NOAA Selects Two Universities for Arctic and Climate Research Programs

June 12, 2008

NOAA announced today the competitive selection of collaborative research partners at the Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research (CIFAR) located in Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS), in Princeton, N.J. The groups will join NOAA to conduct research in climate change, greenhouse gases, and changes to Arctic ice coverage.

“Cooperative programs like these are truly a win-win situation,” said retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Academic research fellows get hands-on experience working with NOAA scientists, while NOAA research programs receive the benefit of working with some of academia’s best and brightest scientists.”

CIFAR fosters collaboration between NOAA, the University of Alaska, and several other U.S. universities working in the Western Arctic. CIFAR has contributed to the preparation of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, which provides information on recent and projected climate changes and consequences in the Arctic. In addition, CIFAR collaborates with NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Climate Program Office, Ocean Exploration and Research Program, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the National Weather Service.

Research activities at CICS focus primarily on understanding climate variability and change but the institute also assists with coastal and ocean resource projects as well as weather related programs. CICS is an outgrowth of highly successful forty-year collaboration between Princeton University’s Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program and NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory contributing to the development of oceanic and atmospheric models and research on climate and biogeochemical cycling.

NOAA currently supports 21 Cooperative Institutes in 17 states focusing on research aligned with NOAA’s mission goals ranging from satellite climatology and fisheries biology to atmospheric chemistry and coastal ecology. Cooperative Institutes are located at parent institutions located from Hawaii to Massachusetts and from Alaska to Florida.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.