March 26--The University of Alabama is now officially a member of a national organization focused on research and training in atmospheric sciences.
At a Monday ceremony on campus, UA President Stuart R. Bell and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research President Antonio J. Busalacchi signed an agreement that means the Capstone is a member of the consortium of 117 universities and colleges across North America.
Bell said the partnership will benefit students, the state and the nation.
"UA's partnership with UCAR provides new opportunities for additional research into the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences, which is so vital for improving forecasts, protecting life and property, and fostering economic growth," Bell said.
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation and through its community programs supports and extends the capabilities of its academic consortium.
UA was voted into the corporation at its annual meeting in October, along with six other institutions including Duke University and Louisiana State University.
"We are honored to have the University of Alabama join the UCAR community," Busalacchi said. "We look forward to collaborating with the university and their strong academic programs to advance our knowledge of weather, water, climate and other vital aspects of the Earth system for the benefit of Alabama residents and all of society."
UA will be able to further develop its programs in atmospheric sciences through access to the corporation's researchers, supercomputers, weather models and research aircraft, Bell said.
"The community models developed by NCAR and its university partners help keep Alabama citizens safe from hurricanes, tornadoes and other dangerous weather events, and UA researchers will be engaged in building the next generation of models," Bell said. "The Earth sciences research that we are conducting with NCAR and UCAR's member universities is vital for protecting lives and property, providing a major return on the investment by taxpayers."
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