Director's Message

Welcome to the Earth Observing Laboratory's 2007 Annual Report.

Roger Wakimoto EOL is known as a community hub for the collection of data and transfer of knowledge pertaining to observations. The Laboratory also develops new measurement tools to extend community understanding of the atmosphere. EOL specifically fulfills three critical needs:

  1. To lead and serve the community in the provision of observational facilities,
    infrastructure, and services needed by the atmospheric and related sciences.
  2. To play a leadership role in the development community-inspired next generation
    instrumentation and infrastructure while providing existing instruments and infrastructure
    in support of science.
  3. To coordinate all aspects of field deployment from pre-project planning through the field
    phase and subsequent data stewardship.

Central to EOL’s success is our world-class scientific, engineering and project management staff
that is respected by the community. Our staff responses to new directions in atmospheric research technology play a leadership role in the development and application of new technology to science objectives.  

Inside the NSF/NCAR G-V
Scientist Cynthia Twohy makes some notes inside the NSF/NCAR G-V before the PACific Dust EXperiment (PACDEX) in April 2007.  PACDEX was the first deployment that truly demonstrated the unique capabilities of the G-V as a long-range research aircraft.  During that project the aircraft - stationed at its home base at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport - was quickly deployed to Japan via Alaska in response to news that a dust storm was gathering over Asia.  The G-V was able to catch up with the plume before it started to travel across the Pacific, and for about a week was able to sample the plume as it made its way to North America.

EOL continues to make progress in all five NCAR strategic goals though our main focus is Goal #5.  EOL supported a number of field campaigns, including METCRAX, PACDEX, CLIMODE, ISPA, CHATS, COPS and PASE in FY2007 and are preparing for some important deployments in 2008. EOL endeavors to identify ways to entrain new users.  The official request procedure can appear daunting to someone who has never requested an NSF observing facility.  Accordingly, it is our responsibility to help guide them through the process. This is one of the issues we addressed in September when we hosted the first-ever NSF Facilities Users' Workshop.  In addition to reaching out to new users by delineating the request process, the workshop provided an opportunity for several hundred members of the NSF facilities’ research community to meet and provide us with valuable guidance on core activities such as project planning, data stewardship, software tools, in-field service, and new instrument developments. The NSF Facilities Assessment database was discussed at a community workshop following the NSF Facilities Users' Workshop and will provide descriptive information on atmospheric science facilities and instrumentation in a consistent, easy-to-read format as a resource for the broad atmospheric science and related communities. EOL deployed the NSF/NCAR G-V in the first deployment (PACDEX) that truly demonstrated the unique capabilities as a long-range research aircraft.  During PACDEX the aircraft - stationed at its home base at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport - was quickly deployed to Japan via Alaska in response to news that a dust storm was gathering over Asia.  The aircraft was able to catch up with the plume before it started to travel across the Pacific, and for about a week was able to sample the plume as it made its way to North America.  The G-V also entered a major upgrade phase in FY07 that will continue into FY09. HAIS instruments began arriving this year and will continue to be delivered until FY2009.

In support of Goal #1, Understanding the Earth & Sun System, an EOL scientist was the lead author on a landmark study that puts a new perspective on the “missing” carbon sink and could have political ramifications. A second Airborne Carbon in the Mountain Campaign (ACME) was conducted and three RACCOON (Regional Atmospheric Continuous CO2 Network in the Rocky Mountains) sites were added during the year.

Student Tour of the S-Pol Radar
Tours like this one, to the Marshall Facility where the S-Pol is located, are a staple of EOL's robust Education and Outreach program. EOL scientist Bob Rilling discusses radar operations with students from CU's Weather and Climate Data class.

In support of Goal #2, Improving Resilience to Weather, Climate and Atmospheric Hazards, EOL scientists collaborated with scientists in Africa to establish a continuous CO2 analysis site at Mt. Kenya Meteorological Observatory, which is World Meteorological Organization site.

EOL places major emphases on diversity and education and outreach activities (Goal #3). We will continue our efforts to support SOARS and the EOL Engineering Intern Program, as well as numerous education and outreach activities for K-12 students and the general public.

EOL is committed to data processing, quality control, and archival for field projects as part of our expanding services that will be provided to the community (Goal #4). This includes efforts to complete development of the Metadata Database and Cyberinfrastructure (EMDAC, formerly known as CODIAC) to access and browse products and data from field projects while integrating with the Community Data Portal.