President Tsai Ing-wen's Journey of Freedom, Democracy, and Sustainability continued on the morning of July 20 (evening of July 20 Taipei time) with an on-site visit to the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL), where she gained a better understanding of Taiwan-US cooperation in the field of meteorology.
Bright and early, President Tsai made her way to NCAR, accompanied by US Senator Cory Gardner and American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty. They were welcomed by a group of Taiwanese scientists, researchers, and students studying abroad led by NCAR Director Everette Joseph, with the students welcoming the president with flowers.
Director Joseph and Taiwan scientist Dr. Kuo Ying-hwa (郭英華)gave President Tsai introductory briefings about NCAR and Taiwan-US meteorological cooperation. The president also toured an exhibit of the Formosat-3 and Formosat-7 satellites.
President Tsai and her group then visited the EOL. Led by Director Joseph, they inspected a C-130 tactical aircraft repurposed as a meteorological observation aircraft. Afterward, they walked over to a hangar to see a G-5 business jet repurposed for meteorological observation, and boarded the plane. President Tsai’s interest was piqued by the plane’s radar equipment, and how NCAR is employing it in Taiwan.
Both NCAR and EOL cooperate closely with Taiwan on meteorological research, with analyses and forecasts using atmospheric data gathered by the Formosat-3 and recently launched Formosat-7 satellites playing a key role. Taiwan and the US are also collaborating on many meteorological observation experiments that can make major contributions to disaster preparedness and mitigation, climate change, and sustainable development.
Formosat-7 is the largest cooperative Taiwan-US scientific research project in history, and President Tsai's visit gave her a chance to see Taiwan’s space technology research and development capabilities in person. It also allowed her to give special recognition to Taiwan scientists working there, and acknowledge the significance of their long-term efforts to advance scientific development in both Taiwan and the US. President Tsai became the second national leader to visit NCAR, after UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's visit in 1990.