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NOAA selects University of Miami to lead major southeastern US cooperative institute

MIAMI June 1, 2010 -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today announced its selection of the University of Miami (UM) to continue to lead its partnership with the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS).

NOAA and UM scientists have worked together through CIMAS since 1977 to improve our understanding of climate, hurricanes, and marine ecosystems along the southeastern U.S. coast. NOAA selected the university's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science to continue this federal/academic partnership through a competitive application process. In the present fiscal year CIMAS funding to UM is nearly $13 million dollars. Total funding over the coming five years will be based on the number of projects NOAA funds to take advantage of the exciting new research and education capabilities of the expanded CIMAS. CIMAS will be eligible for up to five additional years of funding based upon rigorous review in year four, projected NOAA requirements and the availability of funding.

"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. "We are very pleased to renew our partnership with the university, and to expand CIMAS with the inclusion of eight new schools."

New university partners in CIMAS include: Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Florida State University, Nova Southeastern University, University of Puerto Rico, University of Florida, University of South Florida and University of the Virgin Islands.

Research projects funded through CIMAS will focus upon:

  • collecting and analyzing data to improve our understanding of geophysical, chemical, and biological processes along coasts in the southeastern United States;
  • improving our understanding of ocean and atmospheric processes associated with climate change and determining adaptation strategies for the southeastern United States and Caribbean;
  • analyzing data collected during hurricanes and tropical storms and improving hurricane modeling;
  • enhancing our understanding of ocean processes through observations, modeling and observing system simulation experiments;
  • modeling changes taking place in marine ecosystems and their influences on human health, fish populations, and climate;
  • promoting sustainable coastal development;
  • developing tools and technologies to restore and protect marine habitats.

"We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with NOAA and building stronger relationships with the agency and the other universities joining CIMAS," said Dr. Peter Ortner, director of CIMAS and professor of Marine Biology and Fisheries at UM'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 federal and state agencies."

The renewed partnership allows investigators from UM and partner institutions to receive NOAA, as well as other federal agency support for research projects, and facilitates collaboration with NOAA scientists at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, National Hurricane Center, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, as well as other NOAA facilities and Cooperative Institutes nationwide. NOAA supports eighteen Cooperative Institutes that promote research, education, training and outreach aligned with its mission and promote the involvement of students and post-doctoral scientists in NOAA-funded research.


Contact: Barbra Gonzalez, UM Rosenstiel School
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

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