NCAR's Geophysical Statistics Project

Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences


The mission of the Geophysical Statistics Project (GSP) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is to encourage the application and further development of statistics to problems faced in geophysical science. To help accomplish this mission, GSP receives advice from an External Advisory Panel. The role of the Panel is purely advisory. Ordinarily, it sends a report directly to the GSP Leader and Principal Investigators but, in consultation with GSP, the panel may also direct its advice to NCAR management or to the National Science Foundation.

The panel members are selected by the GSP Leader and Principal Investigators. Its membership should reflect the broader statistics research community from universities and research laboratories. The Panel should also include members from the geophysical science community experienced in collaboration with statisticians. To coordinate its activities, the Panel has a Chair, whose selection for the following year is made by the Panel at the current year's meeting.

The Panel meets at NCAR approximately once per year, with the agenda being determined by the Project Leader and Principal Investigators along with the Panel Chair. The meetings are expected to last 1 - 1 1/2 days, with ample time for the Panel to deliberate outside of presentations. In these meetings, the GSP Leader briefs the Panel on recent accomplishments, ongoing activities, and future plans. Presentations are also given by selected GSP members and NCAR collaborators. Examples of issues on which the Panel should be expected to provide advice include (but are not limited to):

  1. quality of statistical research that has been pursued by GSP;
  2. degree that the statistical research addresses significant scientific problems;
  3. the quality of mentoring of postdocs and the quality of GSP interaction with other NCAR staff, as reflected in GSP presentations to the Panel;
  4. positioning GSP within NCAR and the science community to accomplish its mission.

The main product from the annual Panel meeting is a report that addresses these points, summarizes any other significant discussion and concerns of the Panel, and provides feedback on presentations of GSP projects. The Panel can also provide informal comments to the GSP Leader and Principal Investigators that they feel are not needed in the report.

A checklist for project selection

  • Scientific merit outside of statistics
  • Statistical research similar in quality to individual investigator awards in NSF-DMS
  • Opportunity for quality mentoring outside of GSP
  • Contributes to NCAR's overall scientific priorities and mission.
  • Matches skills and interests of GSP member
  • Matches career goals of GSP member
  • Increases diversity of GSP activities within NCAR
  • Increases connections of GSP to the larger statistics community
  • Provides training and outreach to graduate students in statistics and/or the geophysical sciences.
  • Increases involvement of under represented groups in the mathematical sciences

Themes for the leadership of GSP

  • Continually adapt the post doc program
    • to maintain outstanding research
    • to attract high quality people
  • Create permanent positions for statistical scientists within NCAR
  • Build support for GSP in the larger statistical community
    • intensive visitor program
    • national leadership in geophysical applications
    • alliances with university statistics departments
Last modified: Jan 24 2005   by thoar "at" ucar "dot" edu