What is the OFAP?

The Observing Facilities Assessment Panel (OFAP) acts an independent advisory body to NCAR and the Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities 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:

  1. conduct reviews of field project plans and experiment designs requesting NSF Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) early in the project cycle, and
  2. provide objective input and recommendations on issues associated to 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 to the facility managers of the six NSF LAOF Partner Organizations 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 cognizant 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 to fund a project.

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



Current OFAP Members

Panel Member Name and Affiliation

Contact Information

Research Area and Expertise

Term ends

Dr. Ankur Desai
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department
PH: 608/218-4208
desai @ aos. wisc. edu
  • micrometeorology
  • ecological and biogeochemical interactions
  • anthropogenic influences
Spring 2017
Dr. Brian Heikes (Chair)
University of Rhode Island
Graduate School of Oceanography
PH: 401/874-6638
bheikes @ gso. uri. edu
  • photochemically reactive compounds
  • air-land-ocean interface
  • atmospheric mixing
Fall 2016
Dr. Barry Lefer
University of Houston
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
blefer @ uh. edu
  • atmosphere - biosphere interactions
  • photochemistry
  • air pollution
Fall 2016
Dr. Heping Liu
Washington State University
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
PH: 509/335-1529
heping.liu @ wsu. edu
  • micrometeorology
  • microclimatology
  • BL meteorology
  • ecosystem-climate feedback
  • biosphere / atmosphere interactions
Fall 2016
Dr. John Mak
Stony Brook University
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
PH: 631/632-8673
jemak @ notescc.sunysb.edu
  • stable and radioisotopes as tracers of chemistry origin, & transport in marine and atmospheric environments
Fall 2016
Dr. Brian Mapes
University of Miami, RSMAS
Meteorology and Physical Oceanography
PH: 305/421-4275
mapes @ miami. edu
  • convection
  • large-scale net thermodynamic and dynamic effects
  • large-scale weather and climate phenomena
Fall 2016
Dr. Greg McFarqhar
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
PH: 217/265-5458
mcfarq @ atmos. uiuc. edu
  • cloud physics
  • effects of cloud processes on weather and climate
Spring 2017
Dr. Tom Parish
University of Wyoming
Atmospheric Sciences
PH: 307/766-5153
parish @ uwyo. edu
  • atmospheric motion
  • polar research
Fall 2016
Dr. Matt Parker
North Carolina State University
Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
PH: 919/513-4367
mdparker @ ncsu. edu
  • mesoscale meteorology
  • numerical modeling
  • dynamics of convective storms
Spring 2015
Dr. Walt Petersen
Code 610.W
NASA GSFC/Wallops Flight Facility
PH: 757/824-1567
walt.petersen @ nasa. gov
  • mesoscale meteorology
  • numerical modeling
  • dynamics of convective storms
  • radar meteorology
Spring 2017

For further information, please contact Brigitte Baeuerle (baeuerle@ucar.edu)