Solutions: From Science to Impacts

Following World War II, Vannevar Bush, the founder of the National Science Foundation (NSF) characterized scientific research as a “valuable fund of new knowledge from which applications could be drawn.” This view in 1945 was in stark contrast to the academic view of the “ivory tower” in which basic research was defined as the pursuit of the understanding of science as an isolated activity that rarely paid off in practical advances.

At NCAR, there is no basic vs. applied research conflict. Here, scientists and engineers are in a unique position of being able to conduct basic research, such as better understanding of cloud physics, while designing innovations based on that understanding, such as forecasting and navigating around clear-air turbulence.

No matter what the meteorological challenge is, the goal is the same: to provide information and tools to users and the public to improve safety, time and money. From airline pilots, to truck drivers, to energy managers, to troops protecting the nation from chemical releases, experts in NCAR’s Research Applications Laboratory are committed to supporting disparate sectors to meet meteorological challenges with creative, practical solutions.

Decision Support Tools for Farmers
Weather is the critical factor in the success of a harvest.
Descending air curls outward and upward as it slams into the ground in a microburst near Denver's former Stapleton International Airport on July 6, 1984, during the CLAWS project. (Photo by Wendy Schreiber-Abshire, ©UCAR. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)
How the Jumbo Outbreak of 1974 helped lead to safer air travel
Storm Surge Perceptions, Communications and Response
NCAR's custom outlooks provide guidance to large-scale immunization program
Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion of Hazardous Materials Research and Developmen
Atmospheric releases of hazardous materials, either accidental or intentional,...
Solar Panels
Utilities and grid operators back research to make solar more predictable.
Tropical Cyclone off Brazil Courtesy of NASA
That is the question hurricane researchers and forecasters aim to answer
Decision Support Tools for Farmers
Weather is the critical factor in the success of a harvest.

About RAL

RAL's mission is to conduct directed research that contributes to the fundamental understanding of the atmosphere and related physical, biological, and social systems; to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the scientific community, and to develop and transfer knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth.

I have a very strong feeling that science exists to serve human betterment and improve human welfare.       - Walter Orr Roberts

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