-Walter Orr Roberts, founding president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the first director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
The structure of NCAR and UCAR—unique among the nation’s science disciplines—paves the way for innovation to bring impact to everyday life. NCAR’s research is unusually wide-ranging, from the flow of magnetism within the Sun to the flow of heat in the ocean. Much of NCAR’s work is carried out with collaborators at universities and labs across the nation and beyond, which further expands the breadth of the science.
The Research Applications Laboratory is one of five laboratories within NCAR. Its mission is to conduct directed research that contributes to 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
RAL has grown from a small research and development program at NCAR in the early 1980s to its current status as an NCAR laboratory with six divisions focused on specific applications areas. The staff is comprised of over 200 persons with a diverse set of skills and experience in the physical sciences, social sciences, mathematics, software engineering, project management and administration. RAL staff work across disciplines to address the impact of weather and climate on issues of real importance to society such as water and energy resources, transportation, national security, and human health.
RAL strives to be a world-class leader in performing collaborative end-to-end research, development, and technology transfer, expanding the reach of atmospheric and related sciences and bringing them to bear in addressing important problems that impact society. Achieving this vision requires the willingness and ability to work in an interdisciplinary way with colleagues, collaborators and stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
I have a very strong feeling that science exists to serve human betterment and improve human welfare. - Walter Orr Roberts