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Friends Education Fund

Inspiring and Educating the Next Generation!

Friends of the National Center launched the Friends Education Fund in 2023 to inspire, support, and educate the next generation of scientists and researchers. In a world where the stability of our Earth’s systems is under increasing threat, UCAR and NSF NCAR are committed to addressing the intricate challenges posed by our Earth’s systems by ensuring that cutting-edge research and innovation in atmospheric and Earth system science is carried forward into the future.

The Friends Education Fund has been created through generous donations from individuals. 

What Your Gift Supports

The Friends Education Fund supports early-career scientists, internship and fellowship students, post-docs, and visiting scientists with professional development and career support. It also helps fund all of our educational programs that are inspiring and teaching children of all ages (pre-K through 12) about atmospheric research and Earth system science. Examples of how the Friends Education Fund could support the NSF NCAR | UCAR community include:

  • Travel Stipends to help early career scientists attend conferences and present their ground-breaking research.
  • Conference registration fees for students to attend conferences and continue to build connections to enhance their education.
  • Receptions for students to build new networks for advancing their future careers.
  • Super Science Saturday – a community-wide event for adults and children to experience science hands-on
  • A new video to support high-school Science teachers better explain climate change
  • Programs that bring NSF NCAR’s science and scientists into historically marginalized communities

Eligibility Requirements

All successful applicants must:

  • Be an employee of UCAR or NSF NCAR or a graduate or active student in any UCAR or NSF NCAR internship or fellowship programs
  • Be aligned with the mission of the Education Fund to inspire and educate the next generation about atmospheric research and Earth system science
  • Articulate the impact of their work on either the community, themselves, or both
  • If using the funds for travel, be willing to share other funding sources applied for and other conferences traveled to within the past 12 months

Awards Received

In the Fall of 2023, the Friends Education Fund provided its first round of funds. These included:

Support for two early-career NSF NCAR scientists to attend the American Meteorological Society 2024 Seminar to present on their research.

  • Erin Dougherty, presenting on Cloud-Seeding impacts hydrology in Wyoming.
  • Masih Eghdami, presenting on the Development and Assessment of an Ensemble Forecast System for Fire Weather and Public Safety Power Shut Offs in the Idaho Region.

Funding was also provided to fund an exhibit booth at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in March 2024, allowing staff from UCAR SciEd and the GLOBE Program to share about their STEM education programming. At their booth, they will demonstrate classroom activities, curriculum, and student projects.


NSF NCAR, UCAR, and UCP Staffers, please find the link to the funding request portal on our internal Sundog page.

Please contact us at if you have any questions or ideas!