People & Sponsors


The Climate Data Guide is a community project of the Climate Analysis Section, within the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory (CGD) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The project was initiated under a competitively selected grant (1048899) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). A supplemental award to UCAR's cooperative agreement with the NSF supported the rebuilding and expansion of the website during 2020-2023.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Clara Deser is the lead principal investigator of the project. She heads the Climate Analysis Section at NCAR, and co-leads a number of community projects in addition to the Climate Data Guide, including the CESM1 and CESM2 Large Ensembles and the Climate Variability Diagnostics Package. An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, Deser studies global climate variability and climate change in observations and models, with an emphasis on interactions among the atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice.


Ryan Johnson is a software engineer in the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory at NCAR and the webmaster for the Climate Data Guide. In conjunction with the web teams at NCAR and UCAR, he makes sure this website is consistent with organizational branding and modern web standards, is highly functional and runs smoothly.

Adam Phillips is a climate and data scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at NCAR. He develops community resources like the Climate Variability Diagnostics Package. For the Climate Data Guide, he maintains many of the climate indices, including the NAO and North Pacific indices.

Founding staff and Co-Principal Investigators

Dr. David Schneider is a climate scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A former scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at NCAR, he led the development, content creation, expert recruitment, funding, editing and promotion of the Climate Data Guide for over a decade. 

Drs. Aiguo Dai, John Fasullo, James Hurrell, Kevin Trenberth and Mr. Dennis Shea were the original co-principal investigators of the project, along with Dr. Clara Deser.

Mr. Dennis Shea, retired, was an Associate Scientist in the Climate Analysis Section. Dennis developed much of the content for the Climate Data Guide, especially that related to dataset assessment, creation, processing and visualization. In addition to his work on the Climate Data Guide, Dennis was a core contributor to the NCAR Command Language NCL.