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.


LAOF Request Coordinator
Alison Rockwell