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NCAR Lab Dir
303-497-8426

We build dynamic partnerships with the community, convene talented multidisciplinary teams, and attract partnership from a wide range of stakeholders and sponsors. From the aviation, energy, and defense industries, to the government’s operational forecasting entities, RAL forges enduring relationships with decision-makers, nationally and internationally. Our scientists work broadly across multiple disciplines, collaborating with colleagues in the research and operational science communities to mine the wealth of convergent science while collaborating with colleagues in the research and operational-science communities. Work is conducted in an open and transparent manner with progress and results proactively communicated to the sponsor, the scientific community, and the public. 

End-to-End Research and Development

How do we do it? In a word, Innovation. RAL’s core strength is our drive to advance actionable science in the name of societal well-being. Drawing from the diverse expertise of NCAR staff and UCAR’s university partners, RAL conducts use-inspired research and development to tailor practicable solutions to weather- and climate-related societal needs.  The goal of every project is the delivery of new technology, tools, or information that improve safety, efficiency, mobility, and human health and well-being in the operational (“real”) world.

RAL participates in all phases of this cycle by carefully analyzing the scientific results and assessing readiness for application. We conduct thoughtful discussions with the user community about their needs and the receptivity to accept and exploit new capabilities. We then assess  human and computational resources (on both the developer and recipient sides) required to test, validate, and deliver the technology.  During the last step, it is vital that practical training is conducted for the operational stakeholders to ensure the technology is employed as fully as it was meant to be. 

Getting it right

The scientific validation of meteorological forecast products is an essential step in determining their value, and represents a critical piece of our work.  Improving techniques for forecast validation is a scientific research topic in its own right, and one in which RAL eagerly strives to broaden and advance.  In recent years, significant evaluation tools have been developed by RAL and its collaborators, and have been made available for use by the community.

The operational value of forecast products is at least as important as the scientific evaluation they undergo.  How useful is the capability to the customer?  What are the actual efficiency and safety gains achieved?  What is the feedback from the end users? Is the product helpful to their decision process or their operational need?  Such subjective evaluation is often as informative as formal benefit/cost studies, more readily obtained, informing the very basis for assessing customer satisfaction.  This step takes the science and technology out of the laboratory and puts it into a societally relevant, operational setting.

What now?

If your interest is piqued and you want to talk about your ideas, we want to hear from you. Call or email William Mahoney at (303) 497-8426; mahoney@ucar.edu.