NOAA Selects University of Washington to Lead Joint Institute to Study Atmosphere, Ocean

June 9, 2010

NOAA has selected the University of Washington to continue leadership of a federal/academic research partnership that will look at tsunamis, ocean acidification, marine ecosystems and fisheries, climate change and other issues that affect millions in the Pacific Northwest  and beyond.

Following a competitive application process, NOAA chose the University of Washington to continue their partnership in the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO). NOAA and University of Washington scientists have worked together to improve understanding of tsunamis, marine habitats, and climate change through JISAO since 1977.

JISAO 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 capabilities and capacity.

The partnership allows University of Washington scientists to receive support for research projects that may involve NOAA scientists, primarily at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, and other NOAA cooperative institutes.

“The University of Washington has proven to be a strong and innovative research partner,” said Steve Murawski, Ph.D., acting chairman of the NOAA Research Council, which oversees all NOAA cooperative institutes. “JISAO research is at the forefront of science on climate change, ocean acidification, fisheries assessments, and tsunami forecasting. We are very pleased to continue our collaborations through this cooperative institute.”

JISAO is expanding the scope of its research, and projects will focus on:

“JISAO has a long and distinguished record of environmental research carried out in the public interest. This new cooperative agreement upholds the strong partnership with the NOAA laboratories in Seattle, allowing more than 120 University of Washington employees to continue research on topics such as climate change, ocean acidification, marine ecosystems, the health of Puget Sound, and tsunamis,” said Dennis Hartmann, interim dean of the University of Washington’s College of the Environment. “These issues are of vital importance to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest and the nation.”

Total NOAA funding varies annually and is based on the number of projects the 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.