The GIS program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) fosters interdisciplinary science, spatial data interoperability, and knowledge sharing using GIS. The goal of our program is to promote and support the use of GIS as both an analytical and infrastructure tool in atmospheric research, as well as using the discipline to address broader issues of spatial data management, interoperability, and geoinformatics within the geosciences. Our focus areas include:

  • conducting research integrating the Earth system and social sciences through spatial analysis and interoperability of georeferenced information;
  • improving spatial accuracy and usability of atmospheric models for terrestrial and societal applications; and
  • building an AtmoGIS community and institutional capacity through workshops, GIS-focused education and training.   


Who We Are:

Olga Wilhelmi, project scientist and head of the GIS program, is a geographer whose research focuses on the interactions among weather, climate and society, with the main emphasis on understanding societal risk, vulnerability and adaptive capacity to extreme weather events and climate change.  Integration of GIS with atmospheric and social sciences data is a major part of Olga’s research.

Jennifer Boehnert is the GIS Coordinator at NCAR.  Her role at NCAR is to provide regular consultations to scientists and engineers on numerous projects.  Her interest lies in the integration of atmospheric data with socio-economic data in order to answer questions relevent to society.

Kevin Sampson is an Associate Scientist in the GIS Program.  Kevin brings to the program experience with Geographic Information Systems applied to climate and geographic sciences.  Kevin provides project support to scientists within UCAR that utilize geographic data and perform geoprocessing.



To advance GIS technology with respect to Earth System sciences, the NCAR GIS program formed strategic partnerships with the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Among major accomplishments of these partnerships and multi-institutional collaborations is an improved interoperability between weather and climate models and GIS analysis tools. Since 2008, atmospheric data in netCDF CF format can be visualized and analyzed in Esri ArcGIS core software, and in 2011, the OGC approved netCDF data format as an official OGC data standard.


Mail list:

NCARGIS mail list is our public Atmospherice and GIS email group.  We share information about events and develops in the integration of weather and climate science in GIS.  To join click here.