about isse

ISSE Organization Chart

  • Vision
  • Resources for Visitors
  • Photo Gallery

Vision, Mission and Goals


Increasing societal vulnerability to atmospheric phenomenon such as hurricanes, floods and droughts underscores pressing concern over the state of human society's complex relationships with our fragile planet. Human activities have played a complex role in the interaction between the atmosphere and the environment, resulting in unprecedented weather and climate changes.

Society now stands at a formidable cross-roads: we must move toward sustainable land and natural resource use and commit to protecting the global commons (our atmosphere and biosphere).

As awareness of the crucial choices before us has grown in different segments of society (policy makers, research community, industry, educators, and civic society), we see a palpable shift in the relationship between science and society. While curiosity-driven research at the science-environment-society interface must remain important, more direct engagement of the scientific community with these segments of society to help address the specific challenges we face is on the horizon.

ISSE is poised and ready – through first-class science at the society-environment-atmosphere interface and meaningful collaborative engagement with social actors – to play its part in producing high quality research and helping society make the best possible choices to ensure an economically prosperous and environmentally sustainable future.


ISSE's mission is to improve societal welfare in the context of natural and changing climate and weather. ISSE conducts interdisciplinary research on 1) societal activities related to climate and weather at the individual, economic, and political levels, 2) the consequences of those activities on the atmosphere and the environment, and 3) effective communication of this science to decision-makers and managers for coping with weather and climate risks.

We plan to fulfill our mission through attainment of the following goals.


Conduct research that integrates human-environment interactions with atmospheric and earth-system dynamics

Conduct research that produces knowledge for use in decision making.

Conduct research on earth system and societal interactions through active engagement with stakeholders to develop conceptual frameworks for improved use of scientific information for society's benefit

Act as an integrative force across NCAR and within the university community and maximize the societal benefit of NCAR's research by informing the earth-systems dynamics community of societal needs relevant to their research.


Resources for visitors

Welcome to ISSE! Before your visit to ISSE, we recommend you visit the following links to help you familiarize yourself with the local area, our organization and what you might expect to see and do while you are here.

U.S. Visitors:

International Visitors :


Photo Gallery

ISSE is a fun place to work

ISSE, as all of NCAR, is a pleasant and fun place to work. Our work environment has a way of energizing our employees and we're proud of that. A very low turnover rate at NCAR is proof that when people begin working for us, they tend to stay for a long time.

ISSE staff members collaborate on joint projects and team spirit is very important to achieve the overall goals of the Institute. On a regular basis staff members engage in extra-work fun activities (privately sponsored). See our photo gallery for some of these moments!

Photo Gallery Archive

The ISSE 2006 Retreat at Chautauqua

retreat1   retreat2
Reporting back after a brainstorming session...
ISSE Leadership taking it all in...
retreat3   retreat4
Enjoying the fruits of their brainstorming...
Reflections from a pool of ISSE brilliance!
"Because the pathway to sustainability cannot be charted in advance, it will have to be navigated through trial and error and conscious experimentation. The urgent need is to design strategies and institutions that can better integrate incomplete knowledge with experimental action into programs of adaptive management and social learning."
NRC, Our Common Journey (1999)