A new Cooperative Institute for the Pacific Northwest and Polar regions, funded by NOAA

This Cooperative Institute was formed in 2020 through a consortium among the University of Washington, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Oregon State University. Researchers from all three universities contributed to the proposal, whose goal was to showcase our capacity within nine research themes specified by NOAA.

Research themes

  • Aquaculture science

  • Climate and ocean variability, change, and impacts

  • Earth systems and processes

  • Environmental chemistry and ocean carbon

  • Environmental data science

  • Human dimensions in marine systems

  • Marine ecosystems: Observation, analysis, and forecasts

  • Ocean and coastal observations

  • Polar studies

Uma Bhatt, Associate Director

Dr. Bhatt provides administrative oversight, connects NOAA scientists with University of Alaska research talent, explores new opportunities for CICOES-UAF, and actively participates in CI meetings.

Sarah Garcia, Administrator

Sarah oversees proposal preparation and submission to CICOES-UW, post award administration of projects funded under the CICOES-UAF award, annual report preparation, and other administrative activities.


The Cooperative Institute will provide access to scientifically-equipped coastal and global ocean class research vessels, crews, and support facilities that can be chartered on both routine and project-by project basis for climate observation operations relevant to all research themes listed above.

Cooperative Institute facilities will complement and expand existing research capacity to study global and regional climate/ecosystem connections in various locales, including the North Pacific, the tropical oceans, the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and the Indian Ocean.

Research infrastructure provided by the Cooperative Institute

  • Specialized sampling instruments

  • Analytical chemistry, biology and microbiology labs

  • Marine and electronic engineering facility

  • Instrument repair services

  • Access to a Class 1 research vessel

  • Access to a supercomputer and very large data storage devices for advanced numerical modeling and data assimilation

  • Sampling programs for areas currently under-sampled by NOAA programs (e.g., estuaries, coastal areas, deep oceans)