NOAA Announces Funding to Support Ocean and Coastal Observation Technologies

June 11, 2010

A $4 million NOAA grant will help a university consortium evaluate the readiness of marine forecasts, such as flooding from storm surge or seasonal dead zones, along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts and improve those forecasts for use by emergency managers, scientific researchers and the general public.

The IOOS is a federal, regional, and private-sector partnership working to enhance our ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean information.

The IOOS is a federal, regional, and private-sector partnership working to enhance our ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean information.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

The competitive grant, from NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) program, will go to the Southeastern Universities Research Association, a group of more than 60 universities that work with government agencies and researchers to advance information technology and improve understanding of coastal, ocean, and environmental phenomena. IOOS is a tool for tracking, predicting, managing, and adapting to changes in our marine environment.

“Recent advances in science and computing capabilities are leading to improved tools to predict coastal ocean phenomena,” said Zdenka Willis, NOAA IOOS program director. “This project creates an objective environment to compare the latest models for improved forecasting that will ultimately benefit the daily lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.”

Scientists will work to improve the precision of computer models that forecast recurring issues in the Atlantic and Gulf regions. They will also explore methods for effectively delivering model results to regional centers, scientists and managers relying on IOOS. The project is intended to identify the most useful models and then get the resulting information to the public quickly.

“We are excited to embark on this collaborative research project,” said Jerry P. Draayer, Southeastern Universities Research Association president and CEO. “We feel uniquely qualified to partner with the federal agencies involved in U.S. IOOS in this important effort that will have practical impacts.”

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.