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Acoustics team members at the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies. (Photo: OSU/CIMRS)

Oregon Univ to lead marine resource research institute

Click on the flag for more information about United States UNITED STATES
Monday, October 24, 2011, 22:20 (GMT + 9)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has selected Oregon State University (OSU) to continue a federal/academic research partnership that extends NOAA’s ability to study marine resources in the Pacific Northwest. The award means that NOAA will continue funding the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies (CIMRS), which was established at Oregon State in 1982, for at least five and up to 10 more years.

Following a competitive application process, NOAA chose Oregon State to continue to administer the CIMRS partnership which focuses on marine resources such as hydrothermal vents, seafloor volcanoes, marine mammals, and marine ecosystems. Research will also seek to improve protection and restoration of these marine resources.

“Oregon State has proven to be an excellent partner in marine resource research. Through CIMRS, it brings together researchers from our Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and from our Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Centres,” said Alexander MacDonald, PhD, chairman of the NOAA Research Council and deputy assistant administrator for the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. “CIMRS science contributes greatly to NOAA’s climate and ecosystem research goals.”

Scientists from the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies were part of the 2009 research mission that discovered the West Mata Volcano erupting nearly 4,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean in an area bounded by Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa. CIMRS is a partnership between NOAA and Oregon State University.  (Photo: NOAA)

CIMRS is one of 18 NOAA cooperative institutes nationwide. NOAA funds cooperative institutes at universities with strong research programmes relevant to NOAA’s mission. These institutes provide resources and opportunities that extend beyond the agency’s own research capacity.

“Oregon State University has a long tradition of innovative, relevant, cooperative research with NOAA, and the renewal of CIMRS brings significant value to both partners and the marine community,” said Richard Spinrad, PhD, OSU's vice president for research. “It also highlights the partnerships between OSU with the several agencies at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.”

The partnership allows researchers at Oregon State to receive support for research projects that may involve NOAA scientists, primarily at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, the Northwest Fisheries Science Centre, and the Alaska Fisheries Science Centre, as well as other NOAA cooperative institutes.

Projects will focus on four research themes:

•Seafloor processes including hydrothermal vents, volcanoes, and the microorganisms that thrive in their vicinity;
•Marine mammal acoustics, which will use acoustic technology to locate and identify marine mammal species, track migration patterns, and study marine mammal responses to the changing ocean environment;
•Marine ecosystems research to understand how ecosystems function and change, which includes efforts to monitor, model and forecast ecosystem processes; and
•Protection and restoration of marine resources, which include development of technology, research tools, and scientific approaches to coastal and marine management.

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