CICS is now the Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS)

June 3, 2019 09:33 AM

NOAA has announced the approval of the University of Maryland’s proposal to host the Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS). The institute is slated to start on July 1st and will receive funding of up to $175M over five years.

CISESS will be a national consortium of academic and nonprofit institutions that will be led by UMD and North Carolina State University (NCSU). The CISESS Consortium’s primary objectives will be to

Support NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) mission of providing “secure and timely access to global environmental data and information from satellites and other sources to both promote and protect the Nation’s environment, security, economy, and quality of life”;

Promote and augment the research capabilities of NOAA’s mission “to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources”; and

Deliver innovative research products, education, training, and outreach aligned with these missions.

CISESS will be led by the principal investigators of the project: Prof. Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm will be acting as Executive Director, Res. Professor E. Hugo Berbery will serve as Deputy Director, and Prof. Otis Brown will act as Director of the CISESS unit located in Asheville, NC.

“We are extremely privileged to lead the CISESS Consortium, building on our long-term partnership with NOAA through the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (2009-2019) and the Cooperative Institute for Climate Studies (1984-2009)”, stated Miralles-Wilhelm. “CISESS will allow us to further understand how the natural atmosphere–ocean–land–biosphere components of Earth interact with human activities as a coupled system. We will also educate and train students and scientists in areas of priority to NOAA and carry out relevant outreach and engagement activities with the scientific community, decision makers, and the public.”

Deputy Director Hugo Berbery stated, “The creation of CISESS demonstrates the importance of pursuing Earth System research to help improve how society perceives and is affected by the natural environment.  By developing new and more accurate products from satellites, we will help NOAA to improve weather and climate forecasts to build resilience to extreme events. By monitoring of the Oceans, the Atmosphere, and the Cryosphere, we will ensure that proper knowledge is applied in environmental decision-making. CISESS will offer a unique opportunity to train students into research areas of direct application to NOAA’s interests.”

CISESS brings together a broad team of institutions that, collectively, are well equipped to address the wide variety of scientific, research, and outreach functions to support NOAA over the next 5 years. Together, this diverse group of institutions brings an exceptional capacity to work collaboratively to address a wide variety of objectives and challenges. The breadth of capacity and capability of CISESS individuals and organizations presents an innovative organizational approach commensurate with the breadth and complexity of the challenges of the Earth System to our environment and global society.

The new NOAA grant number is NA19NES4320002 (Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies) with an end date of 30 June 2025.

See CMNS press release at:





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