CIRUN - Climate Information: Responding to User Needs
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University of Maryland

The University of Maryland (UMD) brings real and diverse strength and a number of specific assets to the study of our environment and its interaction with humans. Thus the university is well positioned to contribute perspective and expertise as the nation begins to strengthen its ability to adapt to the consequences of climate change. The CIRUN initiative at the university will build on this to create interdisciplinary collaborations partnering with decision makers to provide specific examples of how reliable information can be provided to users and then acted on.

Among the key assets at the university are:

  • A history of outstanding research in climate and the environment, most recently evidenced by the NOAA award of a $90M Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS). CICS (www.climateandsatellites.org/) is a partnership with North Carolina State University which includes a broad nationwide consortium of participating scientists and institutions.
  • A tradition of interdisciplinary research in biosystems and human activity, recognized in August 2011 with the award to the University of the $27.5 million NSF National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SeSync). SeSync (www.sesync.org/) supports the synthesis of natural and social science in addressing problems of the environment to produce influential, actionable science.
  • Nationally recognized expertise in agriculture, behavioral science, ecology, economics, engineering, geography, human health, and public policy.
  • Long-standing partnerships with the nearby NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (which coordinates collection and analysis of satellite climate data and its subsequent utilization in climate models), and with NOAA’s Climate Program Office. In early 2012, NOAA will move the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and parts of its satellite service to a new facility in the university’s M-Square Research Park adjacent to the UMD’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center.
  • A partnership with the DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory through the Joint Global Change Research Institute, also housed in the Research Park.