The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has named the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) as part of a new Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region (CINAR). The group of research and educational institutions will carry out innovative, multidisciplinary research to will help inform decisions for sustainable and beneficial management of the U.S. Northeast continental shelf ecosystem.
"It is a great acknowledgement of the scientific expertise and respect of the UMCES faculty that we are included as a partner in this prestigious NOAA Cooperative Institute. Our research in CINAR on fisheries, ecosystems and climate will be beneficial to the citizens of Maryland,” said Mike Roman, Director of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Laboratory.
CINAR will conduct research focusing on five major areas that directly align with high priority NOAA scientific research, including sustained ocean observations and climate research; ecosystem research, observation, and modeling; stock assessment research; protected species research and recovery; and ecosystem-based fisheries management
"The Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region brings together leading research institutions to advance our understanding and sustainable management of this important and dynamic ecosystem,” said Craig McLean, assistant NOAA administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. "The research will strengthen our nation’s Blue Economy, which depends on data and information to make sound decisions for a healthy ecosystem and strong economy.”
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts will host the Institute. Research partners along the Atlantic Coast include the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Rhode Island, Rutgers University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
“UMCES oceanographers and fisheries scientists are at the forefront of understanding our changing oceans and climate,” said UMCES President Peter Goodwin. “This partnership is an exciting opportunity to work with leading researchers along the coast to develop new and innovative research programs that focus on the many impacts of climate change on our oceans.”
Cooperative Institutes are NOAA-supported, non-federal organizations that have established outstanding research and education programs in one or more areas that are relevant to the NOAA mission. Cooperative Institutes’ expertise and facilities add significantly to NOAA's capabilities, and their structure and legal framework facilitate rapid and efficient mobilization of those resources to meet NOAA's programmatic needs.
The selection comes with a commitment of $37.9 million over the course of the five-year award, with the potential for renewal for another five years based on successful performance. NOAA made the selection after an open, competitive evaluation.
NOAA supports 16 Cooperative Institutes consisting of 43 universities and research institutions in 20 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These research institutions provide strong educational programs that promote student and postdoctoral scientist involvement in NOAA-funded research.