NOAA names UM to Lead CIMAS Cooperative Institute

Miami Atmospheric Science facilities on Virginia Key, Florida, image by Sevag Mehterian

NOAA names UM to Lead CIMAS Cooperative Institute

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has selected the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) to host the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS). CIMAS, will bring together the research and educational resources of 11 partner universities to increase scientific understanding of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere within the context of NOAA’s mission.

The Cooperative Institute will conduct collaborative, multidisciplinary research that advances NOAA’s mission to improve our understanding of global, national, and regional weather, climate, and marine ecosystems. CIMAS will also focus on coastal resilience and better use and management of natural marine resources in the Southeast United States, including the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and the South Atlantic.

“Our cooperative institutes are a vital component of NOAA’s mission to address emerging scientific issues and train the next generation of researchers,” 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 selection of the University of Miami (made through an open, competitive evaluation) comes with an award of up to $310 million dollars over the course of five years, with the potential for renewal for another five years based on successful performance.

“CIMAS brings together the resources of the University of Miami with those of NOAA to foster excellence in research and education targeted at understanding the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and marine ecosystems,” said Ben Kirtman, Director of CIMAS, RSMAS Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, and IDSC Co-Director. “This collaboration enables unprecedented innovation in NOAA’s mission of science, service, and stewardship.”



CIMAS, in partnership with NOAA and other agencies, will conduct and coordinate innovative research in four main areas, focusing on the Southeast US, including: the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and the South Atlantic:

  • Tropical Weather Observations, Analysis, and Prediction
  • Ocean and Climate Observations, Analysis, and Prediction
  • Ecosystem Observations, Modeling, Forecasting, and Management
  • Protection and Restoration of Marine Resources

Led by the UM Rosenstiel School, the institute will direct a unique consortium of degree-granting institutions, which includes the Caribbean Region Association for Coastal Ocean Observing (Caricoos), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Florida Institute of Technology, Florida International University (FIU), Florida State University (FSU), NOVA Southeastern University, University of Florida, University of South Florida, University of the Virgin Islands. FIU and University of Virgin Islands are Minority Serving Institutions.

CIMAS will build on the research and infrastructure accomplishments of its predecessor cooperative institute at the UM Rosenstiel School. It will accelerate scientific innovation in each of the four focus areas by advancing tropical weather prediction, ocean and climate observations, ecosystem forecasting, and protection and restoration of marine resources. For example, CIMAS will innovate in fish stock assessment by taking advantage of recent advancements in genetic technology to develop ecosystem models that focus on economically important fishes. CIMAS will also continue innovative work on coral restoration efforts.

“In Miami-Dade County alone, we are fortunate to have NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), and Southeast Fisheries Science Center, and UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, all of which are uniquely positioned at the crossroads of tropical meteorology and climatically important oceanographic processes.” said Roni Avissar, Dean of the Rosenstiel School.

NOAA supports 19 cooperative institutes consisting of 69 universities and research institutions in 27 states and the District of Columbia. These research institutions provide strong educational programs that promote student and postdoctoral scientist involvement in NOAA-funded research.


SOURCE:  NEWS@TheU 7/16/2020 Story by Diana Udel