Laboratory for Atmospheres 2003 Technical Highlights: Dear Reader

Dear Reader:

Welcome to the Laboratory for Atmospheres' annual report for 2003. I thank you for your interest. We publish this report each year to describe the Laboratory and its work and to summarize our accomplishments.

This document is intended for a broad audience. Our readers include managers and colleagues within NASA, scientists outside the agency, graduate students in the atmospheric sciences, and members of the general public. Inside, you'll find descriptions of our work scope, our people and facilities, our place in NASA's mission, and our accomplishments for 2003.

The Laboratory's approximately 300 scientists, technologists, and administrative personnel are part of the Earth Sciences Directorate of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Together, we pursue our mission of advancing the knowledge and understanding of the atmospheres of Earth and the planets. In doing so, we contribute directly to two of NASA's primary Enterprises, Earth Science and Space Science.

During calendar year 2003 many changes have taken place at NASA, at Goddard, and in our Laboratory. The Columbia Accident was a tragedy that has greatly affected NASA and the way we do business now and in the future. Much attention has been given to implementing the recommendations of the CAIB (Columbia Accident Investigation Board) report.

The transition into full cost accounting began in October of 2003. This is significantly affecting the way our scientists conduct their work. Under full cost accounting, Goddard and other NASA Centers will operate more in the manner of private industry, where all work must be related to and supported by mission-oriented projects. This has challenged the Laboratory management to deal with new budget and workforce issues, and our scientists to write more competitive proposals as well as to sustain the production of high quality products. Failing that, the result will be a leaner workforce. The Laboratory staff working with the Directorate Office and with NASA Headquarters is doing everything possible to facilitate the transition. I believe our Laboratory is in a very strong position to meet the challenge.

In 2003, we hosted the 40+ Years Celebration of Atmospheric Science to celebrate over forty years of achievements of the Laboratory. My predecessors, David Atlas, Melvin Geller, Franco Einaudi, and many present and past Laboratory scientists and outside guests attended the celebration. We were particularly honored that Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen joined us on this occasion, and presented a science colloquium on atmospheric chemistry and climate change. I am indebted to all of them for building a strong foundation, and paving the way for the next 40+ successful years of the Laboratory.

The Laboratory had an exciting year organizing and participating in international field campaigns, making major advances in scientific discovery, and continuing the development of data sets. Laboratory scientists organized SOLVE II, which is highlighted on our cover. We hosted 76 seminars given by outside scientists, and presented over 80 seminars, inside and outside Goddard. We participated in 53 workshops, 42 science team meetings, 3 science policy meetings, 48 conferences and society meetings, hosted 176 short-term visiting scientists, published 201 refereed papers, and took part in an array of educational activities. Our scientists also published 104 technical reports and other non-refereed publications, including workshop and conference papers.

In 2003, Robert Atlas and Robert Adler were awarded Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and Anne Thompson was awarded Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. P. K. Bhartia won the William Nordberg Award – the highest Earth Science Award given at GSFC. Charles Cote was awarded the GSFC Award of Merit, Wei-Kuo Tao was awarded the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, and James Spinhirne was awarded the Technology Museum Environmental Laureate. A complete list of award winners is given in Appendix B8. Please join me in congratulating them for their outstanding achievements.

The year 2003 was also a time to bid farewell to valuable civil servant members of the Laboratory, Aleta Johnson, longtime Division Head Secretary, and Sushil Chandra, longtime member of the Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Branch both retired. We will also miss Ming Dah Chou and his wife Shu-Hsien Chou who both retired to return to Taiwan, Arlyn Andrews who transferred to NOAA OAR/CMDL, and Shian-Jiann Lin, who joined GFDL. Nine former 910 scientists transferred to the newly formed GMAO (Global Modeling and Assimilation Office). We regret the untimely death of Kazem Omidvar.

I am pleased to greet new civil servants in the Laboratory, Alexander Marshak, Mian Chin, Daniel Glavin, and our new Head Secretary, Jean Howard.

We are looking forward to the 2004 launch of the Aura spacecraft, which will join the other EOS satellites in helping us understand our home planet's vital environment, and which will increase our knowledge of the complex chemistry of the atmosphere.

This year the Annual Report is being published in two forms: an abbreviated print version, and an unabridged electronic version, here on our new Laboratory for Atmospheres Web site. Check out our Web site. It has a new look and was redesigned to be more useful for our scientists, colleagues, and the public. We welcome your comments on the 2003 Annual Report and the Web site.

 

Sincerely,

William K.-M. Lau,

Chief, Laboratory for Atmospheres, Code 910

June 2004