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History of the UCAR Community Programs (formerly known as UOP - UCAR Office of Programs)

For over 45 years, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has managed the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of the university community and the National Science Foundation. The UCAR Office of Programs (UOP) was created in 1992 to manage a number of progams outside of NCAR that were specifically requested from the broader UCAR community (e.g., several federal agencies or governments with a common need, a complex UCAR and non-UCAR community partnership, etc.)

For example, community members (universities, the National Weather Services, etc) asked UCAR to develop a program for training our nation's operational weather forecasters through a single program managed in UOP. Similarly, the solid Earth Science community asked UCAR to manage the UNAVCO (University NAVSTAR Consortium) program within UOP. The GPS technologies developed in this unique partnership have led to the COSMIC program, which uses GPS satellites to sense the atmosphere using the radio occultation technique. Most recently, an ad hoc collection of scientists and educators asked UCAR to host a national digital library for Earth system science within UOP. In all these efforts, UOP has proven to be extremely flexible and responsive to community and sponsor needs and an effective home for these novel and integrating partnerships.

Today, there are eight Community Programs that successfully partner with the community to achieve specific goals and objectives. UCP programs are typically more service-oriented than research oriented. A major focus for UCP is making sure community and NCAR science gets transferred in novel ways to the broader community and beyond. Thus, most UCP efforts include some type of partnership with community and NCAR programs and scientists.

As new program opportunities arise, they are reviewed by UCAR management, the Board of Trustees, and sponsors to determine whether they fit within UCP’s service mission.