Observing Facilities Assessment Panel (OFAP)

The Observing Facilities Assessment Panel (OFAP) acts as an independent advisory body to NCAR and the other LAOF Partner Organizations. Composed of a diverse pool of scientists with broad-based experience in observational studies of Earth system sciences, the role of the Panel is to

  • Conduct reviews of field project plans and experiment designs requesting NSF Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities early in the project cycle and
  • Provide objective input and recommendations on issues associated with operational and technical challenges linked to facility support requirements.
The overall goal of the OFAP process is to optimize support of NSF-sponsored observational science to assure that the scientific objectives of each campaign can be accomplished successfully.

In this role, the Panel provides valuable feedback and evaluation concerning experiment design, the appropriate and efficient use of NSF resources as related to a specific field campaign, technical and operational challenges as well as data management strategies. These recommendations will be provided to the relevant Facility Managers and shared with the requesting principal investigators as well as the responsible NSF Program Officers. The comments and technical evaluation presented by the OFAP, together with feasibility analyses and cost estimates provided by Facility Managers, are taken into consideration before a final decision is made by individual NSF Program Officers whether or not to fund a project.

The Panel meets bi-annually in the spring and fall of each year at NCAR. It is EOL's responsibility to coordinate all aspects related to requesting LAOF among principal investigators, facility providers, panel members, and NSF, including the preparation of feasibilities and cost estimates for NSF-funded field campaigns.


Current OFAP Members

Panel Member Name and Affiliation

Research Area and Expertise


Dr. Michael Bell (Co-Chair)
Colorado State University
Department of Atmospheric Sciences

  • radar meteorology
  • tropical cyclones
  • atmospheric radiation
through Spring 2020
Dr. Katja Friedrich (Co-Chair)
University of Colorado
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  • kinematic and microphysical processes
  • convective initiation
  • orographic precipitation
Fall 2017 through
Spring 2020

Dr. Phil Chilson
University of Oklahoma

  • weather radar
  • remote sensing
  • boundary layer observations
  • unmanned aerial systems
Fall 2017 through
Spring 2020

Dr. Ronald Cohen
University of California, Berkeley
Department of Chemistry

  • atmospheric chemistry
  • water isotopes
  • hydrological cycle
Fall 2018 through
Spring 2021

Dr. Daniel Cziczo
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

  • aerosols and clouds
  • chemical composition
Spring 2018 through
Fall 2020

Dr. Gijs de Boer
University of Colorado
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

  • arctic clouds and climate
  • aerosol-cloud interactions
  • UAVs
  • remote sensing
Fall 2018 through
Spring 2021
Dr. Wiebke Deierling
University of Colorado, Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department
  • atmospheric electricity & lightning meteorology
  • aviation meteorology
  • radar remote sensing
  • cloud physics
Fall 2019 through
Fall 2021

Dr. David Delene
University of North Dakota
Atmospheric Sciences Department

  • cloud microphysics 
  • atmospheric aerosols
  • climate change
Spring 2018 through
Fall 2020

Dr. Stephan de Wekker
University of Virginia

  • atmospheric boundary layer
  • micrometeorology
  • complex terrain
Spring 2017 through
Fall 2019
Dr. James Doyle
Naval Research Lab
  • mesoscale predictability
  • mountain meteorology
Spring 2018 through
Fall 2020

Dr. Jose Fuentes
Penn State University

  • atmospheric chemistry
  • boundary layer and turbulence
  • earth - atmosphere interactions
Spring 2018 through
Fall 2020

Dr. Alex Guenther
University of California, Irvine

  • atmospheric and terrestrial ecosystems
  • air quality
  • climate modeling
  • biogenic emissions
Spring 2018 through
Fall 2020

Dr. William Shaw
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division

  • atmospheric boundary layer in complex terrain
  • turbulence
  • mesoscale atmospheric flux
Spring 2018 through
Fall 2020

Dr. Joel Thornton
University of Washington

  • atmospheric chemistry
  • organic aerosols
Spring 2018 through
Fall 2020

Dr. Ryan Torn
University at Albany, State University of New York
Department of Atmospheric and Environment Sciences

  • predictability
  • synoptic and mesoscale meteorology
Spring 2019 through
Fall 2022

Dr. Paquita Zuidema
University of Miami
Department of Atmospheric Sciences

  • cloud lifecycle processes
  • large-scale circulation
  • radiation
Fall 2017 through
Spring 2020


LAOF Request Coordinator

Alison Rockwell