Schaefer, Vincent, 1993-05-07
Identifier: Item 42
Oral history interview with Vincent Schaefer, 1993. Interviewed by Earl Droessler. 1 sound cassette (ca. 1 hr.) : analog, mono + transcript (12 pgs.). UCAR/NCAR 81; two physical versions (one master, one copy). Transcript (12 pgs.). Vincent J. Schaefer begins by talking about the gathering led by Tom Malone in the late 1950s to generate a plan for a center to work with problems related to the atmosphere. He describes the differences between the majority of the group, and himself and Vonnegut in philosophies, and the ultimate publication of the Blue Book in February 1959. He discusses his relationship with Walter Orr Roberts when Roberts was at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) and later at NCAR. He mentions his frequent visits to NCAR over the following years and reflects on NCAR not having the kind of institution that had been earlier envisioned. He then reads the text of his 1976 letter to the director of NCAR regarding suggestions for reorganization, which includes the history of NCAR, identifies problems and recommends changes in staffing which would stress change rather than personal stability and tenure. Schaefer goes on to state that he does not see NCAR as having become a premier center, citing competition between NCAR and university departments for funds. He then describes his philosophy at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), patterned after the Whitney Lab at G.E., focusing on the benefits of small groups. Finally, Schaefer reflects on the positive relationships Roberts formed with a great number of people, and relates an anecdote of one of his own students communicating his positive impact after many years.
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