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
New Delhi's heavy traffic contributes to the city's poor air quality.
New forecasting system alerts residents of New Delhi about poor air quality
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.

RAL's Mission

To conduct fundamental and use-inspired research that contributes to the understanding of the Earth system; extend the capabilities of the scientific community; and transfer knowledge and technology for the betterment of society.

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

Stay Connected

Main Phone

Mailing Address
PO Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307-3000