Figure 1: as of July 1, 2009. Includes four scientists on leave or temporary assignments.
Our country’s population is becoming more diverse. The working-age population is projected to become more than 50% minority in 2039 and be 55% minority in 2050 (up from 34% in 2008). The Hispanic population is expected to double, from 15% to 30%.3 However, the number of PhD degrees in the geosciences remains small for those in traditionally underrepresented groups (Fig. 2). At the same time, there are important scientific problems in the atmospheric and related sciences with critical socioeconomic impacts that NCAR must be able to address. As discussed in Section III, evidence suggests that creativity and problem solving, both prerequisites to scientific insight, improve in diverse teams. While it is clear that scientists are central to our programs at NCAR, there are other job categories that are also critical to the success of our mission. For example, engineers and computer scientists are a significant and important component of our workforce and provide opportunities to diversify our staff based on the available pool (http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/).
3 From the U.S. Census (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/012496.html)