UH earns lead for up to $210M NOAA marine, atmospheric research institute

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today announced it has selected the University of Hawai‘i to host NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (CIMAR). The selection comes with an award of up to $210 million over the course of five years, with the potential for renewal for another five years based on successful performance.

The mission of this cooperative institute is to conduct research and disseminate knowledge necessary for understanding and predicting environmental change in the Indo-Pacific region, for conserving and managing coastal and marine resources in the Hawaiian Islands and U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands and for meeting the Nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs in these regions.

“This new award, reaffirming a 44-year collaboration between NOAA and UH, is a testament to the excellence of the accomplishments by Federal and UH researchers,” said Doug Luther, director of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) in SOEST, NOAA’s previous cooperative institute hosted by UH. “It provides the resources for CIMAR to advance in the tropical Pacific NOAA’s concept of healthy oceans, ecosystems, communities, and economies that are resilient in the face of environmental change.”

After an open, competitive evaluation, NOAA selected the University of Hawai‘i as the home for the new CIMAR.

“We are pleased to announce that the University of Hawai‘i will host our new Cooperative  Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research,” said Craig McLean, assistant NOAA administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. “This institute will help NOAA achieve our mission to better understand the ocean and atmosphere, which depends on research, data and information to make sound decisions for healthy ecosystems, communities and a strong blue economy.”

The new cooperative institute will continue to address some of the major research themes that have been the focus of JIMAR, as well as expand to include new research areas. The eight research themes include: ecological forecasting; ecosystem monitoring; ecosystem-based management; protection and restoration of resources; oceanographic monitoring and forecasting; climate science and impacts; air-sea interactions; and tsunamis and other long-period ocean waves.

“Pacific island communities face daunting challenges and unique opportunities in achieving a sustainable and prosperous future as the environment and regional economies continue to change,” said Luther. “NOAA’s support is critical for attaining this future.”

NOAA supports 20 cooperative institutes consisting of 70 universities and research institutions in 28 states and the District of Columbia. These research institutions provide strong educational programs that promote student and postdoctoral scientist involvement in NOAA-funded research.

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