BOULDER - The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research will manage the National Center for Atmospheric Research for another five years after renewing its contract with the National Science Foundation.

The five-year contract is not to exceed $800 million and will run through Sept. 30, 2018. The money comes from the National Science Foundation, as well as money that comes from various federal agencies and passes through the foundation to NCAR.


The award was made after a review of NCAR's accomplishments and UCAR's management of the center. Both organizations are in Boulder.

Stephan Nelson, who oversees NCAR at the National Science Foundation, said NCAR plays an important role in accomplishing the scientific objectives of the foundation's Division of the Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences.

NCAR is considered a world leader in the geosciences, focusing on better understanding weather, air quality, upper atmospheric phenomena, the sun, and the societal impacts of weather and climate. It works with meteorologists worldwide to improve forecasting and better protect society from weather hazards.

Its detailed atmospheric modeling and supercomputing capabilities are leading to advances in renewable energy, wildfire prediction, aircraft routing, projections of weather-related diseases, drought and flood understanding, and long-term forecasts of weather.

"We're very gratified that UCAR will continue to manage NCAR in a unique partnership with NSF and the university community," said Thomas Bogdan, president of UCAR. "The atmospheric research by NCAR and its partners is of supreme importance to public safety and the economy."

UCAR and NCAR have a staff of about 1,400 employees. They contributed about $420 million to the state economy in fiscal year 2012, supporting direct and indirect employment of more than 3,100 workers.

UCAR is a consortium of 103 North American universities with doctoral programs in the atmospheric sciences and related disciplines.