NOAA Selects University of Miami to Run Southeastern U.S. Cooperative Institute

New Partners, Research Focus Reshape Consortium

June 1, 2010

NOAA has selected a consortium led by the University of Miami to continue and expand a federal and academic research partnership studying climate change, hurricanes, the coastal environment and other issues that affect millions of southeast U.S. coastal residents.

Following a competitive application process, NOAA chose a consortium led by the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science as the lead university to continue its partnership in the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS). NOAA and University of Miami scientists have worked together through CIMAS since 1977 to improve understanding of climate, hurricanes, and marine ecosystems along the southeastern U.S. coast.

CIMAS is one of 18 NOAA cooperative institutes nationwide. NOAA funds cooperative institutes at universities with strong research programs relevant to NOAA’s mission. These institutes provide resources and opportunities that extend beyond the agency’s own research capacity.

“The University of Miami is a valued research partner with unique capabilities in the southeastern United States,” said Steve Murawski, Ph.D., acting chairman of the NOAA Research Council, which oversees all NOAA cooperative institutes. “We are very pleased to renew our partnership with the university as the lead school and to further expand CIMAS with the inclusion of eight other schools.”

CIMAS is adding eight new research partners, and refining themes for its scientific research, transforming it into a multi-institution consortium. The eight new research partners include:

The partnership allows researchers at these universities to receive support for research projects that may involve NOAA scientists, primarily at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, National Hurricane Center in Miami, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, and other NOAA cooperative institutes.

Research projects will focus on:

“We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with NOAA and building stronger relationships with NOAA and the other universities joining CIMAS,” said Peter Ortner, Ph.D., director of CIMAS and professor of marine biology and fisheries at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School. “The work being done in our consortium is especially critical right now, as we face an uncertain future in the Gulf of Mexico and possibly Florida given the recent oil spill. Many of our scientists are already actively engaged in the oil spill response effort, and others are preparing for the Atlantic hurricane season, which will be upon us soon and could exacerbate oil spill damage. Through CIMAS we will continue to provide invaluable scientific and technical support to the responsible federal and state agencies.”

Total NOAA funding varies annually and is based on the number of projects the lead university proposes and NOAA approves.

NOAA supports cooperative institutes to promote research, education, training, and outreach aligned with its mission. Cooperative institutes also coordinate resources among all non-government partners and promote the involvement of students and post-doctoral scientists in NOAA-funded research. This unique setting provides NOAA the benefit of working with complimentary capabilities of a research institution that contribute to NOAA-related sciences ranging from satellite climatology and fisheries biology to atmospheric chemistry and coastal ecology.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook.