Commerce Secretary Locke Announces Awards to Six New Regional Climate Science Collaborations

September 22, 2010

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced six new Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) awards totaling $23.6 million over five years to research institutions, from Honolulu, Hawaii to Boston, Mass., to improve the nation’s ability to anticipate and adapt to climate variability and change.

The six regional teams will work closely with natural resource managers and land planners, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector within each region to advance new research on how climate variability and change will impact the environment, economy, and society, and develop innovative ways to integrate climate information into decision-making.

“Climate change affects water supply and demand, coastal communities and ecosystems, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, human health and transportation,” said Mary Glackin, deputy under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. “The strength of these teams lies in their ability to address regional scale climate impacts and provide timely and relevant information to decision-makers dealing with multiple climate-impact issues and planning decisions.”

The six new RISA awards include:

All six awards have multiple institutions involved; only lead institutions are listed.

These awards were chosen competitively by an independent, expert review panel. NOAA has supported RISA teams for more than 15 years. RISAs represent an effective method to co-design and co-develop climate services and science through partnerships among scientists and decision makers. They will also contribute to research and assessment activities in direct support of the U.S. National Climate Assessment being undertaken by a range of federal entities. The RISA program will be a core component of the emerging Climate Service at NOAA.

In February, the Secretary of Commerce and the NOAA Administrator first announced the intent to establish a new NOAA Climate Service. This new line office will combine the agency’s world-class climate science and technical capabilities, and leverage its partnerships, such as those with RISAs to evolve the capacity for sustained engagement with decision-makers to develop, deliver and communicate climate services. The concept of creating a NOAA Climate Service was strongly endorsed by the National Academy of Public Administration, which recently released a report for which Dr. Lubchenco issued a statement of thanks.

RISA teams work closely with NOAA’s federal, state and local partners, and many will have strong connections with emerging federal initiatives such as the Department of Interior’s Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.

The new RISA partnerships join five ongoing RISAs including:   

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 at