HONOLULU - The University of Hawaii is due to receive up to $210 million in federal funding over five years to lead a research institute aimed at better conserving and managing coastal and marine resources in the Hawaiian Islands and U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands.
The school won the right to host the new Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research following an open, competitive evaluation, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.
The institute will replace the existing Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, which has been operating at the university since 1977.
But this time more than double the money will be available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which funded the old institute and will be funding the new one.
The award comes with the potential for another five years if the university is successful.
NOAA said the new institute will conduct research aimed at understanding and predicting environmental changes in the Indo-Pacific region.
In a release, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz described the university as a recognized leader on climate and marine science in the region.
"NOAA's investment in UH will help us better forecast natural hazards like hurricanes, king tides and tsunami; protect the health of our oceans and fisheries in the face of climate change; and maintain the U.S. leadership role in ocean and earth science in the region," said Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Research will be conducted along eight themes: ecological forecasting, ecosystem monitoring, ecosystem-based management, protection and restoration of resources, oceanographic monitoring and forecasting, climate science and impacts, air-sea interactions, and tsunami and other long-period ocean waves.