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UW Looks to Better Leverage Research Relationship with NCAR

October 16, 2018

The University of Wyoming has had a number of collaborations with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) over the past several years, including research at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Cheyenne; enhancing high-performance computing on UW’s campus; and having UW students obtain summer internships with NCAR.

The university wants to continue enhancing its relationship with NCAR through a conference, titled “Leveraging the UW-NCAR Partnership for Breakthroughs in Research, Education, Engagement and Economic Development,” Thursday, Oct. 25, and Friday, Oct. 26, in the UW Conference Center.

“One of NCAR’s roles is to provide the U.S.’s  atmospheric and related earth system science community with cutting-edge resources, including supercomputers, research aircraft, computer models and data science technologies, and extensive data sets,” says Bryan Shader, a UW professor of mathematics and co-chair of the Wyoming-NCAR Allocation Panel. “The meetings will help connect UW researchers to these resources.”

UW leaders -- including President Laurie Nichols, Provost Kate Miller and Vice President for Research and Economic Development Ed Synakowski -- and NCAR/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) leadership will discuss strategic ways to use and expand the existing partnership to strengthen research and education efforts, and enhance economic development.

Approximately 60-80 UW faculty, staff and graduate students are expected to attend and discuss research, education funding and collaboration opportunities available to them at the NWSC and with NCAR scientists. And some of UW research that has occurred by the partnership will be highlighted.

The meeting represents the kickoff event toward strengthening the partnership, says Shader, one of the conference organizers.

The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Oct. 25

-- STEAM Educational and Engagement, 1-2:30 p.m.

-- Research Support, 3-4:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 26

-- Opportunities for Researchers and Students, 10:30 a.m.-noon

-- Buffet lunch and lightning talks on UW research, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

-- Opportunities for Researchers and Students, 1:30-3 p.m.

-- Accessing NWSC Resources, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Fostering new and broader interdisciplinary collaborations is another major goal of the event, Shader says.

“NCAR’s research focus on weather, water, climate, air quality, and sun and space weather fits well with some of UW’s expertise,” he says. “Increasingly, breakthroughs in fundamental research in these areas require other disciplines such as anthropology and ecosystem science. In order to effectively translate results into societal benefits, it is important to involve expertise in areas like economics, social sciences and humanities.”

Additionally, improving the computational thinking abilities of students of all ages throughout Wyoming is a foundational element of the UW partnership with NCAR and UCAR. This includes finding ways to strengthen ongoing UW/NCAR programs in computational thinking, expand them to the state’s community colleges and discuss how the partnership can be used to help meet the state Legislature’s charge to include computing throughout the state’s education curriculum by the early 2020s, Shader says.

For more information, email Shader at

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