NOAA 2003-R303
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NOAA News Releases 2003
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OSU Receives Five-Year Award of $2.5 Million

In a boost to its satellite, ocean and coastal research activities, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today that it has awarded a multi-year grant worth $2.5 million to the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University (OSU) to establish the first-ever Cooperative Institute for Oceanographic Satellite Studies (CIOSS).

This five-year grant, which will provide funds of at least $500,000 each year, establishes a partnership between scientists at OSU and NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA Satellite and Information) to develop a wide-ranging research program to improve NOAA operations. The program specifically addresses ocean and coastal satellite remote sensing technology, analyses and applications.

“The goal of this institute is to help unlock some of the mysteries of the climate and ocean that will lead to better forecasting and monitoring products through increased use of data,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph. D, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, and NOAA administrator.

Dr. Tim White, president of OSU, was equally enthusiastic about the new partnership. “Oregon State University and the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences look forward to working with NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service through the newly established Cooperative Institute for Oceanographic Satellite Studies. This new institute will continue our long partnership with NOAA and bring the power of remote sensing to the study of our nation’s coastal ocean and its links to the deep ocean and atmosphere. We are privileged to work with NOAA as it expands its capabilities in studying our home planet,” White said.

Under the guidelines of the grant, the new cooperative institute at OSU seeks to:

  • promote greater use of satellite oceanographic data in ocean and climate research projects;
  • develop technology and techniques supporting the highest quality environmental prediction and assessment products;
  • support NOAA research goals by developing applications using NOAA satellite oceanographic data;
  • improve the use of satellite oceanographic data in numerical environmental prediction models;
  • promote wide-scale availability of environmental data and information through full and open access and exchange;
  • provide national and global leadership in civilian oceanography through the development of new satellite oceanographic sensors, applications and education.

“This institute is an outstanding collaboration that will become a national focal point for satellite oceanography, and build on the research conducted by federal, state and local agencies, academia and the private sector,” said Gregory W. Withee, assistant administrator for NOAA Satellite and Information Services.

The initial geographic focus of CIOSS research will be the California Current System, located within 500 miles of the west coast of the United States. CIOSS research will improve satellite data products, which can be applied to other coastal regions of the United States and the world.

The OSU’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences (COAS) is rated among the top five oceanographic institutions in the nation by the National Research Council. The partnership between COAS and NOAA Satellite and Information will build on COAS's recognized leadership in the fields of oceanographic remote sensing and coastal ocean research.

For more than 30 years, COAS oceanographers have provided leadership in multi-disciplinary studies funded by NOAA, NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research, among other agencies.

NOAA Satellite and Information is the nation’s primary source of space-based oceanographic, meteorological, and climate data. It operates the nation’s environmental satellites, which are used for ocean and weather observation and forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental applications. Some of the oceanographic applications include sea-surface temperature for hurricane and weather forecasting and sea-surface heights for El Niño prediction.

NOAA Satellite and Information also operates three data centers, which house global databases in oceanography, climatology, solid Earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics and paleoclimatology.

NOAA, which is part of the Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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