NOAA Awards NCAS $15.5 Million to Continue Education and Training of Students in Atmospheric Sciences

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded Howard University a multi-year award to cover a five-year period for a total amount of $15.5 million dollars in Federal funds, with initial year funding of $2.975 million.

This award supports education and research that directly aligns with NOAA goals in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology.  The funding represents a continued investment in the established NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS), for education and training.

NCAS, led by Howard University, was established in 2001.  NCAS is one of four NOAA Cooperative Science Centers in the nation, and has become a model platform supporting nationally and internationally-recognized programs in atmospheric sciences research, education, and outreach.  NOAA announced the awards on Monday, August 29, 2016, at the 8th Biennial NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) Education and Science Forum, held at the City College of New York.

The new partnership will begin in fall 2016. NCAS is comprised of 13 institutions of higher education:  Fort Valley State University, Howard University (lead), Jackson State University, Pennsylvania State University, San Diego State University, San Jose State University, State University of New York – Albany, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland – Baltimore County, University of Maryland – College Park, Universidad Metropolitana, University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, and University of Texas – El Paso.

NCAS recently celebrated its 15-year partnership with NOAA EPP/MSI.  To learn more about NCAS achievements please visit

“NOAA’s continued investment in the human and intellectual resources at HBCUs and historically minority-serving institutions is a model for other agencies to follow.  It is truly remarkable in the current landscape of short-lived investments in capacity-building and workforce diversity.  NCAS has made a National impact through support of the Atmospheric Sciences program at Howard University.  We are excited to embark upon a new era of collaborative research and training with NOAA scientists and stakeholders in efforts to solve real world problems in geosciences and environmental intelligence. ” remarked Dr. Vernon Morris, Principal Investigator and Director of NCAS.

The mission of NCAS is to increase the number of workforce-ready graduates from underrepresented communities in NOAA-related sciences, with particular emphasis on scientific, technological, and societal challenges associated with atmospheric sciences and meteorology. The aim is for EPP-funded graduates to enter NOAA mission workforce as hires by NOAA, NOAA contractors, NOAA partners, or resource management agencies, academia, or as entrepreneurs.

NCAS conducts collaborative education and research with NOAA and its stakeholders within three broad areas — I.) improving forecast accuracy of precipitation, through studies of physical processes and data assimilation methodologies that can lead to improvement of weather and climate forecast accuracy studies;  II.) increasing the understanding of atmospheric chemical processes and their effects on local, regional, and global scales; and, III.) conducting field campaigns and implementation of measurement networks designed to improve the understanding of chemical, physical, and dynamic processes in the atmosphere and climate system.  Throughout these three themes, NCAS seeks to integrate social, behavioral, economic, and communication sciences in order to assist decision-makers in using environmental data and products to protect lives, property, economy, and the environment.

All NCAS academic partners contribute to a rich spectrum of student training and professional development through workshops and webinars, shared courses and seminars, outreach activities, student recruitment, and mentoring.