About Us

Mission & Overview

VSP’s Vision for the Future

At UCAR’s Visiting Scientist Programs (VSP), we envision a future in which the Earth system science workforce is well prepared to:

  • make significant contributions to the advancement of weather and climate
    science and policy,
  • collaborate with and learn from other scientists across scientific disciplines, and
  • effectively communicate weather and climate issues to the public.

In order to help create this future, VSP takes the following as its mission for the next five years:

"VSP will help prepare the next generation of weather and climate scientific leaders and workforce by supporting efective and collaborative fellowship, visitor, and workshop programs that meet emerging training and research needs."

VSP maintains a strong commitment to UCAR’s mission of fostering scientific support, education, and relationship building. Working closely with its community partners, VSP will apply its experience and management expertise to continue and enhance its existing successful programs.

VSP's History

UCAR, NOAA’s National Weather Service, and the U.S. Naval Research Lab established the first UCAR Visiting Scientist Program (VSP) in 1985 based on mutual interests. Since its inception, VSP has appointed nearly 1,000 scientists through these visitor and fellowship programs, and most of these scientists have gone on to become leaders in their fields.

VSP has also administered a broad range of summer schools, colloquia and workshops, and convened expert peer-review working groups and steering committees during this period. The community’s support and confidence in these programs are regularly reflected in UCAR’s periodic community surveys.

VSP partners with federal agencies and universities across the nation to recruit, hire and provide administrative management to scientists who are working on cutting-edge research of benefit to society. Visiting scientists become employees of UCAR, which is based in Boulder, Colorado. The scientists are hosted at research and operational settings located throughout the U.S.