Strategic Goals and Priorities

Research Applications Laboratory Strategic plan 2020-2024

Science in Service to Society

The Strategic Plan of the Research Applications Laboratory (RAL), describes RAL’s mission, vision, broad goals, and priorities for the next five years. This plan is used in the ongoing process of program management and program development, and provides the basis for more detailed program and budget decisions that occur on an annual basis.

RAL’s strategic goals and priorities draw from and build on the NCAR Strategic Plan and include providing leadership on the following topics:

  • Earth-system modeling (including biophysical, hydrological, and biogeochemical interactions) between the land-surface and the atmosphere at micro- and meso-scales

  • Convergent, transdisciplinary science, such as prediction for renewable energy, aviation hazards, hydrometeorology, national security hazards, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), surface transportation weather, wildland fire behavior, verification method and technique development

  • Developing verification methods and techniques, and test and evaluation processes for community-contributed numerical weather prediction codes

  • Investigating new applications of machine learning methods and techniques

  • Cloud computing

  • Partnering across NCAR to advance actionable Earth-system science

  • Partnering with the community to educate the next generation

Alignment with NCAR's Strategic Plan

RAL is one of seven laboratories organized as the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Our strategic priorities are closely aligned with the mission and goals of NCAR as a whole. During the five years covered by NCAR’s 2014-2019 Strategic Plan, RAL’s scientific and technical research and development improved understanding and prediction of the future state of the atmosphere and related components of the Earth system. This concerted effort strove to understand the complex interactions/couplings (including biophysical, hydrological, and biogeochemical interactions) between the land-surface and the atmosphere at micro- and meso-scales, while also pursuing integrative and interdisciplinary research to address the environmental and societal impacts of weather, water, and climate for a diverse set of stakeholders. [SP 3.1]

RAL provides scientific and technical leadership within NCAR and the broader science community on actionable Earth-system science research and development topics. We are uncovering new information and developing tools that draw from fundamental research, which are then disseminated to stakeholders to solve a diverse set of societally relevant problems. This includes research supporting air-quality management, and water, energy, and food security; research to advance predictive science and technology for weather and hydrology; and research to prevent damage and disruption to critical infrastructure from weather hazards. RAL will continue partnering with other NCAR laboratories and leverage its capabilities to advance the state-of-the-science, conduct technology transfer, and educate the next generation of researchers in these areas for the betterment of humanity. [SP 3.3, 3.3b, 3.3c, 3.3d]. Learn more about NCAR's Strategic Plan for 2020-2024 and how we complement its mission.