NOAA Selects OU for $75 Million Weather Research Agreement
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected the University of Oklahoma for a cooperative research agreement that will bring up to $75 million of federal funds to the University to advance weather radar research, improve severe storm forecasts and increase understanding of extreme weather and short-term regional climate, OU President David L. Boren announced today.
The agreement extends funding for the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies through the year 2016 and maintains current employment levels with the possibility of hiring additional employees. In FY11, 75 people received more than half of their support from NOAA-funded projects. In addition, 48 OU graduate students and 26 OU undergraduate students were supported through NOAA-funded projects.
"The continued investment by NOAA of substantial research funding for the University of Oklahoma is a tribute to the outstanding work done by our faculty, staff and students," Boren said. "It is another example of the way in which OU research creates jobs and economic development for our state," he said.
"Devastating tornado outbreaks last spring and long-term drought across the south central United States are just two recent situations illustrating the need for the kind of research we do with NOAA and other agency funding." said Peter J. Lamb, CIMMS director. "We are especially pleased to continue our involvement with NOAA at such a crucial time for environmental stewardship," Lamb said.
The Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, which was created in 1978, will continue to promote collaborative research between OU and NOAA scientists by providing a center where government and academic scientists work together to learn about and apply their knowledge of mesoscale weather and regional-scale climate processes.
The involvement of CIMMS scientists and engineers will be complemented by efforts of their colleagues in several other OU research units – the Atmospheric Radar Research Center, the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, the Center for Risk and Crisis Management, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, and the OU School of Meteorology.
OU researchers will receive support from and collaborate on research projects that involve NOAA scientists in the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory and four National Weather Service units: the Radar Operations Center, Storm Prediction Center, Warning Decision Training Branch and the Norman, Okla., Weather Forecast Office.
CIMMS is one of 18 NOAA cooperative institutes across the nation. NOAA provides funding for the cooperative institutes at universities with research programs relevant to NOAA’s mission to acquire resources beyond the agency’s own research capacity.
Located within the National Weather Center, a unique confederation of federal, state, and OU organizations that work together to improve understanding of the Earth's atmosphere, CIMMS’ collaboration is enhanced by all contributing organizations located within the facility, which serves as the anchor of OU’s Research Campus.
CIMMS will focus on five research themes – weather radar research and development; stormscale and mesoscale modeling research and development; forecast improvements research and development; impacts of climate change related to extreme weather events; and social and socioeconomic impacts of severe weather systems.
NOAA chose OU for this partnership following a competitive selection process. Total NOAA funding is variable from year to year based on the number of projects the lead university proposes and NOAA approves. NOAA supports cooperative institutes to promote research, education, training and outreach aligned with its mission.
The mission of the University of Oklahoma is to provide the best possible educational experience for its students through excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and service to the state and society.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources.