University of Maryland, College Park (UMD)

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 41,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and 377,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.


Mission Statement

The Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center is a joint center between the UMD Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic ScienceGeology, and Geographical Sciences. ESSIC was initiated under a Cooperative Agreement with the Earth Sciences Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the collaboration under which continues to today. ESSIC also administers the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS), which is a joint center with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and the National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service (NESDIS).

Research Approach

The major research thrusts of the center are studies of Climate Variability and ChangeAtmospheric Composition and Processes, the Global Carbon Cycle (including Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems/Land Use/Cover Change), and the Global Water Cycle. The manner in which this research is accomplished is via analyses of in situ and remotely sensed observations together with component and coupled ocean-atmosphere-land models. Together this provides a foundation for understanding and forecasting changes in the global environment and regional implications. Data assimilation and regional downscaling provide the means by which the observations and models are linked to study the interactions between the physical climate system and biogeochemical cycles from global to regional scales. Please see the ESSIC Research Section for further information.

Dr. Xin-Zhong Liang, Lead Investigator
(301) 405-6300