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NCL Workshops

NCL workshops are tailored to students and researchers in climate and related sciences who are interested in learning how to use NCL to analyze their data.

The workshops at NCAR in Boulder workshops are free for all EPSCoR/MSI students, with a modest registration fee for everyone else. We have some funds available to help EPSCoR/MSI students with travel costs. See details below.

Before registering, view this sample NCL workshop schedule and list of prerequisites to see if the workshop will be useful for you.

Interested in hosting an NCL workshop? If so, visit this page for more information.

Upcoming NCL workshops

There are currently no other workshops scheduled for 2017. Check back regularly for updates.

Travel support provided for qualified students in the United States

NCAR/CISL offers limited travel support for eligible students and faculty members from EPSCoR states and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in the United States to attend the NCL workshops. Past attendees of NCL workshops are not eligible.

The deadline for applying for travel funds for workshops in 2017 has passed. Please check back again in fall 2017 for future workshops.

Past workshops

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


  • The workshops 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.

  • NCAR workshops in Boulder are free for EPSCoR/MSI students, with a modest registration fee for everyone else. 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 visit this page for more information.


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

  • Have a basic knowledge of basic UNIX command line operations, for example:
    • listing the directory contents
    • moving and/or copying files from one directory to another
    • editing programs or scripts using a UNIX editor
    • executing programs or scripts from the UNIX command line
    • using ftp/sftp to upload or download files

  • 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 basic UNIX commands or at least one computer language will likely find the NCL workshop too advanced.

Useful links for participants

Information for out-of-town visitors

The NCL workshops in Boulder are held at:

Corporate Technical Training Center (CTTC)
Center Green Campus, Building CG-2, Room #3024
3085 Center Green Drive
Boulder, Colorado 80301
United States

For more information about the CTTC and the Center Green Campus:


For more information about other hotels, see "Boulder hotel information and maps".

Hotels in Boulder fill up quickly in the summer, so book soon!


The closest airport is Denver International Airport (DIA).

The first day of the workshop starts at 9:00 AM, so we recommend flying in the day before. The fourth (last) day of the workshop is an optional lab which only goes until 12:00 PM. We use this lab to help you with any final questions you may have about NCL. You can choose to skip the lab or attend just part of it. This gives you more flexibility to decide when to fly out Friday.

There are various transportation options for getting to and from the airport, and around Boulder. It takes about an hour to get to DIA from the CTTC.