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?

Travel fund support

Travel funds are available for qualified students from EPSCoR states or minority-serving institutions (MSI) in the United States to attend the June 2014 workshop in Boulder. We may also be able to provide funds to travel to other NCL workshops in the United States.

There are a limited number of students we can fund under this program. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so the sooner you apply, the better your chances are for funding.

To apply, please note the deadline date below, and then:

Upcoming NCL workshops

University of Maine
Orono, Maine
April 23-25, 2014

Registration handled internally.

Boulder, Colorado
June 10-13, 2014
Fill out this survey to register.
This workshop is now full; we can put you on a waiting list.

Travel fund application deadline: April 18, 2014
Registration deadline: May 16, 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.

Links for participants

Coming to a Boulder NCL workshop from off site?

Here are some helpful links: