The Cooperative Institute for Marine Ecosystems and Climate (CIMEC) was established in July 2010. CIMEC’s purpose is to facilitate and enhance research cooperation between UCSD/SIO, UC Davis, UC Los Angeles, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Cal State LA, Humboldt State University and NOAA entities. CIMEC seeks to allocate resources to programs that respond to scientific opportunities that can meet national needs as defined by NOAA’s Strategic Plan. While CIMEC spans all of NOAA’s mission goals, particular elements that match the abilities of our fellows are emphasized.

CIMEC’s science vision is to expand its efforts in working with NOAA to build programs that develop the good science to guide management of the environment and new products that enhance public safety and the economy. We also seek to carry out some of the needed research for these objectives, to test and improve products and procedures as they transition from research to practical use, and even to operate elements of the operational observing and prediction systems under NOAA guidance.

In doing this:

  • CIMEC will continue to provide NOAA access to the diverse scientific and technical expertise and knowledge as well as facilities like ships, land-based and seagoing laboratories. When CIMEC began, NOAA mostly set its own science directions and University participation was sought only as needed. As NOAA became the leading US agency for environmental, climate and fisheries science, the UC communities became significant stakeholders both in NOAA research plans and the way they are implemented. Today NOAA relies on the UC and Cal State scientific community, as well as the science community at large, to assist in formulating its research plans, to present and defend these to Congress and to find the talent to carry out the funded science programs.
  • CIMEC will continue to gather data and carry out analyses and forecasts that help NOAA manage the environment and provide warnings and assessments in support of health, safety and the economy. It will continue to integrate NOAA science with the international community and continue to facilitate coordination of international programs with this goal. We anticipate that CIMEC will expand its efforts in quasi-operational areas like the ocean climate observing system, ecosystem management, and regional coastal observations.
  • UC, as the largest public university system in the US and highly regarded, will continue to educate and train a new generation of NOAA climate and ocean scientists. UC’s graduate and undergraduate degrees reflect the societal need for environmental and earth science education and training, as well provide a way to raise environmental literacy among non-specialists.
  • UC, through its earth and marine science education programs at the Birch Aquarium, is a leading force for training school teachers and providing outreach to K-12 level schools. CIMEC has established significant partnerships through this program and envisages that this outreach will be coordinated with several other NOAA Cooperative Institutes.

CIMEC’s Mission Statement

The Mission of CIMEC is, in collaboration with NOAA, to develop and consolidate leading research and educational programs across its member institutions in support of NOAA’s mission “to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation’s economic, social and environmental needs”.

This mission will be accomplished by achieving the following goals:

  1. Establishing CIMEC as the leading vertically integrated research institute in the areas of global and regional climate studies affecting marine and coastal ecosystems.
  2. Establishing CIMEC as a center for education and outreach in climate and ecological sciences in support of NOAA’s manpower needs.
  3. Developing the next generation of sensors and platforms to improve our monitoring of global and regional climate variability and its impact on marine and coastal ecosystems.
  4. Working with NOAA to develop sustainable observing systems.
  5. Developing new methods of data analysis, integration and assimilation in support of assessments of climate variability and ecosystem impacts.
  6. Developing numerical Earth System Models and downscaled regional models that integrate the physical, chemical and biological components of marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
  7. Improving climate and ecosystem predictions through process studies supporting the development of better numerical models.
  8. Working with NOAA to transition observational and prediction products into management tools in support of climate mitigation and adaptation policies, and ecosystem-based management of resources.

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

The MOA is a formal written agreement between NOAA and the participating partner institutions of CIMEC. A full pdf version of this document can be downloaded here.

Institutional Proposal

A copy of the proposal submitted to NOAA by the Partner Institutions is available for download here.