After two and a half years at the National Center of Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, our family is heading back to The Shire, aka: New Hampshire.  I have accepted a Research Faculty position with the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space in the Earth Systems Research Center and look forward to teaching in the Department of Earth Sciences.  While we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time tucked up against the edge of the Rocky Mountains, we’re very excited to once again live next to the Atlantic Ocean.

Today is my last day at the Mesa Lab and I wanted to share with you all a few of my favorite things here at the lab:

(1) The Dear NARC Letter  outside the Mesa Lab cafeteria

We have numerous school groups, summer camps, and visitors to the Mesa Lab Exhibit Hall and sometimes they leave the most lovely thank you notes.  This one was so touching that it has been framed and hung outside of the UCAR Center for Education office.


“Dear NARC”, a thank you note from Billy, Topher, and Winnie. Photo by Liz Burakowski.

The markers have faded a bit over the years, so I’ve reproduced the text below:

“Dear NARC, 

We really liked our trip to to Tim’s lavboratory. We really liked the exhibits. The tornado was wicked cool, but it didn’t always work. Is this an example of a metastable dynamical system with insufficient damping? The prism things were really neat. Topher thought they were stupid, but that’s cause the quantum interference effect was too small to be observable.  The zapper thing was O.K. 


Billy and Topher and Winnie

P.S. You should use a nonlinear filter, and 4th order viscosity in your C.S.M.

(2) The Ozone Garden

The Ozone Garden project at NCAR was spearheaded by my good friend and colleague, Dr. Danica Lombardozzi.  She planted coneflower, milkweed, snap beans, and potatoes, four plants that respond visually to ground level ozone pollution.  I hope to create one somewhere on the UNH campus (maybe James Hall? Morse?) next summer.


The Ozone Garden at the Mesa Lab in Boulder, Colorado.  Photo by Liz Burakowski

(3) Climate and Global Dynamics (CGD) Division Ski Day

There’s a reason NCAR is also known as the National Center for Alpine Recreation.  I’ve had the pleasure of attending three CGD Ski Days with some of the best scientist-skiers I’ve ever met.  I was the lone snowboarder/splitboard for the first two years (Paul joined me the third year!) and I thank this marry band of skiers for welcoming me into their crew.


10th Annual CGD Ski Day at Arapahoe Basin. It’s hard to tell who’s who in this photo, but I’ll do my best.  From left to right: Dave Schneider (Climate Analysis Section-CAS), Angie Pendergrass (CAS), Anna Merrifield (CAS), Suzanne Oleson (Terrestrial Sciences Section-TSS], by marriage), Adam Phillips in red? (CAS), Flavio Lehner (CAS), ???, Rosie Fisher (TSS), Dave Lawrence (TSS), Marysa Laguë (TSS), Danica Lombardozzi (TSS), Ben Sanderson (Climate Change Research, CCR), Paul Ibbotson (CCR, by marriage), Peter Lawrence (TSS), and Liz Burakowski (TSS).

Thank you NCAR, TSS, and specifically my host, Gordon Bonan, for such a wonderful and productive extended visit at the Mesa Lab.  I’ll miss this place and look forward to visiting again in the future!