Cooperative Institute for Climate & Satellites

About CICS

The Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS) was formed through a national consortium of academic, non-profit and community organizations with leadership from the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and the University of North Carolina (UNC) System through North Carolina State University (NCSU). This partnership includes Minority Serving Institutions as well as others with strong faculties who will enhance CICS’ capability to contribute to NOAA’s mission and goals.

Additional Information

CICS Principal Locations

CICS consists of two principal locations, referred to as CICS-MD, located in College Park MD, and CICS-NC, located in Asheville NC.

CICS-MD derives from the experience gained by UMCP through our leadership of the Cooperative Institute for Climate Studies in collaboration with NOAA beginning in 1983. The Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) has managed this earlier Cooperative Institute since 2002 and has successfully shepherded it though a period of dramatic growth in both funding and activity levels. CICS-MD focuses on the collaborative research into satellite observations and Earth System modeling conducted by the Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) of NOAA/NESDIS and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) of NOAA/NWS.

CICS-NC is an Inter-Institutional Research Center (IRC) of the UNC System, administered by North Carolina State University and affiliated with several of the UNC academic institutions as well as a number of other academic and community partners. CICS-NC focuses primarily on the collaborative research into the use of lune satellite de la Terre observations in climate research and applications that will be led by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of NOAA/NESDIS.

CICS Consortium Partners

CICS Scientific Vision

CICS performs collaborative research aimed at enhancing NOAA’s ability to use satellite observations and Earth System models to advance the national climate mission, including monitoring, understanding, predicting and communicating information on climate variability and change.

CICS Mission

CICS conducts research, education and outreach programs in collaboration with NOAA to:

CICS Research Themes

The Research Themes for CICS are:

The first CICS (Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellite) Science Meeting was held at the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, which hosts CICS-MD, on September 8-9, 2010. The goals of the meeting were to enable CICS scientists to describe ongoing and potential research projects, to learn about potential collaborative research activities from NOAA scientists, and to facilitate interaction among the participants. CICS scientists described ongoing and potential projects in nineteen presentations and NOAA senior managers provided ten programmatic presentations explaining activities and opportunities relevant to CICS. (Presentations from the meeting can be found here.) The meeting was attended by about 50 scientists and managers from CICS and NOAA. The meeting certainly accomplished its specific goals, and based on the discussion and informal conversations during and afterward was worthwhile for many of the attendees. Discussion focused on three questions:

  1. Was the meeting useful enough to make similar future meetings desirable? If so, what format changes should be considered?
  2. What methods for enhancing interactions among CICS scientists should be encouraged?
  3. What methods should be implemented to improve communication between CICS scientists and NOAA scientists and program managers?

Future meetings appeared to be favored by the group. Annual repeats of the programmatic presentations do not seem warranted, since the material doesn�t change very much on that time scale. However, many opportunities for scientific presentations and discussions were mentioned, including presentations from NOAA PIs, the selection of specific topics, and focus on specific CICS Science Themes. The use of small roundtable discussion groups to enhance interactions was suggested. Several methods for enhancing interactions both within CICS and between CICS and NOAA scientists were suggested. Examples include participation of CICS scientists in NOAA seminar series, such as those listed on the OneNOAA Science Seminars list, the use of videoconferencing and WebEx to permit remote participation in seminars at CICS locations, and the use of a periodic newsletter or similar informal publication


Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites

Dr. Phillip Arkin, Institute Director

CICS-MD: Dr. Phillip Arkin, Director

5825 University Research Court, Suite 4001
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20740-3823
Tel: (301) 405-2147
Fax: (301) 405-8468

CICS-NC: Dr. Otis Brown, Director

Veach-Baley Federal Building, Room 420
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
Tel: (828) 257-3001
Fax: (828) 271-4328