NOAA has selected Oregon State University (OSU) to continue a federal/academic research partnership that extends NOAA's ability to study marine resources in the Pacific Northwest. The award means that NOAA will continue funding the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies (CIMRS), which was established at Oregon State in 1982, for at least five and up to 10 more years.
Following a competitive application process, NOAA chose Oregon State to continue to administer the CIMRS partnership which focuses on marine resources such as hydrothermal vents, seafloor volcanoes, marine mammals, and marine ecosystems. Research will also seek to improving protection and restoration of these marine resources.
"Oregon State has proven to be an excellent partner in marine resources research. Through CIMRS, it brings together researchers from our Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and from our Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Centers," said Alexander MacDonald, Ph.D., chairman of the NOAA Research Council and deputy assistant administrator for the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. "CIMRS science contributes greatly to NOAA's climate and ecosystem research goals."
CIMRS is one of 18 NOAA cooperative institutes nationwide. NOAA funds cooperative institutes at universities with strong research programs relevant to NOAA's mission. These institutes provide resources and opportunities that extend beyond the agency's own research capacity.
"Oregon State University has a long tradition of innovative, relevant, cooperative research with NOAA, and the renewal of CIMRS brings significant value to both partners and the marine community," said Richard Spinrad, Ph.D., OSU's vice president for research. "It also highlights the partnerships between OSU with the several agencies at the Hatfield Marine Science Center."
The partnership allows researchers at Oregon State to receive support for research projects that may involve NOAA scientists, primarily at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, as well as other NOAA cooperative institutes.
Projects will focus on four research themes:
- Seafloor processes including hydrothermal vents, volcanoes, and the microorganisms that thrive in their vicinity;
- Marine mammal acoustics which will use acoustic technology to locate and identify marine mammal species, track migration patterns, and study marine mammal responses to the changing ocean environment;
- Marine ecosystems research to understand how ecosystems function and change, which includes efforts to monitor, model and forecast ecosystem processes; and
- Protection and restoration of marine resources which include development of technology, research tools, and scientific approaches to coastal and marine management.
Total NOAA funding is variable from year to year and is 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. Cooperative institutes also coordinate resources among all non-government partners and promote the involvement of students and post-doctoral scientists in NOAA-funded research. This unique setting provides NOAA the benefit of working with complimentary capabilities of a research institution that contribute to NOAA-related sciences ranging from satellite climatology and fisheries biology to atmospheric chemistry and coastal ecology.