STARKVILLE — A Mississippi State University-led research institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will continue their collaborative partnership for an additional five years.
The federal agency has announced that, following a review, the NOAA Research Council determined that the university’s Northern Gulf Institute’s research over the past four years has helped advance NOAA’s goals and mission, as well as Gulf of Mexico marine science.
The review, which rated NGI’s accomplishments as “outstanding,” continues the cooperative partnership between NOAA and a group of five Gulf region research institutions led by MSU. Other member institutions include Florida State and Louisiana State universities, University of Southern Mississippi and the Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory near Mobile, Ala.
NGI conducts research in four primary areas: ecosystem management, geospatial data integration and visualization in environmental science, climate change and climate variability effects on regional ecosystems and coastal hazards.
Total agency funding varies annually and is based on the number of projects the university proposes and NOAA approves, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
NGI director Robert Moorhead said, “When the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred, our scientists in our institutions were able to bring decades of knowledge, experience, and data to correctly predict the immediate impact, and to measure and predict the long-term impacts.
The partnership has enabled scientists at the member institutions to receive support for research projects that may involve NOAA scientists, primarily at the NOAA Gulf Coastal Services Center and NOAA National Coastal Data Development Center. Both centers are co-located with the NGI Program Office at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.
NGI also works closely with the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Pascagoula, and the NOAA Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, La.