The Observing Facilities Assessment Panel (OFAP) acts an independent advisory body to NCAR and the Lower Atmospheric 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 Atmospheric 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. Pete Daum
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Atmospheric Sciences Division

PH: 631/344-7283
phdaum @ bnl. gov

  • atmospheric chemistry
  • cloud microphysics
  • cloud radiative properties
Fall 2014
Dr. Paul DeMott
Colorado State University
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
PH: 970/491-8257
pdemott @ lamar. colostate. edu
  • aerosol-cloud interactions
  • ice phase transition
Fall 2014
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. Matthew Gilmore
University of North Dakota Department of
Atmospheric Sciences
PH: 701/777-3124
gilmore @ atmos. und. edu
  • cloud-scale modeling
  • cloud microphysics parameterization
  • cloud physics
  • supercell and tornado dynamics,
  • hurricanes
  • radar meteorology
  • lightning
  • severe weather
Fall 2016
Dr. Pat Harr (Chair)
Naval Postgraduate School
Department of Meteorology
PH: 831/656-3787
paharr @ nps. edu
  • tropical and extratropical meteorology
  • statistical methods in meteorology
  • tropical cyclone motion and structure
Fall 2014
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. Djamal Khelif
University of California, Irvine
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
PH: 949/824-7437
dkhelif @ uci. edu
  • micrometeorology
  • turbulence
  • fluid mechanics
  • air-sea interactions
Fall 2014
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 @
  • 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. Peter Neilley
The Weather Channel Companies

PH: 770/226-2044
pneilley @ weather. com
  • radar meteorology
  • NWP
  • modeling
  • wind and turbulence
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
Dr. Yvette Richardson
Penn State University
PH: 814/863-0791
yrichardson @ psu. edu
  • tornadogenesis
  • convective storm dynamics
  • radar meteorology
  • convective initiation
  • numerical modeling
Fall 2014
Dr. Paul Ruscher
Lane Community College
PH: 541/463-5085
ruscherp @ lanecc. edu
  Fall 2016
Dr. Mark Stoelinga
University of Washington
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
PH: 206/543-6235
mstoelinga @ 3tier. com
  • synoptic and mesoscale meteorology
  • atmospheric dynamics
  • mesoscale numerical modeling
Fall 2014
Dr. Jeff Trapp
Purdue University
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
PH: 765/494-3258
jtrapp @ purdue. edu
  • mesoscale convective systems
  • severe thunderstorms
  • mesoscale modeling
Fall 2014
Dr. Sandra Yuter
North Carolina State University
Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
PH: 919/513-7963
seyuter @ ncsu. edu
  • physical meteorology
  • mesoscale meteorology
  • radar and satellite remote sensing
Fall 2014

For further information, please contact Brigitte Baeuerle (