UCAR's Beginnings

Following a report issued by the National Research Council in 1958 about the lack of research performed on the earth's atmosphere, the science community decided to establish a national institute devoted to atmospheric sciences. In February of that year, the first meeting to establish the institute (originally called the National Institute of Atmospheric Research) took place, during which the University Committee on Atmospheric Research (UCAR, now the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) was appointed to oversee the process.

Over a period of several years, UCAR secured funding from the National Science Foundation, as well as the interest and involvement of multiple universities, selected a site for the facility in Boulder, Colorado, and appointed leaders for the institute. By 1960, the institute (by then called the National Center for Atmospheric Research) began operations, though UCAR's work was not complete. UCAR continued to call regular meetings to discuss the leadership of NCAR and its long-term plans.

The UCAR's Beginnings digital collection contains more than 60 original documents created during the infancy of UCAR and NCAR, including important correspondence and official meeting minutes.

Check out a selection of documents from the collection below and then browse the full collection.

DocumentDescription

UCAR Certificate of Incorporation, 1959

This document contains UCAR's Certificate of Incorporation, which provides fundamental information about the organization, including its full name, location, objectives, powers and limitations, and the names and residences of its incorporators.

UCAR Certificate of Incorporation, 1959

Minutes of the Executive Committee, August 20, 1959, Washington, D. C.

This document contains the minutes of the second meeting of the Executive Committee, held at the National Academy of Sciences, during which committee members addressed the following: the selection of a director, the selection of a site, a meeting with representatives of the NSF, Henry G. Houghton's meeting with Congressman Teague, the contract with NSF, the UCAR Fellowship Program, and public relations.

Minutes of the executive Committee, August 20, 1959, Washington, DC

Minutes of the Executive Committee, October 10, 1960, Boulder, Colorado

This document contains the minutes of the eighth meeting of the Executive Committee, held at the University of Colorado, during which committee members addressed the following: the chairman's report, legal counsel's report, the employment of legal counsel in Colorado, the Site Committee's report, the appointment of an associate director, the director's report, the corporation's fiscal year, and the relationship between UCAR and the HAO.

Minutes of the Executive Committee, October 10, 1960, Boulder, Colorado

Correspondence, Walter Orr Roberts\, 1963

In this document, Walter Orr Roberts invites parties to participate in a discussion regarding NCAR's scientific programs, how they could serve the scientific community, and how NCAR can secure more support.

Correspondence, Walter Orr Roberts, 1963