Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Denver Trip - Day 4 - Tour of NCAR

It is Friday, the morning of Jarek's graduation, and we had an opportunity to tour the NCAR Campus. NCAR is the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The campus is nestled in the foothills overlooking Boulder, CO and just beneath the majestic Boulder "Flat Iron" rock formations. What a great place for NCAR and for those who are lucky enough to work there.
My brother Dale arranged the tour through his son-in-law, Derick, who works there. The public tours are available every day at Noon. We took the public tour and then got an extra nice private tour by Derick who took us where the public doesn't get to go.

The "Flat Irons"

As you know, we can't pass a flower without taking a photo. There weren't any flowers handy so we had to settle for pine cones.

The campus has beautiful views of the flat land to the east and a number of walking trails open to the public.

Employees have a cafeteria and park-like area to enjoy the outdoors at lunch and on breaks.

Dale and Sigrid as we enter the building.

A meteorological telescope.

Educational areas and displays are numerous.

A model layout of the campus.

The main architect for the campus was I. M. Pei.

Pei was influenced by the Colorado cliff dwellings and Stone Hedge as he designed the buildings.

The data center contains several "Super Computers" by IBM and Cray. The regular tour looks in on the computers through glass walls. Later, we got to go inside and really check it all out. Home and business users are accustomed to speaking of megabytes and gigabytes. Some people are now are familiar with terabytes of data storage. NCAR talks in terms of petabytes (1,000 terabytes or 1,000,000 gigabytes).

Same views as before except we are on the penthouse level of NCAR.

Hello from the top of NCAR. Derick, Dale, and John.

Spectacular is a fitting term to use.

Let the graduation celebration begin in the next post.


  1. Nice shots!! I hope you didn't mention anything about saucers while you were there.......

  2. I wish we had been at NCAR in the morning for better light on the mountains. The photos were taken about 2:00 pm so the sun was starting to get behind the mountains and there was a little haze in the air. The Flat Irons can be spectacular in good light. They are a redish brown color. In our photos they look more gray. Oh well......NCAR sets the schedule for touring. You can't always get what you want to quote the Stones.