Cooperative Institute Agreement between NOAA and CSU Extended

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), a research institute between CSU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been granted a five-year extension on the agreement formalizing the partnership.  First established in 1980, CIRA conducts research in the atmospheric sciences, tying the world-class research performed at Colorado State University to operational advances in meteorology and other areas of national need. 

The Cooperative Institute programs, designed by NOAA to bring expertise from academic and non-profit research fields to areas of NOAA research and operations, operate on fixed-term agreements, which are open to competition to interested institutions nationwide.  CIRA, one of only sixteen such Cooperative Institutes, was successful in its most recent recompetition bid in 2009, and recently underwent a five-year scientific review of the research program at the institution.  As a result of this review, it was recommended that the agreement between NOAA and CSU that establishes CIRA be extended a further five years, encompassing potential grants totaling up to $71 million over that period.  The agreement between NOAA and CSU will continue until the end of June 2019, when it is expected that CIRA will again partake in a recompetition bid. 

“While our activities and achievements were very positively reviewed by NOAA last summer, the formal announcement by NOAA that the Institute has been renewed for another 5 years is certainly welcome news” said Chris Kummerow, the CIRA Director as well as a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at CSU.  “This gives us an opportunity to fully optimize how the weather satellites going up in the next few years are exploited to improve our short and long term weather forecasts.”  “Over the next five years we will witness a dramatic leap forward in satellite capabilities, with several next-generation polar-orbiting and geostationary resources coming online. “ added CIRA Deputy Director Steve Miller. “With the renewal of our Cooperative Agreement with NOAA, CIRA will play an important role in helping NOAA make the most of these measurements.”

CIRA, which has facilities located on the Foothills Campus of Colorado State University collocated with the Dept. of Atmospheric Science, as well as campuses at the Earth Systems Research Laboratory of NOAA in Boulder, at the Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, and the NOAA/NESDIS facility in Maryland.  It employs approximately 135 researchers and staff, and performs approximately $14 million in NOAA-related research, annually.  Approximately 70 NOAA scientists are also affiliated with CIRA, and several CSU graduate students work closely with CIRA as part of their graduate program of research.