Current SURFRAD stations as well as prospective sites are shown on the map below. The blue dots are established stations and the shaded dots represent desired regions for future sites. The station at Boulder is an operating SURFRAD station and also serves as a calibration facility for network instruments, as well as for spectroradiometers operated by several North American agencies that monitor ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

US map showing SURFRAD site locations

The site selection process for SURFRAD was a collaborative effort among NOAA, NASA, and university scientists. Locations were chosen with the intent of best representing the diverse climates of the United States. Special consideration was given to places where the landform and vegetation are homogeneous over an extended region so that the point measurements would be qualitatively representative of a large area. The stations at Bondville, Fort Peck, and Goodwin Creek were installed in 1994 within the Mississippi drainage Basin in support of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment's (GEWEX) Continental-Scale International Project (GCIP). Fort Peck and Goodwin Creek are located within well-monitored drainage basins. The station at Boulder was installed in July of 1995, and that at Desert Rock, NV was installed in March 1998.

The station in northwestern Mississippi is located in the Goodwin Creek Experimental Watershed. It is hosted and attended by the USDA/ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory, which is located at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. The Fort Peck station is located on tribal lands of the Fort Peck Tribes, and is attended by their Environmental Office, which has been actively involved in environmental monitoring for more than a decade. Bondville is in a flat agricultural region and is collocated with several other experiments on a site managed by the Illinois State Water Survey. The station at Boulder is attended by the Surface Radiation Research Branch (SRRB) of NOAA's Air Resources Laboratory, which is the managing agency for SURFRAD. The newest station at Desert Rock, NV is the only in the network to be collocated with an operational rawinsonde site.