Cooperative Science Centers

The NOAA Cooperative Science Centers are preparing students for the NOAA-mission future workforce candidate pool.
The NOAA Cooperative Science Centers are preparing students for the NOAA-mission future workforce candidate pool. (Credit: NOAA CREST)

The Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI), part of the NOAA Office of Education, awarded $11.9 million in cooperative agreements to four lead Minority Serving Institutions across the country on August 29th, 2016. See press release

The funds will be used to educate and graduate students who pursue degree programs with applied research in NOAA mission-related scientific fields. Awards were made to: Florida A&M University; Howard University; The City College of the City University of New York; and, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. These institutions partnered with 24 other schools to establish four Cooperative Science Centers. The Centers will train students in earth system sciences and remote sensing technology, coastal and marine ecosystems, living marine resources, and atmospheric sciences & meteorology - all core science fields for NOAA.

These cooperative agreement awards support:

  1. increasing the number of college graduates with STEM degrees who are qualified to solve today’s environmental and technological challenges;
  2. creating new opportunities for underrepresented populations to be introduced to career paths within NOAA; and,
  3. working with NOAA to contribute science, resource management, social science solution to real world problems.

Since the first awards were made in 2001, NOAA EPP/MSI Cooperative Science Centers have awarded post-secondary degrees to over 1,600 students in NOAA-mission fields. The long term goal of EPP/MSI is to increase the number of students, particularly from underrepresented communities, who attend Minority Serving Institutions and graduate with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

These graduates will be diverse, well-trained and ready for the future NOAA workforce candidate pool. The awards were announced at the NOAA EPP/MSI 8th Biennial Education and Science Forum (August 28th-31st, 2016) held in New York. The Forum was attended by the NOAA Deputy Administrator, VADM Manson Brown, and U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano of New York, as well as representatives of the lead and partner institutions. All awards were made after a rigorous competitive peer review process by external reviewers. The technical merit reviewers were from academia and other Federal agencies.