The Center for Climatic Research has a 50-year tradition of conducting interdisciplinary research on the climate system. CCR was founded in 1962 by Professor Reid A. Bryson, whose career-long interests included global-scale climate processes and links between human societies and the atmosphere. Following Professor Bryson, subsequent CCR directors included Professors John Kutzbach, Zhengyu Liu, and Jack Williams.
CCR is part of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and includes more than 50 faculty members, scientists, staff, and graduate students. The Center for Climatic Research brings together leading climate scientists with researchers in geography, botany, oceanography, and other disciplines to investigate our past, present, and future climate and their implications for 21st century climate change. CCR connects with units across UW-Madison as well as U.S. and international universities and research institutes. Our faculty, scientists, and students are based in departments such as Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Botany, Geography, and Geosciences.
Our funding sources include National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Wisconsin Focus on Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute for Health, United States Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin Sea Grant, and private donors.
Thanks to an anonymous gift to the university in honor of Professor Reid Bryson, the Bryson Interdisciplinary Climate, People, and Environment Program (CPEP) was established within CCR in 1991.
We continue to build on our traditional excellence in the earth system science, while rapidly growing our capacity to assess the impact of 21st century climate change on natural and social systems. Out partnership with the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) offers a model example of how university researchers can engage with decision-makers in the public and private sectors.
Since it was founded, CCR faculty and staff have published over 1,000 scientific articles and CCR supported students have produced 54 master's theses and 60 PhD dissertations.
A short visual history of CCR’s first 50 years was presented at the 50th anniversary celebration in 2013 and is viewable as a PDF file.