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ORAU and the University of Oklahoma collaborate to win NOAA award

Award supports research in the areas of weather and climate studies

Aug. 23, 2016

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—The University of Oklahoma and ORAU were recently awarded up to $8.1 million over three years from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to conduct weather and climate change monitoring research. The funding provides OU with the opportunity to expand its Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies’ research capabilities through a partnership with NOAA’s ORAU-managed Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD) program.

“CIMMS is one of OU’s treasures as it has played a significant role in advancing our understanding of the atmosphere as well as provided valuable technologies and tools for operational forecasters. This new award will build upon these historical strengths to address some of today’s most compelling challenges in weather and climate,” said Kelvin Droegemeier, OU Vice President for Research.

The award will help further OU’s key research in areas such as boundary layer characterization, which is the atmospheric layer closest to Earth’s surface, and climate observations and analyses. This research will directly support NOAA’s goal to improve prediction of severe weather near the earth’s surface and will provide funding for a research position at the ATDD location in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Through the ATDD program, ORAU works closely with NOAA to perform lower atmosphere research in the areas of air quality, contaminant dispersion and climate studies.

“ORAU has supported NOAA’s ATDD since its early beginnings in 1948 as a weather bureau funded by the Atomic Energy Commission,” said ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the University of Oklahoma, an ORAU member school, to continue ATDD’s major contributions to many of the classic models of air pollution dispersion and expanding that important work under this new contract.”

The Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies is a research organization created in 1978 by a cooperative agreement between the University of Oklahoma and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. CIMMS promotes collaborative research between NOAA and OU scientists on problems of mutual interest to improve basic understanding of mesoscale meteorological phenomena, weather radar, and regional climate to help produce better forecasts and warnings that save lives and property. CIMMS research contributes to the NOAA mission through improvement of the observation, analysis, understanding, and prediction of weather elements and systems and climate anomalies ranging in size from cloud nuclei to multi-state areas.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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