organization sustainable for the long-term. By teaching students how to make changes from a human, departmental and organizational level, this course is geared toward future leaders of medium and large organizations assigned with the task of making their organization sustainable. Topics include policy development, sustainable characteristics of organizations, recognizing disincentives, benchmarking, community-based social marketing and more.
Where? CU-Boulder
Time? 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cost? General participants – $355. CU-Boulder students – $177.50. CU-Boulder Faculty/Staff – $284.00
Register here

“GEOG Colloquium: by Diana Liverman,” hosted by CU-Boulder’s Geography Department and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES). March 16.
What? Diana Liverman, co-director of the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment, will lead the colloquium. Liverman’s career has focused on the human dimensions of global environmental change and her main research interests include climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and climate policy and mitigation, especially in the developing world.  She works on the political economy and ecology of environmental management in the Americas, especially in Mexico.
Liverman maintains an affiliation with Oxford University where she is a visiting professor of Environmental Policy and Development in the School of Geography and Environment, a fellow of Linacre College, and a fellow in the Environmental Change Institute
Where? CU-Boulder, IBS Building, room 155. Map.
Time? 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Cost? Free


Dropping into the Eye of the Storm

Getting detailed scientific measurements from within the maw of a hurricane isn’t easy. But scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research have been fine-tuning devices called dropsondes that can go deep into storms to capture atmospheric data and help researchers gauge how storms will behave.

Each dropsonde weighs less than half a pound and looks “like a glorified paper towel tube,” which “houses a circuit board, a series of sensors, and a parachute,” writes The Boulder Stand’s managing editor Breanna Draxler in an article for The Daily Camera. The dropsondes, which researchers drop from planes or high-altitude balloons, contain GPS receivers that record wind speed and direction. The dropsondes also take temperature, humidity and air pressure measurements.

About 3,000 to 5,000 dropsondes are deployed each year to measure an array of atmospheric events.

Read Draxler’s full article, “NCAR scientists improve tool for measuring extreme weather” in The Daily Camera.

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