New Cooperative Institute To Focus On Northern Gulf of Mexico

On Nov. 13, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with a consortium of universities and institutions, announced the creation of a new cooperative institute to focus on the Gulf of Mexico's northern region.

The new Northern Gulf Institute will collaborate with NOAA scientists to study issues associated with coastal hazards, climate change, water quality, ecosystem management, coastal wetlands and pollution in the area.

"This institute begins a new paradigm of long-term collaboration to develop and sustain research, education and outreach capabilities focusing on the needs in the northern Gulf of Mexico region," said Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

Most scientists associated with the institute will be located at the Stennis Space Center (in Mississippi). Other institute researchers will be located on the campus of the consortium member institutions and NOAA facilities throughout the region.

The new institute will conduct research under four themes: climate change and climate variability effects on regional ecosystems; coastal hazards; ecosystem management; and geospatial data integration and visualization in environmental science. Research conducted by the new institute also is expected to support the national Integrated Ocean Observing System through the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System.

The Northern Gulf Institute joins 20 other NOAA cooperative institutes across the country. These institutes are NOAA-supported, non-federal organizations that have established a research program in one or more areas that are relevant to NOAA's mission.

Additional information on the Northern Gulf Institute can be found at

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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