November 14th, 2006 09:36 EST
Climate And Coastal Hazards Among Research Themes
NOAA, along with a consortium of universities and institutions, announced the creation of a new cooperative institute. The new Northern Gulf Institute will collaborate with NOAA scientists to study regional issues associated with coastal hazards, climate change, water quality, ecosystem management, coastal wetlands and pollution.
"This institute begins a new paradigm of long-term collaboration to develop and sustain research, education and outreach capabilities focusing on the needs in the Northern Gulf of Mexico region," said Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "This will benefit the residents of the region and also support NOAA's participation in the President’s U.S. Ocean Action Plan, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and the Gulf Coastal Ocean Observing System."
"This consortium of universities will work with NOAA to provide expertise in research and to take advantage of the world class scientific capabilities of the Stennis Space Center," said Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS). "The Northern Gulf of Mexico has critical ecosystem needs that will be addressed by this Cooperative Institute."
The consortium of universities and institutions includes Mississippi State University, the University of Southern Mississippi, Louisiana State University, Florida State University and Alabama's Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The new institute will conduct research under four themes: climate change and climate variability effects on regional ecosystems; coastal hazards; ecosystem management; and geospatial data integration and visualization in environmental science. Research conducted by the new institute also is expected to support the national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) through the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS).
Most scientists associated with the institute will be located at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Other Institute researchers will be located on the campus of the consortium member institutions and NOAA facilities throughout the region.
"The Cooperative Institute will be conducting research that addresses some of the more pressing issues facing our region including coastal ecosystem protection, hurricane forecasting and management practices to protect water quality," said David Shaw, MSU professor, director of the university's GeoResources Institute and director of the new Northern Gulf Institute in Mississippi.
The Northern Gulf Institute joins 20 other NOAA cooperative institutes across the country. These institutes are NOAA-supported, non-federal organizations that have established an outstanding research program in one or more areas that are relevant to NOAA's mission. The CI collaborates with NOAA scientists on long-term research topics and provides significant coordination of resources among all non-government partners and promotes the involvement of students and postdoctoral scientists in NOAA-funded research.
In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.