Geophysical Fluid
Dynamics Laboratory

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Dr. Ants Leetmaa

The style and practice of scientific research has changed markedly over the past decade, mainly driven by the end of the cold war, increasing environmental stresses, and federal spending constraints. How will GFDL fare under these new conditions? We think that GFDL will continue to do very well. This is because of the high value of what we do for NOAA and for the world.

What is the source of GFDL's high value? First and foremost, GFDL's internationally respected standards of high excellence in staff and research quality are absolutely essential for us to solve some of NOAA's extremely difficult challenges. GFDL's resolve and commitment will remain a major asset as we work to address and define the difficult frontier problems key to NOAA's mission. This will be especially true in a world that is increasingly driven by short-term goals and pressures. Finally, GFDL's long-term practice of impeccable scientific integrity will become even more valuable now that environmental research results and policy decisions are becoming increasingly intertwined.

Most importantly, we will continue to strengthen our focus on the goals at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction that require better predictions on time scales ranging from hours to years, and on the international assessment processes for climate and ozone change. Maintaining a proper balance between better scientific understanding and improved NOAA services will remain the key to sustaining GFDL's unique research niche.

We are pleased that NOAA's long-term support for GFDL remains solidly in place. Simply put, NOAA maintains a stable financial and institutional commitment in exchange for GFDL's continuing high promise of major advances on NOAA's new frontiers in environmental prediction. We believe that our real benefactors, the U.S. taxpayers, will continue to receive a very strong return on their investment in us.

Ants Leetmaa
Director, GFDL

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last modified: February 29 2004.
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