The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) sits nestled against Boulder, Colorado's famous Flatirons and the foothills to the Rocky Mountains. NCAR welcomes the public seven days a week to its Visitor Center, which offers educational exhibits, a daily noon tour Monday through Friday, except holidays, and a tour using one's cell phone. The cafeteria is open Monday through Friday, where art exhibitions change on a monthly basis. The Tree Plaza can be a pleasant place to enjoy a picnic. The Walter Orr Roberts Weather Trail and other scenic trails of varying difficulty can be accessed directly from the parking lot. Special public events are offered throughout the year, as are pre-arranged tours and field trips for schools, camps, clubs, and other groups of all ages and abilities.
NCAR is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a non-profit consortium of over 100 North American university members and affiliates. NCAR's primary sponsor is the National Science Foundation. Its programs advance society's knowledge of atmospheric and Earth system science, how these systems work, and how they change over time. Through this research, NCAR can help to sustain Earth’s habitability, improve environmental quality, safeguard human health, reduce the impacts of natural disasters, and increase economic productivity.