NCL Workshops

NCL workshops are tailored to students and researchers in the earth sciences who are interested in learning how to use NCL to analyze their data. [-- Sample NCL workshop schedule --]

See the list of prerequisites to see if the workshops will be useful for you.

Interested in hosting an NCL workshop?

Upcoming NCL workshops

Deutches Klimarechenzentrum (DKRZ)
September 29-October 1, 2014
Hamburg, Germany
Hosted by DKRZ and Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie
Registration handled internally

Institute of Meteorological Science of Jilin Province
October 20-24, 2014
Registration handled internally

Corporate Technical Training Center, NCAR
January 20-23, 2015
Boulder, Colorado
Registration not open yet - check back in late September 2014

Corporate Technical Training Center, NCAR
June 9-12, 2015
Boulder, Colorado
Registration not open yet - check back in late September 2014

Past workshops

List of past NCL workshops at NCAR, universities, and research sites world-wide.

Articles on workshops

NCL Students Become NCL Teachers in Brazil and Germany
February 12, 2014

NCL Training Reaches Out to Universities
April 2, 2012


  • The workshops are taught by both a scientist and a software engineer, and offer a combination of introductory lectures and hands-on labs. During the labs, the instructors work with students to help them write NCL programs for analyzing their own data.

  • Lecture topics:
    • Overview of NCL
    • Overview of NetCDF and other data formats
    • NCL language basics
    • File input/output
    • Data analysis
    • Graphics
    • NCL website tour

  • Workshops are generally 3.5 days, with the first three days being lectures in the morning and hands-on labs in the afternoon. The fourth day is an optional morning lab.

  • Local workshops are free. They're usually held at the Corporate Technical Training Center (CTTC) at the Center Green Campus in Boulder. This center provides a computer for every attendee. Space is limited to 16 students.

  • We may also be available to teach workshops at your site, if time and budget permits and there is an appropriate teaching lab available (projector for presentations, and LINUX/UNIX computers running NCL for the students). If you are interested in having us teach a workshop at your site, please email Mary Haley.


In order to attend an NCL workshop, students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Have a basic knowledge of UNIX (MacOSX, Linux, or X/Cygwin), like how to list the directory contents, how to move files from one directory to another, the concept of running programs, how to edit files, how to use ftp/sftp, etc.

  • Know how to edit files using UNIX editors like vi, emacs, or nedit.

  • Have written code using an interpreted (e.g. Python, IDL, MATLAB) or a non-interpreted (e.g. Fortran, C) computer language. Students who don't have knowledge of UNIX or at least one computer language will likely find the NCL workshop too advanced.

Useful links for participants

Coming to a Boulder NCL workshop from off site?

Here are some helpful links: