University of Hawaii awarded $210M to lead NOAA marine research institute

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Seawater collected via the R/V Falkor for look for beaked whale eDNA. (Courtesy: Marie Hill)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has selected the University of Hawaii to host its Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (CIMAR), which comes with an award of up to $210 million throughout the course of five years.

If it’s successful, there’s potential for renewal for another five years.

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CIMAR’s mission is to do research for understanding and predicting environmental change in the Indo-Pacific region; and conserving coastal and marine resources in the Hawaiian islands and U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands.

“This new award, reaffirming a 44-year collaboration between NOAA and UH, is a testament to the excellence of the accomplishments by federal and UH researchers,” said Doug Luther, director of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR). “It provides the resources for CIMAR to advance in the tropical Pacific NOAA’s concept of healthy oceans, ecosystems, communities and economies that are resilient in the face of environmental change.”

The new institute will continue to address some of the major research themes that have been the focus of JIMAR, which include: ecological forecasting; ecosystem monitoring; ecosystem-based management; protection and restoration of resources; oceanographic monitoring and forecasting; climate science and impacts; air-sea interactions; and tsunamis and other long-period ocean waves.

“Pacific island communities face daunting challenges and unique opportunities in achieving a sustainable and prosperous future as the environment and regional economies continue to change,” said Luther. “NOAA’s support is critical for attaining this future.”

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