UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

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  • The NCAR/UCAR Oral History Project documents the history of NCAR/UCAR through interviews, recorded discussions, and lectures by staff and others.  The project initially had a strong focus on the creation and development of NCAR, including the design and construction of the Mesa Laboratory headquarters by I.M. Pei. Over the years, the project has expanded to include a wider range of topics and experiences within NCAR/UCAR history.

    For more information, visit archives.ucar.edu or email archives@ucar.edu.

Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Roy Jenne UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

Dr. Roy Jenne provides an overview of his career at NCAR in the computing division. Jenne discusses the Mesa Laboratory and its facilities; his recollections of the various computing systems at NCAR, starting with a Control Data 3600; the significant work NCAR did and continues to do with weather forecasting and observational data; and how creating easily accessible datasets was an important goal and achievement of his unit.

Stuart “Bill” Leslie Boulder, CO University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Walter Orr Roberts UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

In this interview Walter Orr Roberts discusses the Mesa Laboratory and surrounding site, including the Fleischmann Building, and its architect, I.M. Pei. Roberts speaks briefly about his experience designing the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) and how that informed planning of the Mesa Laboratory. Roberts goes into detail discussing the structural and aesthetic design of the Mesa Laboratory and surrounding site; the relationship with the architectural team; Pei’s architectural influences; and how the rooms and spaces have been utilized throughout the years.

Lucy Warner , Unknown University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Akira Kasahara UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

Oral history interview with Akira Kasahara, 2005. Interviewed by Stuart Leslie.

Copyright Information: Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Stuart Leslie Unknown University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Walter Orr Roberts UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

Walter Orr Roberts discusses how he came to be NCAR's first director, the purpose for creating a national center, the process for identifying NCAR's initial priorities, the issue of competition between NCAR and university programs, the debate regarding NCAR's focus on research with practical applications, and NCAR's early facilities. Roberts reflects on characteristics of a successful research center, his ideas about administration, and the importance of interdisciplinary research and international cooperation among the scientific community.

Ed Wolff Unknown University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
William Kellogg UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

William Kellogg begins by describing his first acquaintance with the NCAR concept, and his belief in the benefits of team research or big science. He notes the first retreat meeting at Keystone and offers examples of problems that required an interdisciplinary approach. He mentions chairing a group for a larger study called the "Study of Critical Environmental Problems" ("SCEP" study for short), which wrote on human influences on climate, and discusses the challenges of getting scientists to work together, relating an anecdote about having to fire a dynamic meteorologist.

Ed Wolff, Nancy Gauss Boulder, CO University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Karyn Sawyer UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

Oral history interview with Karyn Sawyer, 2015. Interviewed by Richard Anthes. Forms part of the UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection. Long-time UCAR/NCAR staff member Karyn Sawyer reflects on her decades-long career at the organization, including how she came to work for NCAR, field projects, international scientific cooperation, UCAR/NCAR administration, and her management style.

Richard Anthes Boulder, CO University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Cecil E. "Chuck" Leith UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

Oral history interview with Cecil E. "Chuck" Leith, 1997. Interviewed by Paul Edwards.

Copyright Information: Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Paul Edwards Stanford, CA University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Vincent Schaefer UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

Vincent J. Schaefer begins by talking about the gathering led by Tom Malone in the late 1950s to generate a plan for a center to work with problems related to the atmosphere. He describes the differences between the majority of the group, and himself and Vonnegut in philosophies, and the ultimate publication of the Blue Book in February 1959. He discusses his relationship with Walter Orr Roberts when Roberts was at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) and later at NCAR.

Earl Droessler Schenectady, NY University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Peggy LeMone UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

Oral history interview with Peggy LeMone, 2001. Interviewed by Diane Rabson and Nicolle Alida. Interview is about the Electra aircraft. 

Copyright Information: Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Diane Rabson, Nicolle Alida Unknown University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Henry van de Boogaard UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

Oral History Interview with Henry Van de Boogard, 1990. Interviewed by Chester Newton and Herbert Riehl. 

Copyright Information: Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License.

Chester Newton, Herbert Riehl Broomfield, CO University Corporation for Atmospheric Research