The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) selected Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to host NOAA's Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region (CINAR).
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.
CINAR will carry out innovative, multidisciplinary research that will help inform decisions for sustainable and beneficial management of the U.S. Northeast continental shelf ecosystem.
"CINAR research seeks to provide a better understanding of the physical, biological, and chemical processes that enable forecasting conditions within the North Atlantic region as a tool for effective, ecosystem-based management and protected-species management," said CINAR Director Don Anderson. "An important aspect of this approach includes interdisciplinary research to understand and forecast climate change, and the associated impacts to natural systems and communities."
The partners working with WHOI include the University of Maine, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Rhode Island, Rutgers University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
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.
"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."
CINAR will conduct research focusing on five major areas that directly align with high priority NOAA scientific research:
- Sustained Ocean Observations and Climate Research
- Ecosystem Research, Observation, and Modeling
- Stock Assessment Research
- Protected Species Research and Recovery
- Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management
"Climate change is transforming our oceans at an unprecedented pace and our region will be particularly impacted by this global threat," added U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Mass. "Under WHOI's leadership, CINAR will continue to advance our understanding of climate change, and the marine ecosystem in the north Atlantic; helping to preserve our environment, and support fishermen while they sustainably harvest the oceans bounty."
NOAA supports 16 Cooperative Institutes consisting of 43 universities and research institutions in 20 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. These research institutions provide strong educational programs that promote student and postdoctoral scientist involvement in NOAA-funded research.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent organization in Falmouth, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean's role in the changing global environment.