Walter Orr Roberts
Walter Orr Roberts was a renowned scientist, leader, and pioneer in the fields of solar-terrestrial study, astronomy, and climate science. He established and directed the High Altitude Observatory (HAO); founded the Department of Astro-Geophysics at the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU-Boulder); served as the first director of the National Center for Atmopheric Research (NCAR); the first president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and led the Program on Food, Climate, and the World’s Future at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. He was a tireless advocate for an active response to climate change, international scientific collaboration, and science education. Beyond these individual accomplishments, he built a scientific community in Boulder, creating long-lasting partnerships, including those between NCAR, HAO, and CU-Boulder that continue to grow and thrive today.
This exhibit brings together material from the NCAR Archives and the Special Collections, Archives, and Preservation at the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries to tell the story of Walter Orr Roberts and his significant impact on the institutions he was involved with, and his lasting legacy in the scientific enterprise.
Walter Orr Roberts established the High Altitude Observatory, founded the Department of Astro-Geophysics at CU-Boulder, and served as the first director of NCAR and the first president of UCAR. Roberts helped build a scientific community in Boulder and created lasting partnerships between scientific institutions in the area.